What is VIN etching?

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number. It’s a combination of numbers that are unique for
every vehicle. VIN etching is the permanent stenciling of your vehicle’s 17-digit identification number
onto the windshield and all glass windows of your automobile. The etching is done at the bottom of the glass and doesn’t obstruct your view or change the overall appearance of your car, but it can help protect it from thieves.

How effective is VIN etching?

VIN etching can act as a theft deterrent. If your car has VIN etching, a thief would need to change out all of the glass on the vehicle. VIN etched vehicles have a 65% lower theft rate versus non-etched vehicles, as well as an 85% better chance of recovery if stolen. (Source: Comal County Sheriff’s Office)

Do auto insurance companies offer a discount for having your car VIN etched?

YES (but it varies). A number of insurance agencies offer a discount off the comprehensive portion of your insurance or waive your insurance deductibles if your vehicle is protected by VIN etching.

Comprehensive insurance is what covers your vehicle if it’s stolen. Having the VIN number etched on your vehicle counts as a “passive security system/anti-theft deterrent” and a discount may be available on this portion of your insurance policy.

TIP: Make sure to keep the Insurance Discount Request & VINETCH Security Device Record of Work given to you by the AmeriCorps team on the day your car is VIN etched to prove you’ve had this done.
(Source: AllState Insurance Co)

How to care for a recently VIN etched car:

  • Do not roll down windows for 24 hours
  • Do not wash car for 24 hours
  • If it rains within 24 hours, do not wipe the VIN etching dry – friction from rubbing can blur or remove the etching
  • You will notice a white film around the VIN on your windows – this is normal!
    This should fade over the next few days.

For more information on VIN etching, please contact: