It’s like a birth certificate for cars and trucks, detailing a wealth of vital information for their proud new owners.

Every car and most trucks/SUVs sold in the U.S. are required to carry a so-called “Monroney” window sticker that lists the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), and details its standard and optional equipment. It’s named for Sen. Almer Monroney, who was the chief sponsor of the 1958 law that mandates it. The sticker’s requirements have been bolstered over the years and today it affords a wealth of essential information that should be critical to any informed consumer’s shopping process.

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Double-checking this data also helps ensure that any car or truck you’re buying includes all the features and options for which you’re paying. And it’s a good idea to retain a copy of the sticker for your records to confirm your vehicle’s engine, transmission, and equipment configuration and specific paint color, which may come in handy down the road when repairs need to be made, and will document for a future buyer the list of accessories that originally came with the vehicle.

Here’s 10 things you can learn about a new-car or truck, simply by reading its window sticker.

Resources for car buyers: