Louis Vuitton Authentication Guide & Date Codes
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:
Keep in mind that the fact that an item has a date code does not guarantee that it's authentic since many counterfeit items have date codes. A valid and properly stamped date code is just one of many parameters that are checked to guarantee the authenticity of a Louis Vuitton handbag.
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. Find out more about this historical brand in our Louis Vuitton Information Guide.
Date code embossed on tag inside a Louis Vuitton handbag.