A Complete Guide to Louis Vuitton Date Codes (500 Photo Examples)
If you are a luxury handbag lover, date codes are something you check whenever you purchase a new item for your collection. However, if Louis Vuitton date codes aren't something you're familiar with, you have definitely found the resource you need.
Here's a thorough guide compiled by Louis Vuitton collectors with over 10 years of experience each - and a date code list. Enjoy!
What Does a Louis Vuitton Date Code Mean?
Louis Vuitton date code is a combination of numbers and characters that allows you to identify where and when the item was made. Unlike Chanel bag serial number, for instance, LV date code is not unique and cannot be considered a serial number. Many handbag enthusiasts call date codes Louis Vuitton serial numbers nonetheless.
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 production. According to the format of the date code, you can find out how old is your item.
How to Read Louis Vuitton Date Codes
Looking to learn how to decipher Louis Vuitton date codes? Get up close and personal with your Louis Vuitton pieces! Find out all you need to know right here. Knowing how to read the Louis Vuitton date codes can give you more insight into the pieces in your wardrobe.
- Before 1980s. Louis Vuitton items made prior to 1980 have no date codes. Prior to the year 1982, Louis Vuitton occasionally used an embossed symbol to mark production dates on popular pieces, for instance, FC or SA (mostly seen on Speedy and Keepall tabs. Some of the vintage Louis Vuitton bags are made by the French Company and it's normal that these handbags do not have date codes inside.
- Early 1980s. Three or four numbers with the first two numbers representing the year and last number(s) representing the month. Sometimes these can be preceded or followed by letters. E.g. "818" would indicate a manufacturing date of August, 1981.
Late 1980s to very early 1990s. Three or four digits preceded or followed by two letters with the first two digits representing the year, the next digit(s) representing the month and the last two letters representing the country (see right sidebar for factory location codes). E.g. "8511VX" would indicate a manufacturing date of November, 1985 and factory location in France. Late in the 1980s, the letters representing the factory location were positioned before the three or four numbers representing the manufacturing date.
Early 1990s to 2007. 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 and newer, up tp March, 2021. Louis Vuitton changed the date code system. Since 2007, date codes had a new format: 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 fourth numbers representing the year. For example, “FO3057” would indicate a factory location of Italy and a manufacturing date of the 35 week (or May) of 2007.
No date code
- After March, 2021. Louis Vuitton stopped using the date codes and replaced them with RFID chips in 2021. Thus, all the newer handbags do not have any date codes. They do have heat stamps though.
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List
Please note that even thought this date code list has the absolute majority of manufacturing country date codes, this is not a complete list. It was collected from open sources by Louis Vuitton collectors and enthusiasts from our team.
|France||A0, A1, A2, AA, AAS (Special Order), AH, AN, AR, AS, BA, BC (charms), BE, BJ, BU, DK (replaced, relined items), DR, DU, DT, CO, CT, CX, ET, FL, LA, LM, LU, LW, LY, MB, MI, ML, MM, MS, NO, RA, RI, SA, SD, SF, SK, SL, SN, SP, SR, TA, TJ, TH, TN, TR, TS, TY, VI, VM, VX|
|Spain||BC, BP, CA, JJ (straps, belts), LO, LB, LM, LW, GI, UB|
|USA||FC, FH, LA, OS, SD, FL, TX|
|Italy||BC, BO, CE, FH, FK, FN, FO, FP, FY, FZ, MA, NZ, OB, PL, RC, RE, SA, TB, TD|
Where Are Louis Vuitton Date Codes Located?
Generally, a date code in a Louis Vuitton purse is located inside the bag's pocket near the sews.
To find your item's date code, first examine the inside pockets. In 80% of the bags, you'll find your date code either printed on a small leather tag inside the pocket or just stamped onto the lining. Look carefully, especially if your item has alcantra lining as the date code may be faded and, thus, almost invisible.
Here's where the most popular bag's date codes are located.
