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CITE

    18 USC Sec. 511                                             01/05/2009

EXPCITE

    TITLE 18 - CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
    PART I - CRIMES
    CHAPTER 25 - COUNTERFEITING AND FORGERY

HEAD

    Sec. 511. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers

STATUTE

      (a) A person who -
        (1) knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters an
      identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part;
      or
        (2) with intent to further the theft of a motor vehicle,
      knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters a decal
      or device affixed to a motor vehicle pursuant to the Motor
      Vehicle Theft Prevention Act,
    shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years,
    or both.
      (b)(1) Subsection (a) of this section does not apply to a
    removal, obliteration, tampering, or alteration by a person
    specified in paragraph (2) of this subsection (unless such person
    knows that the vehicle or part involved is stolen).
      (2) The persons referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection
    are -
        (A) a motor vehicle scrap processor or a motor vehicle
      demolisher who complies with applicable State law with respect to
      such vehicle or part;
        (B) a person who repairs such vehicle or part, if the removal,
      obliteration, tampering, or alteration is reasonably necessary
      for the repair;
        (C) a person who restores or replaces an identification number
      for such vehicle or part in accordance with applicable State law;
      and
        (D) a person who removes, obliterates, tampers with, or alters
      a decal or device affixed to a motor vehicle pursuant to the
      Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act, if that person is the owner
      of the motor vehicle, or is authorized to remove, obliterate,
      tamper with or alter the decal or device by -
          (i) the owner or his authorized agent;
          (ii) applicable State or local law; or
          (iii) regulations promulgated by the Attorney General to
        implement the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act.
      (c) As used in this section, the term -
        (1) "identification number" means a number or symbol that is
      inscribed or affixed for purposes of identification under chapter
      301 and part C of subtitle VI of title 49;
        (2) "motor vehicle" has the meaning given that term in section
      32101 of title 49;
        (3) "motor vehicle demolisher" means a person, including any
      motor vehicle dismantler or motor vehicle recycler, who is
      engaged in the business of reducing motor vehicles or motor
      vehicle parts to metallic scrap that is unsuitable for use as
      either a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part;
        (4) "motor vehicle scrap processor" means a person -
          (A) who is engaged in the business of purchasing motor
        vehicles or motor vehicle parts for reduction to metallic scrap
        for recycling;
          (B) who, from a fixed location, uses machinery to process
        metallic scrap into prepared grades; and
          (C) whose principal product is metallic scrap for recycling;
      but such term does not include any activity of any such person
      relating to the recycling of a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle
      part as a used motor vehicle or a used motor vehicle part.
      (d) For purposes of subsection (a) of this section, the term
    "tampers with" includes covering a program decal or device affixed
    to a motor vehicle pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention
    Act for the purpose of obstructing its visibility.

SOURCE

    (Added Pub. L. 98-547, title II, Sec. 201(a), Oct. 25, 1984, 98
    Stat. 2768; amended Pub. L. 103-272, Sec. 5(e)(3), July 5, 1994,
    108 Stat. 1373; Pub. L. 103-322, title XXII, Sec. 220003(a)-(c),
    Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2076, 2077; Pub. L. 104-294, title VI,
    Sec. 604(b)(8), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507.)

REFERENCES IN TEXT

      The Motor Vehicle Theft Prevention Act, referred to in subsecs.
    (a)(2), (b)(2)(D), and (d), is title XXII of Pub. L. 103-322, Sept.
    13, 1994, 108 Stat. 2074, which enacted section 511A of this title
    and section 14171 of Title 42, The Public Health and Welfare,
    amended this section, and enacted provisions set out as a note
    under section 13701 of Title 42. For complete classification of
    this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section
    13701 of Title 42 and Tables.

CODIFICATION

      Another section 511 was renumbered section 513 of this title.

AMENDMENTS

      1996 - Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 104-294 realigned margins.
      1994 - Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 220003(a), amended
    subsec. (a) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (a) read as
    follows: "Whoever knowingly removes, obliterates, tampers with, or
    alters an identification number for a motor vehicle, or motor
    vehicle part, shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned
    not more than five years, or both."
      Subsec. (b)(2)(D). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 220003(b), added subpar.
    (D).
      Subsec. (c)(1). Pub. L. 103-272, Sec. 5(e)(3)(A), substituted
    "chapter 301 and part C of subtitle VI of title 49" for "the
    National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, or the Motor
    Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act".
      Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 103-272, Sec. 5(e)(3)(B), substituted
    "section 32101 of title 49" for "section 2 of the Motor Vehicle
    Information and Cost Savings Act".
      Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103-322, Sec. 220003(c), added subsec. (d).
                     EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1996 AMENDMENT
      Amendment by Pub. L. 104-294 effective Sept. 13, 1994, see
    section 604(d) of Pub. L. 104-294, set out as a note under section
    13 of this title.
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