Tampering with Vehicle Identification Number

Tampering with Vehicle Identification Number

The offence of tampering with a vehicle identification number is outlined in section 353.1(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of tampering with a vehicle identification number when they wholly or partially alter, remove, or obliterate any number or mark on a motor vehicle used to distinguish it from other similar motor vehicles.

Examples

Person A changes the last three numbers of the vehicle identification number in a car they stole before selling this car to person B.

Person C removes the vehicle identification number from their car before murdering person D in the backseat and driving the car into a lake.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Not a Vehicle Identification Number

Where the person alters, removes, or obliterates something other than a number or mark on a motor vehicle used to distinguish it from other similar motor vehicles, they may not have completed the offence of tampering with a vehicle identification number.

For example, where person A removes the hood ornament from a Mercedes, they have not completed the offence of tampering with a vehicle identification number.

Routine Maintenance, Repair, Modification

Where the vehicle identification number is wholly or partially altered, removed, or obliterated during regular maintenance, repairs, modifications, or other work done on the vehicle for a legitimate purpose, the person will not have completed the offence of tampering with a vehicle identification number.

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