New! Plate-to-VIN Feature Speeds Up Vehicle Selection

ShopKey Pro Plate-to-VIN

What is the Plate-to-VIN feature?

Making decisions based on inaccurate Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) information can cost you money. ShopKey’s Plate-to-VIN feature provides precise vehicle descriptions while eliminating the labor involved with manual VIN verification. ShopKey Pro can now quickly identify the vehicle being worked on by simply entering the license plate number and state. This feature speeds up vehicle identification by reducing the number of characters to enter and greatly improves accuracy.

Some Common Q&As

Q:  Is the Plate-to-VIN feature in ShopKey’s Management SE the same as the Plate-to-VIN in ShopKey Pro?
A: Management SE and ShopKey Pro use the same service. Entering the same license plate in either product will yield the same results.

Q: How often are the license plate and VIN information updated?
A: Plate-to-VIN information is dependent on each state’s motor vehicle agency to update the data. Some states are very quick to update information — in as little as two days — while others may take a bit longer.

Q: Does the service fully decode the VIN?
A: The Plate-to-VIN service reports the full VIN (see below about the NY and PA exception). On occasion, ShopKey Pro may ask for more qualifying information about the vehicle when the VIN is decoded. This is because the OEM does not share their “serial number” information. The serial number is the last 6 digits of the VIN and is used by the OEM to track the vehicle and some specific options. When the first 11 digits of the VIN do not decode enough information to identify the vehicle, ShopKey Pro will ask additional questions.

Q:  Why do I get a partial Plate-to-VIN decode in Pennsylvania or New York?  
A: Both Pennsylvania and New York observe privacy laws that prevent our Plate-to-VIN service from receiving the complete VIN. ShopKey Pro instead gives a partial VIN, everything except the serial number portion, to decode the vehicle.

Q:   Why can’t I use Plate-to-VIN in Canada?  Are we getting this functionality soon?
A:   Our Plate-to-VIN service is for U.S. vehicles only. We’re hoping to provide a solution for Canada in the future.

Q:  Is my data shared with CARFAX?
A:  No. When using the ShopKey Plate-to-VIN, or VIN decoder, your information is NOT shared with CARFAX.

Q:  How do I handle special characters?
A:  If you have a special character, ignore the special character when entering the license plate. For example, let’s say this vehicle pulls into your shop with the following license plate: I(heart)CARS. The heart is a special character, and in this case, we’d follow the rule and ignore it. So you would just type in “ICARS.”

How to enter a Plate-to-VIN on ShopKey with Special Characters


For more information on ShopKey Pro’s Plate-to-VIN feature and other features, visit us here. 

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About the Author

Brianna Crowl

Brianna Crowl is a Marketing Communication Specialist at Mitchell 1. She has over three years of experience working in digital marketing since graduating from San Francisco State University with a B.S. degree in marketing in 2014.