Contrary to popular belief, Louis Vuitton handbags (excluding luggage and rare limited edition pieces) do not have serial numbers. Rather, Louis Vuitton handbags have "date codes" stamped either on interior tags or directly on the interior linings. These date codes simply serve to identify the manufacturing location and date for a Louis Vuitton handbag, not to verify it's authenticity. With the exception of early handbags (early 1980s and older), date codes can be found on all Louis Vuitton handbags and other items made by the luxury brand (e.g. sunglasses).
Most date codes are a combination of letters and numbers. The letters indicated the country in which the item was made while the numbers indicate the month/year of the production date. The format of the date codes are as follows:
|Prior to early 1980s||No date codes|
|Early 1980s||Three or four numbers with the first two numbers representing the year and last number(s) representing the month. E.g. "836" would indicate a manufacturing date of June, 1983|
|Early to late 1980s||Three or four numbers followed by two letters with the first two numbers representing the year, the next number(s) representing the month and the last two letters representing the country (see right sidebar for factory location codes). E.g. "874VX" would indicate a manufacturing date of April, 1987 and factory location in France. Late in the 1980s, the letters representing the factory location came before the three or four numbers representing the manufacturing date|
|1990 to 2006||Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the month and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “VI1025” would indicate a factory location in France and a manufacturing date of December, 2005|
|2007 & newer||Two letters followed by four numbers with the first two letters representing the factory location, the first and third numbers representing the week of the year, and the second and forth numbers representing the year. For example, “SD2057” would indicate a factory location of USA and a manufacturing date of the 25 week (or May) of 2007|
Authentic Handbags with No Date Code?
Authentic Louis Vuitton handbags with alcantara linings may have date codes that are very hard to read or have disappeared altogether. This is sometimes the case for older bags or if the bags have had their linings cleaned.
Date code embossed on suede surface inside a Louis Vuitton handbag.
Louis Vuitton Factory Location Codes
Note this is not a complete list.
|France||A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BJ, BU, DR, DU, DR, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL, LW, MB, MI, NO, RA, RI, SD, SF, SL, SN, SP, SR, TJ, TH, TN, TR, TS, VI, VX|
|Italy||BC, BO, CE, FO, MA, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TD|
|Spain||BC, CA, LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB|
|USA||FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL|