(a) If an identification number for a motor vehicle or motor vehicle part is removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered, such vehicle or part shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture to the United States unless—
(1) in the case of a motor vehicle part, such part is attached to a motor vehicle and the owner of such motor vehicle does not know that the identification number has been removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered;
(2) such motor vehicle or part has a replacement identification number that—
(A) is authorized by the Secretary of Transportation under chapter 301 of title 49; or
(B) conforms to applicable State law;
(3) such removal, obliteration, tampering, or alteration is caused by collision or fire or is carried out as described in section 511(b) of this title; or
(4) such motor vehicle or part is in the possession or control of a motor vehicle scrap processor who does not know that such identification number was removed, obliterated, tampered with, or altered in any manner other than by collision or fire or as described in section 511(b) of this title.
(b) All provisions of law relating to—
(1) the seizure and condemnation of vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage for violation of customs laws, and procedures for summary and judicial forfeiture applicable to such violations;
(2) the disposition of such vessels, vehicles, merchandise, and baggage or the proceeds from such disposition;
(3) the remission or mitigation of such forfeiture; and
(4) the compromise of claims and the award of compensation to informers with respect to such forfeiture;
shall apply to seizures and forfeitures under this section, to the extent that such provisions are not inconsistent with this section. The duties of the collector of customs or any other person with respect to seizure and forfeiture under such provisions shall be performed under this section by such persons as may be designated by the Attorney General.
(c) As used in this section, the terms "identification number", "motor vehicle", and "motor vehicle scrap processor" have the meanings given those terms in section 511 of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 98–547, title II, §201(a), Oct. 25, 1984, 98 Stat. 2769; amended Pub. L. 103–272, §5(e)(4), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1373.)
1994—Subsec. (a)(2)(A). Pub. L. 103–272 substituted "chapter 301 title 49" for "the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966".