How to Locate a Louis Vuitton Date Code in a Speedy handbag
To find a date code/serial number on a Speedy regardless of its size, look under the internal pocket. The date code will be displayed on one of the two of the leather tabs.
How to Locate a Louis Vuitton Date Code in a Neverfull handbag
The date code in this popular bag is under a big fabric pocket on the right (if you're facing the pocket).
Note that a Neverfull in Epi leather would have its date code in another area. It's located on one of the handles (the inside part, specifically the place where it meets the top leather trim).
How to Locate a Louis Vuitton Date Code in a Metis bag
Close the purse's flap and turn over to the zipped pocket on the back. Open it and you'll find the date code if the item was produced between 2014 and 2021.
Are Louis Vuitton Date Codes Unique?
No. Louis Vuitton date codes are basically general item's production dates. Several items can be produced on the same factory and on the same week. It's quite normal to see several items with the same date code though it doesn't happen frequently.
Do All Louis Vuitton Bags Have a Date Code?
Not every Louis Vuitton bag has a date code. For instance, vintage bags manufactured before 1981 don't have any date codes inside. In addition, the purses that are released after 2021 only have microchips inside.
There are also more complex cases. For instance, some items from catwalks are missing date codes, as reported by several collectors. Note that an item from a fashion show doesn't necessarily lack this serial number inside.
Other bags that don't have date codes are rarely seen and are considered manufacturing defects.
When Did Louis Vuitton Start Using Date Codes?
The earliest reference we know dates back to early 1980s, namely, 1981. Date codes emerged as a response to growing counterfeiting attempts and were designed to help Louis Vuitton employees to check the purses brought for repair. Over time, date codes became known to the general public and were copied by counterfeiters, which has become the reason Louis Vuitton discontinued date codes in 2021, replacing them with RFID chips.
When Did Louis Vuitton Stop Using the Date Codes?
Louis Vuitton replaced the date codes with RFID chips in March of 2021. You can read more in our articles regarding Louis Vuitton microchips. Therefore, the popular French handbags have date codes from early 1980s to 2021.
Is It Possible to Have a Neverfull and a Pouch with Different Date Codes?
Yes, if you have an item comprised of several smaller items (like a Neverfull with a pouch or a Multi Pochette bag) it's normal. The reason for that is still unknown, probably the separate items are produced and brought together in different times.
Does Louis Vuitton Put Date Codes on Receipt?
No. The receipt has the item number that looks like M12345. The date code is not printed on the receipt.
It's important to note though that by reading the date code you can do a legit check of the receipt. To be precise, you can compare the date when the item was manufactured against the date the item was purchased. For instance, if a bag was made on the 38th week of 2019 and the receipt says it was purchased in 2018, that would at least confirm that the receipt is not from this handbag.
How to Verify That a Louis Vuitton Bag is Authentic Using Date Codes
A lot of people believe that if a date code is legit, it means that the item is authentic. Unfortunately, it's not true. Counterfeiters learned to copy the date code logic so a date code on a fake can be fully legit.
How can you check authenticity? You need to take into account multiple factors and you can learn how to authenticate in our Louis Vuitton authentication course. You can read more about the authentication process and factors that need to be checked in our separate article. When it comes to date codes, you need to take into account not only the fact that the date code is legit but also the date code font, font color, its location and other details.
Here are some popular fonts for each of the date codes. Please be aware that the list is not full and is updated regularly even though the date codes are not used by Louis Vuitton anymore.
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List (Made in Spain)
Contrary to popular misconceptions regarding Louis Vuitton bags being manufactured in France only, Louis Vuitton handbags are actually being manufactured in Spain. The French brand has had a factory there for many years. Check out the Louis Vuitton date codes from handbags made in Spain.
