Is it illegal to change a VIN number? It is not, but it is highly profitable. How can someone steal a car just by knowing the VIN? This article discusses the ways of obtaining the VIN and the legalities of the practices. You can obtain the VIN of a car from a mechanic or salvage yard. It will take a few hours to complete this task.
Changing a VIN is illegal
There are several reasons why a VIN should not be changed. The most obvious is that the VIN is the only way to identify the true owner of a vehicle, especially in cases of theft or restoration. In this case, a VIN change could be used by a restorer or a vintage motorcycle’s restoration company to conceal the real ownership of the vehicle. Criminals may also switch a VIN to cover up theft and misrepresent the history of a vehicle. However, it is possible to sell a VIN-switched vehicle from a legitimate dealer.
Criminal prosecution for removing or altering a VIN can depend on the intent of the offender. It is illegal to change a VIN to make it appear that the vehicle is a different model. However, if the VIN is not legally altered, the prosecution can still file a criminal charge against a person who did so. In some states, the prosecution may not even need to prove the owner of the vehicle was under a culpable mental state when the crime was committed.
There are many ways to disguise a VIN, and there is a simple way to avoid these problems. One way to protect yourself is to change the dash and the entire car around the VIN. However, this method can lead to a car being seized by police officers. You will have to prove the legitimacy of the new VIN before you can get a license to drive it. And, if you do change a VIN, you could also risk the car being seized by a Texas officer.
Changing a VIN is also illegal in California. For instance, imagine that a police officer receives an anonymous tip about someone changing a VIN and enters a garage to check out the motor vehicles in the garage. This is completely illegal under California law. Because the information obtained was anonymous, the police may violate the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against illegal searches and seizures, the police officer may not be able to prove that a person has altered a VIN.
Obtaining a VIN is a lucrative crime
Obtaining a VIN number is an extremely profitable crime. Criminals use the VIN of a legally-owned vehicle to create a fraudulent VIN tag and sell it on the black market. Because most licensing agencies do not check for duplicate ownership, the chances of being caught are minimal. Criminals also take advantage of this by stealing a legitimate vehicle with a similar VIN and attaching it to a counterfeit VIN tag.
For this crime, a thief has to fabricate a fake VIN number and manufacture fake VIN plates. The thief needs access to databases from the manufacturer, federal, and state governments. In addition to having access to the manufacturers’ databases, they must also know how to register a fake VIN to be flagged as a duplicate in the database. However, with state and federal registries linked, it is not impossible for a thief to do this crime.
The most profitable VIN cloners may use aggressive methods to sell stolen vehicles. The VIN is commonly placed in a visible area of the vehicle, making it easier for them to obtain a VIN than a genuine one. The most famous merchants are notorious for falsifying documents. Even more opportunistic thieves may use aggressive techniques to obtain a VIN, which is much easier than creating one from thin air.
It is possible to be caught stealing a car with a stolen VIN number, but this requires proof that the owner intentionally altered the vehicle’s VIN to make it more attractive to the thief. For instance, if the car owner changed the longest VIN to “FST_DRVR” without authorization, they can be charged with a felony. This charge carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison and a fine of $25,000 or more.
Obtaining a VIN from a mechanic
Obtaining a VIN from repairing your vehicle is essential if you want to avoid car theft. Vehicle thieves often travel internationally or across state borders in search of unlocked vehicles. While it may seem impossible, it’s possible to prevent car theft by obtaining a VIN from a mechanic. Vehicle thieves can use this information to make unauthorized sales and avoid being caught.
Another method involves placing a piece of paper over the VIN number. Some people use a file folder section that has a cut-out portion for this purpose. Another way is to make a note of your car’s location on a map. You may also want to keep track of your car’s location by placing the VIN on the inside mirror of the car. This will deter thieves from taking it. If the car is stolen, the thief may be able to use the auto insurance policy number to submit a fake insurance claim or use the driving permit to transport the vehicle out of the country. Likewise, he may take other valuable items like cash, ATM cards, credit cards, bank account numbers, and pin numbers.
If you have an old vehicle with a VIN plate, it’s a good idea to get a duplicate. Not only does this deter thieves, but it also allows you to receive a discount on your comprehensive car insurance policy. It is also possible to use a VIN decal as a way to protect your vehicle from car theft. You should also file a police report if you notice your car’s registration has been stolen. This will help determine if you need to file a criminal report, as well as what time and place the theft occurred. If the registration is stolen, the thief will likely use it for an illegal car registration or to make duplicate keys.
Another option for protecting your vehicle is glass etching. This process can be done in-store or at a mechanic’s shop. During the process, the mechanic will place a stencil that contains the VIN on the glass of the vehicle. The etching will be permanent, which makes it difficult for thieves to resell the vehicle. Moreover, replacing the glass is an expensive process, which is why many insurance providers offer reduced premiums for VIN-etched autos.
Changing a VIN from a salvage yard
In some cases, thieves will pop off the VIN from a salvaged car and order a similar one. Then, they use a fake name for the car title, which is virtually undetectable. Then, they sell the stolen car using the fake title, and its VIN will be different from the original one. Another way of changing a VIN is to clone the VIN from another car. To do this, you’ll need a VIN plate stamping or engraving machine.
Cloned cars are more valuable than ever. The DOJ has warned that cloned VINs pose a huge threat to consumers. As of this writing, only a small percentage of stolen cars are reported to law enforcement agencies. Nonetheless, it’s likely that thousands of cars are cloned each month in the United States. If you find a salvaged car for sale on the black market, it’s wise to change the VIN and avoid the car from becoming a victim of theft.
The NMVTIS database is a valuable tool to help you research used cars. It offers a clear chain of possession for end-of-life vehicles, which helps prevent thieves from using stolen vehicles’ VIN plates. By preventing theft, the NMVTIS database will reduce the risk of car thieves using salvaged VINs for stolen vehicles. In addition, NMVTIS is more transparent, making it easier to catch attempts to steal salvaged vehicles.
Using a salvage-pool to purchase a total-loss vehicle will also allow law enforcement to check the salvage vehicle’s history. Some criminals are now using salvage-pool vehicles to create counterfeit vehicles and use the clean title as a cover for a stolen vehicle. Because of this, the Department of Justice wants salvage-pool companies to disclose their complete history to the insurance companies.