The M-code plate, which is short for 'Muehrausstattung code plate' meaning Option code, is a plate screwed on behind the passenger side seat near the bottom starting in October of 1958. Previous year buses did not have a plate, although the factory assigned codes can be obtained from the factory.
It contains all information such as paint codes, upholstery delivery port and etc.
mplate.jpg (30040 bytes) mplatelocation.jpg (28538 bytes)

In Nov63 a plate was added to the overhead fresh air vent. This plate is NOT your m-code plate. It contains your correct full 9 digit VIN # and a few other bits of info like weight, heater verification and etc.
overheadvin.jpg (21012 bytes) overhdplate.jpg (21744 bytes)

In Aug1964  the M-code plate style changed. These new mcode plates had a different dating style in the upper left corner of the plate. (only had day and month) Also even though the VIN# was now 9 digits, the mplate only contained a 7 digit number, which was the last digit of the year, and the last 6 digits of the VIN number, ie; 5114123 =1965 XXX114123 Also typically, the paint color was called out by name, instead of the L-number or the 2digit L-number reference designation.

Here's the standard layout for most plates behind the back seat
(click underlined items for details)

For 68 (?) and newer models, click here

Date of manufacture in day/month/year format
Month is 1-9 for Jan - Sept, then October November December - or: 10 11 12.
000 000 000 000 000
M-Codes - optional extras like Tilt's or foglights (# of digits vary depending on how many 3 digit codes were ordered)
Export Destination
(missing for German-delivered vehicles)
Model Number  /  Paint finish
Upper body Color - Lower body Color - Upholstery

Some plates are a bit strange with missing information or not following the standard format, but there are basically two styles of Mcode plates.
First lets look at the Oct58=>Jul64 style.
The information contained on the plates is as follows:

Let's decode the plate below-

mplate.jpg (30040 bytes)
(pic taken by Sam Williams)

21 12 2
21st  of December 1962
428 070 071
428=Unknown, 070=Tarp and bows for pickup, 071= drivers side chest door
Portland, USA
SC with belly door on right side.
No paint finish specified
An all white SC. No upholstery called out.


Here's the Aug 64 and later style:
Notice it is about the same, except its missing the year from the upper left corner,
which has been added to the beginning of the shortened VIN number in the lower right corner (number 7). Also this plate just happens to be missing the delivery port Code in the lower left corner which means it wasn't going anywhere- Made for Germany.

tippermcode.jpg (17887 bytes)
(pic taken by david mayes)

22 6
22nd of june
056 057 065
056=Steering lock 057=Wood Slats not fastened to bed 065=Inscribed axle load limits
Blank code=
Made for home market (Germany)
261=SC with belly door on right side.
2=Nitro-lacquer paint finish
38=Velvet green (top),
38=Velvet green (bottom)
83=Mesh Grey Upholstery

142060=Last part of VIN#

An ironic note about the above mplate, is that it is from David Mayes Tipper truck, yet the plate makes no mention of the conversion even though it was done by VW, except for the slats not being fastened to the bed since it was a tipper.

If you have any questions about your Mplate, I would be happy to try to help you in solving it. Drop me an email