|Factory Code||Approximate years active||Description|
|1997-2019||CA also looks as CR. Used on a variety of items, including bags, accessories and on limited edition items too.|
|2012-2019||Kusama items, Artsy MM, Ikat items, Giant Monogram items.|
|circa 2002-2003||Seen mostly on accessories like belts|
|Circa 2001-2006||Vintage factory code. Seen on bags, monogram hobos, vernis bags etc.|
|LW||Circa 1999-2000||Vintage factory code, not valid at the moment|
|UB||2016-now||One of the most recent date codes.|
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List (Made In Germany)
Bags made in Germany are very rare. If you see a Louis Vuitton handbag with a German code, it's either vintage or a rare limited edition. According to the recent items we've seen, it's very likely that Louis Vuitton has discontinued the German manufacturing facility.
|OL||Circa 2010-2011||This Germany factory code is quite rare and it's been mostly seen on limited edition items.|
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List (Made in USA)
The French handbag manufacturer currently has several factories in USA. It's only logical since US is a big market for Louis Vuitton and it makes much sense to manage a manufacturing facility instead of importing.
|FH||1992-1995||Vintage factory code, currently discontinued|
|LA||Circa 2000-2001||Vintage factory code, currently discontinued.|
Until 1995 France)
|SD date code is valid for a French factory until 1995. From 1995 SD date code was used as a factory code for USA factory.|
|FL||1987-now||One of the most popular French factory codes.|
|TX||2017-now||The newest factory opened in the USA in Texas has the TX factory code. Can only be seen on bags from 2017|
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List (Made In France)
Naturally, French date codes are the most widespread and popular. Some Louis Vuitton collectors prefer to purchase items made in France as they're considered to deliver higher quality.
|Factory code||Photo examples||Years active||Comment|
|A2||Circa 1988-1994||Vintage factory code, discontinued|
|AA||Circa 2000-now||French factory, ongoing date code|
|AS||Circa 1997-2013||This code can still be found on the newer bags.|
|BA||Circa 1995-2007||Vintage factory code, discontinued now|
|BC||2019-present||This code is found on charms.|
|BJ||Circa 2000||Vintage factory code, discontinued now|
|DR||CIrca 2011-now||Newer factory code, can be found on Pochette Metis and other popular bags|
|DU||Circa 2007-now||A long-time French factory code|
|CO||Rare vintage date code|
|CT||Circa 2004-now||Ongoing factory code, seen on Speedy, accessories.|
|CX||Circa 2011-now||Modern factory code seen mostly on accessories (bag charms)|
|ET||Vintage factory code used in the 1980s|
|MB||Circa 1999-now||Long-time French factory, ongoing code|
|MI||Circa 1991-now||Long-time French factory, ongoing code|
|MS||Circa 2010-now||Ongoing factory code|
|RA||Circa 1997-now||Mostly seen on accessories|
|RI||Circa 2005-now||Rare factory code, not seen too much|
|SF||Circa 2016-now||Newer date code, often used for pochettes|
|SL||Circa 1991-2004||Vintage factory code, discontinued now|
|SN||CIrca 2004-now||Long-time French factory. Can often be een on high-quality fakes.|
|SP||1984-now||The most popular factory code for France, old factory|
|SR||Circa 2000-2013||Used for monogram and limited edition items. May also be valid currently.|
|TJ||Circa 2010-now||This factory code is still ongoing|
|TH||Circa 2001-2009||Vintage factory code used in the 2000s|
|TR||Circa 2010-2017||The factory code can still be valid now|
|TS||Circa 2015-now||Factory code used on newer items|
|VI||1984-2011||This factory closed down in 2011. Fakes often use this factory code with newer items.|
|VX||Circa 1984-1999||Vintage French factory code|
Louis Vuitton Date Codes List (Made In Italy)
Italian date codes are the most sophisticated ones. They're either used on a few popular items, such as Pochette Metis, or they're used on ultra rare limited editions.
|BC||circa 2015-2018, mosly accessories like phone cases|
|OB||Circa 2010-2015||Mostly used for accessories (bag charms)|
|RC||Circa 2005-2013||A modern factory code, can still be in production|
We have reviewed all the known Louis Vuitton date codes and have answered the most burning questions regarding this topic. By now, hoepfully you know everything about date codes. However, if you still have a question, we're excited to help! Message us below.