Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I create a VIN?
VIN calculation is not possible until VIN Criteria are defined. Do this by going to My Company > VIN Criteria. Click the More Info button on the top-right to see how a VIN is calculated from these criteria. Not sure what to do here? Refer to the NHTSA guidelines for trailer Manufacturers VIN criteria may be entered manually by clicking the +Add button for each section.
For quick (but generic) setup, use the Quick-Add Setup wizard. This will walk you through the process, where you may choose from industry-standard VIN criteria. If you prefer a combination of pre-defined and custom settings, use either the quick-add or +Add buttons in each section. Each criteria must have at least one record defined to enable vehicle creation and VIN calculation. When VIN criteria are complete, go to Reports > VIN Calculation. Send the report to NHTSA 60 days prior to the sale of the first vehicle.
See how FedCert Suite organizes vehicle attributes for VIN's. If yours are currently in a different order, you can contact NHTSA and let them know you are changing your codes 60 days prior to the sale of your first affected vehicle. The appropriate form, and NHTSA's contact info are included in the software under Reports > VIN Calculation.
2. I made a vehicle using the wrong model - and now the VIN isn't right. What can I do?
No problem. Simply select that vehicle and open the vehicle detail window. Go to the model drop down list and choose the correct one. Then go down to the bottom of the window and click on the "SAVE" button. A window will appear asking if you want to recalculate the VIN. Select "YES."
3. Why doesn't FedCert Suite's VIN set-up match NHTSA's example set-up?
FedCert Suite's VIN set-up was based on NHTSA's previous example of the vehicle attribute section set-up. We did not change our set-up when NHTSA changed it's example, since there was no regulatory change. FedCert Suite's VIN set-up includes all of the federally mandated information in the required locations and is approved by the NHTSA. (There is no requirement regarding the exact placement of the information within the vehicle attribute section.)
If your current set-up is different that FedCert Suite's, you can simply notify NHTSA that you're making a change. FedCert Suite includes a VIN Decoder Report that can be mailed to NHTSA when you start using the software. NHTSA's address is included on the report.
4. How does the sequence number work in the software?
To ensure accurate VIN calculation, data integrity and compliance, the sequential production number cannot be changed. The number will automatically start at 001 (or 000001 for manufacturers with 3 digit WMI's) at the beginning of each model year, and will advance as each vehicle is produced, regardless of model. If you are subscribing to FedCert Suite in the middle of your model year and cannot start at 001, please contact support for guidance. Continuous VIN sequencing may be enabled by request. This can be done in the Company Information menu or by contacting support.
5. How do I change my model year?
To change the current model year, go to My Company > Company Info. Click the Edit button > change the current model year > Click the save button. Any models or vehicles created from this point forward have the new model year.
You’ll likely want to duplicate the models you wish to carry over into the new model year. To do this, go to Models > find the model you wish to duplicate > click the actions button > duplicate. This will take you to a new model entry screen with all the duplicate fields filled out already.
After changing the model year, we suggest all users sign out of FedCert Suite, close their web browser, and sign back in. This will ensure the new model year is in effect before new models or vehicles are created.
6.Why is the default (automatic) setting preferred for sequence number?
The system keeps track of the sequence number for each model year. You could go back to 2017 and it will remember where you left off. Letting the sequence continue year after year, you’ll reach 999/999999 sooner and will have to reset to 001/000001 at an arbitrary point in time. With continuous sequencing enabled you cannot create vehicles from previous model years. (model year changes are permanent) With automatic sequencing there is no risk of VIN duplication or invalid sequence numbers. Most importantly - the sequence number should not be used to keep track of production year after year or uniquely identify vehicles because it is not a unique number. The entire VIN, or minimally the model year digit and sequence number together uniquely identify vehicles.