THE ARIZONA AUTOMOBILE THEFT AUTHORITY AND YOUR
LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY’S FREE VIN ETCHING PROGRAM
What is VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Etching?
VIN Etching is the process of permanently etching the vehicle’s 17 digit Vehicle
Identification Number (VIN) on each piece of window glass on the vehicle. Click here for VIN Etching Video Demo.
Why should you consider VIN Etching on your vehicle as a visual theft
deterrent against auto theft?
Etching your vehicle’s VIN number serves as a permanent fingerprint of your
vehicle. VIN etching is an effective visual deterrent against auto theft.
When a vehicle is stolen, the thief must change the identity of the vehicle by
changing the VIN identification plate on the dashboard. With a new VIN
identification plate in place, he/she now has a new vehicle. BUT, with a vehicle
that has its window glass VIN etched, the thief must replace and dispose of each
piece of window glass, which drastically cuts into their profit margin. As a thief
contemplates stealing your vehicle, they will notice the etching on the glass, and
may move on to an unmarked vehicle.
Will it damage your vehicle or alter the appearance in any way?
No. The process only affects the outer most layer of the glass. This will in no
way damage your windows or make them weaker. In addition, the VIN number
etched on each piece of glass is only ¼” in height and approximately 2” in width.
The numbering has a white color that can be seen within a few feet of your
vehicle. Thieves and police officers know where to look for the etching,
however, the casual passer-by will not notice.
How long does this process take?
It should only take 10 minutes per vehicle. The vehicle owner must show proof
of vehicle ownership, current registration and complete a consent form provided
by the hosting agency.