Code of the District of Columbia

§ 22–3233. Altering or removing motor vehicle identification numbers.

(a) It is unlawful for a person to knowingly remove, obliterate, tamper with, or alter any identification number on a motor vehicle or a motor vehicle part.

(b)(1) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned for not more than 180 days, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(2) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a felony if the value of the motor vehicle or motor vehicle part is $1,000 or more and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01, or both.

(c) For the purposes of this section, the term:

(1) “Identification number” means a number or symbol that is originally inscribed or affixed by the manufacturer to a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part for purposes of identification.

(2) “Motor vehicle” means any automobile, self-propelled mobile home, motorcycle, motor scooter, truck, truck tractor, truck semi trailer, truck trailer, bus, or other vehicle propelled by an internal-combustion engine, electricity, or steam, including any non-operational vehicle that is being restored or repaired.


(Dec. 1, 1982, D.C. Law 4-164, § 133; as added Apr. 24, 2007, D.C. Law 16-306, § 217, 53 DCR 8610; June 3, 2011, D.C. Law 18-377, § 12(f), 58 DCR 1174; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 205(q), 60 DCR 2064.)

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 18-377, in subsec. (b)(2), substituted “$1,000” for “$250”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in § 22-3571.01” for “not more than $1,000” in (b)(1), and for “not more than $5,000” in (b)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 217 of Omnibus Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-445, July 19, 2006, 53 DCR 6443).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 217 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2006 (D.C. Act 16-490, October 18, 2006, 53 DCR 8686).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 217 of Omnibus Public Safety Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-10, January 16, 2007, 54 DCR 1479).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 217 of Omnibus Public Safety Second Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2007 (D.C. Act 17-25, April 19, 2007, 54 DCR 4036).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 512(f) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Emergency Amendment Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-693, January 18, 2011, 58 DCR 640).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 512(f) of Public Safety Legislation Sixty-Day Layover Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-45, April 20, 2011, 58 DCR 3701).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 205(q) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.