View Full Version : Vin Tag Removal Question

04-03-2007, 07:03 AM
I have tried to dig up info on this subject but have yet to find a definitive answer yet...

I am buying a car that has been restored... The original VIN TAG was removed from the car because it was virtually unreadable. The rest of the car had spots on it to verify that the VIN on the TITLE that came with the car was the real VIN number. The restoration shop is now telling me that the car is ready but that a State Police officer that works for the SECRETARY OF STATES office is coming down to verify the car so that he may get a VIN tag made up for the car. My questions are as follows...

What kind of tag is used in the state of ILLINOIS when this happens?
Who attaches the plate back onto the car me or the State Police enforcer for the Secretary of State?
If the SECRETARY OF STATE officer attaches a plate to the car can I then replace it with an original looking one with the same info?
What kind of plate do they put on it?
Do they even put a plate on it or do they put a sticker in the door jamb allowing you to put your own plate in it?Sorry for all the questions, but I want to make sure I am not getting myself into any illegal or misleading in any way. I live in Massachusetts so who could I call to find out in my state if need be??


Van B
04-03-2007, 07:30 AM
I don't know how it happens in IL, but in WI the state inspector does an inspection of hidden VINS and then you apply for a state assigned VIN plate. When it comes in, you install it yourself and then have the inspector come back and verify that it has been installed properly.

One word of caution though, the vin will likely be a number made up by the state, not the same as your original vin #.

04-03-2007, 09:11 AM
The process described above is similiar in most states with the exception of who can install the replacement VIN tag. As stated, it will most likely be a "reassinged VIN sticker" with a VIN number issued by the State of Illinois. Most states affix this sticker in the door jamb. The Illinois title that will be issued for this car will reflect the VIN number on the reassigned VIN sticker, whatever that number is. Most likely the VIN number on the reassigned VIN will NOT be the original Camaro VIN number reflected by the hidden VIN's since the hidden VIN's are only partial VIN numbers.

If and when this occurs you cannot legally alter/swap/move/remove this VIN tag. That means that you cannot re-install a correct "repo" VIN tag from old Billy in Texas.

DO NOT BUY THIS CAR until the current owner can produce a Legal Title, Paperwork and Legal VIN tag that is properly affixed to this car. Let the current owner fix this problem of HIS/HER creation. The current owner who started this restoration was VERY FOOLISH to spend ANY money on a car without a LEGAL VIN tag.

Since you are in another state besides Illinois there CAN/COULD be felony issue of transportation of a stolen vehicle or vehicle without a VIN tag across state lines. Any car without a legal VIN tag can be immediately confiscated by any police jurisdication in the US. It is unlikely this will happen but it can and does happen. Then the cops chop holes in the car to determine the correct numbers and true legal owner. You DO NOT want to be the owner of this car if and when that happens.

IF the current owner can legally get the VIN issue resolved, there would then be no reason to worry about the purchase of this car other than the fact that when YOU sell the car, and you will eventually sell the car, will now be in the same position this seller is in of TRYING to explain to the next buyer WHY the car has a reassigned VIN?

If this is a "numbers matching" restoration, the reassigned VIN will kill the value of the car. If it's a PT car it probably will not make that much difference since the value of a PT car is in the quality of the workmanship and parts installed.

04-03-2007, 11:05 AM

Thanks for all of your help. I have an update on what the deal was. Sec of State police came down and ATTACHED A VIN Plate to the car. It is the SAME EXACT VIN number as what is on the title.. They attached it to the INSIDE of the DOOR PILLAR. There is NO VIN TAG in the ORIGINAL spot. So the question that remains is. Now that I have a legal VIN TAG attached to the car on the door, can I get a VIN plate made that goes in the original spot and attach it myself??

Again, just trying to make sure that I can legally do this. I dont want any problems with this vehicle...


04-03-2007, 11:38 AM
"So the question that remains is. Now that I have a legal VIN TAG attached to the car on the door, can I get a VIN plate made that goes in the original spot and attach it myself??"

NO, not legally. The VIN tag installed by the State Of Illinois is now the VIN or record. Yes, I know the Illinois VIN is the same as the original VIN. I am just answering the question as asked.

There is a very good chance that the Illinois reassinged VIN sticker will have a "control number" or even a "bar code" also included on the new VIN sticker. This will uniquely differentiate this new VIN tag sticker for all time in the future.

The second answer to your question is, yes, you could call old Billy and get a repo VIN tag, install it on your car and remove the Illinois VIN sticker since the title will still match the new repo VIN sticker. Illegal but you could damn sure do it and it most certainly has been done. You could also buy a repo VIN tag, install it on the car and leave the Illinois reassinged VIN tag, but why? That's a waste of money spent on the repo VIN tag since everyone will still see the reassinged Illinois VIN sticker.

Given the fact that the car still retains the original VIN number I would not do that since you then open YOURSELF up to potential liability in the future if there ever is a problem and they find out that YOU swapped the VIN tags. You said the original VIN tag was illegible. Are you getting that original tag with the purchase of the car? Did YOU ever see the original illegible tag? I would want that illegible original tag if I purchased the car.

I perviously owned a georgous 87 GN with a Texas reassinged VIN. The reassigned VIN was also the original VIN since the car was stolen/recovered. This information also matched the ****** which reflected the theft and recovery of the car. It was a beautiful car that sold for about $2000 less than the price of a 87 GN in the same condition with an original VIN when I sold the car. Of course I bought the car $4000 less than value when I purchased it by pissing and moaning to the seller about the reassinged VIN sticker and he gave in and sold me the car since he needed the money!!!

In the above case, the 87 GN was a low mileage completely stock car. That's why the VIN issue effected the value of the car so greatly. I still do not think a reassinged VIN will effect the value as much on a PT car since most of us are building these cars from junk anyway!

04-04-2007, 04:23 AM
Again I thank you for all of your help... Here is what I have found out as an end to this...

I spoke DIRECTLY to the SEC OF STATE POLICE Trooper that did the inspection on the vehicle. He told me that the VIN TAG he installed is a METAL TAG attached with state of illinois stamped rivets installed on the door. It is the EXACT SAME VIN NUMBER as what is on the title and what came originally with the car. It is NOT a reissued VIN TAG number. It is the same EXACT number. That is good!!

Bad news is that he said I can in NO WAY OR SHAPE put another tag even if it is a duplicate tag in the windshield spot, even if I leave the tag HE INSTALLED IN PLACE!! He was emphatic on this and stated that it was a FEDERAL FELONY to do so. He said he is well aware that people make them, but if you get caught with one, or if your car has one on it after being recorded like mine is, then you would be in big trouble!!

So I guess I will be content with the COMPLETE ORIGINAL VIN number on the replacement vin plate which is attached to my inner door pillar. I wont be able to put a duplicate with it on the windshield, but at least this car is 100% legal with all the documentation I will ever need to prove it. Im gonna pro tour it to the hill anyways so I guess it isnt gonna matter as far a resale goes!!