Section 13A-8-22

Obscuring identity of vehicle.

(a) A person commits the crime of obscuring identity of a vehicle if:

(1) He obscures the manufacturer's serial number or any other distinguishing identification number or mark upon any vehicle or component part thereof, except tires, with intent to render it unidentifiable; or

(2) He possesses a vehicle or component part thereof knowing that the manufacturer's serial number or other identification number or mark has been obscured unless he legally acquired ownership of the vehicle or part before the manufacturer's serial number was obscured or before he knew it was obscured.

(b) "Obscure" means to remove, deface, cover, alter, destroy or otherwise render unidentifiable.

(c) "Vehicle" means any propelled device in, upon or by which any person or property is transported on land, water or in the air, including stationary rails or tracks, and includes motor vehicles, motorboats, vessels and aircraft.

(d) Proof that a person has obscured the manufacturer's serial number or other distinguishing identification number or mark on a vehicle is prima facie evidence that he did so with the intent to render it unidentifiable within the meaning of subdivision (a)(1) of this section.

(e) Possession of a vehicle held for sale in the course of business on which the serial number or other identification number or mark has been obscured is prima facie evidence of knowledge of that fact.

(f) A report by the defendant to the police or other appropriate government agency before arrest is a defense to a charge of violating subdivision (a)(2) of this section. The burden of injecting this issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.

(g) Obscuring identity of a vehicle is a Class C felony.

(Acts 1977, No. 607, p. 812, §3250; Acts 1978, No. 770, p. 1110.)