Need to know how old your tire is? The Tire Identification Number (aka the tire’s serial number) gives you all the information you need. But where can you find it and what do the letters and numbers mean?
The "DOT" symbol certifies the tire manufacturer's compliance with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tire safety standards. Tires made in the United States have the DOT serial number located on the inside sidewall near the rim. The letters “DOT” are followed by eight to thirteen letters and/or numbers that identify where the tire was manufactured, tire size and the manufacturer’s code, along with the week and year the tire was manufactured.
Below is a description of the serial number.
Starting with the year 2000, four numbers are used for the Date of Manufacture. The first two numbers identify the week and the last two numbers identify the year of manufacture. In the example below (DOT AF WD9E 0517) 05 indicates the tire was manufactured in the 5th week of the year. The 17 number indicates it was manufactured during 2017.
Prior to year 2000 three numbers are used for the date of manufacture. The first two numbers identify the week and the last number identifies the year of manufacture. To identify tires manufactured in the 90s, a decade symbol (a triangle on its side) is located at the end of the DOT serial number.