I have a Ford Mustang, 2000. I just got this car, ran the CARFAX on the VIN displayed in the panel, got an identical history to what the car showed, even identical mileage. Got myself insured with State Farm, and sign up for their In-Drive program. They plug a dongle into my OBD port, and when they see I'm a safe driver, they give me a discount.

All goes well until I get an email: "VIN number mismatch." The dongle is convinced that the VIN number it is assigned to is not the VIN number of the car. The dongle is (100% certainty) in the correct car.

I checked with my insurer and double-checked my CARFAX and the VIN in the car door. They all match up: Green, 3.8L V6, 2000 Ford Mustang, Only owned in Texas. This matches what the dealership told me as well.

Is it possible that the VIN number available through the OBD port is not the same VIN number as the car is registered to? How would I find out if that is the case?

  • It will get rejected when taking it through emissions if they don't match. Just saw it happen.
    – Guest
    Commented Jul 11, 2019 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


The VIN is stored within the OBD-II system. This is what the dongle is reading. If the PCM was ever replaced, the VIN may not have been stored correctly in the new (to the car) PCM. Any shop which does aftermarket tunes can check and put the correct VIN back into it. Then your insurance fob will be reading without the mismatch.

  • I have some small OBD-Handheld, which can read the VIN code of most cars. I really often see, that this number is not the same, as original one. So I don't think it's a big deal. But as @Paulster2 sad, some car workshops, that flash ECUs can flash you the correct one. But what is the point? Because only VIN that counts is chiselled into your car body.
    – Watsche
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 7:34
  • 1
    @Watsche ... Because they're trying to get a discount on the insurance, but due to the mismatch, they won't let it happen. Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 8:31

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