Arlington, Virginia – The Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), a branch of the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), has submitted a comment to Transport Canada concerning amendments to its vehicle identification number (VIN) requirements.

Each vehicle is required to have a unique identification number, but the current system has a usable span of 30 years in which it can produce unique 17-digit VINs. The new proposal will produce a VIN system with a 60-year lifespan. The Canadian amendment would harmonize Canada’s requirements with those of the U.S. to recognize the new 60-year VIN.

In a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is responsible for the system, the HLDI has raised concerns over the new system in that it does not ensure unique VINs for motorcycles and for pickup trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings of 10,000 lbs (4,536 kg) or less. The HLDI said that “lack of unique VINs will make it difficult to determine the on-road experience and safety of particular motorcycles, and whether the VINs for some pickups comply with the old or new requirements.”

In its August 19 letter to Transport Canada, the HLDI said that NHTSA has yet to respond to the petition, and it urges Canada to take into account the issues that HLDI raises with respect to the new VIN system when adopting a new Canadian harmonization to the U.S. requirements.

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