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Roger Walling

Legality of re-attached VIN tag?

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I am interested in purchasing a car that the VIN tag on the door jamb had been removed for painting and then re-attached with screws instead of the factory rivets.

Has anyone had any problems with the registry or state police with a vehicle with an "altered" VIN?

The car in question can be verified by the frame numbers but could the body could be conceited stolen by the state police if they wanted to make an issue out of it?

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Can you not just remove the screws and replace with drive rivets? they are taperd rivets you drive in with a hammer. have done this a few times.

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It is legal to remove VIN tags for restoration as long as there is no intent to deceive. There was a long discussion on this topic some time ago.

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This topic is like discussing religion with many car people. Federal law 18 U.S.C. § 511 allows the removal and replacement of a VIN tag by " a person who repairs such vehicle or part, if the removal, obliteration, tampering, or alteration is reasonably necessary for the repair". State laws do not always match the federal law. Bottom line is that you should do what you need to do and don't write posts about it on line.

Of course, people replace frames all the time, and these frames are stamped with a different VIN derivative from the VIN tag.

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Quote from above post, "

"State laws do not always match the federal law. Bottom line is that you should do what you need to do and don't write posts about it on line."

I thought about that before I posted but I am really interested in following the law to the letter.

Thanks to all who have answered this post.

From these posts I have found that it is not Illegal in MA. to remove or alter a VIN as long as there is no intention to deceive of fraud.

It is illegal though, to sell a vehicle with a re-installed or altered VIN unless authorized by law to do so. This seems to me to leave a little gray area when selling as to whether it is legal if you tell the new owner or not. ???

MA general laws Chapter 266 section 139 a through c

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