Locate harley by vin number

Simet examined the motorcycle and observed that the frame number had been ground off, that the VIN number was hand-stamped on the engine case, which is not consistent with the manner in which STD puts on a number, and the number on the front fork assembly and the crank case had been welded over and ground off. In further examining the cycle, Simet noted that the numbers that had been obliterated were all in places that Harley Davidson puts identification numbers. He also observed that the transmission appeared to be a Harley Davidson transmission, but the identification number on the transmission had been welded over and ground off.

Simet also found that the cycle did not contain certain features that are utilized by STD, such as a raised STD emblem.

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He also found that two stickers required by federal law, one called a federal certification label and one for emission control, had been removed. Based on all of these observations, Simet concluded that someone had gone to great lengths to remove from the cycle all numbers that could identify it. He testified that the only reason to remove these identifying numbers was to conceal a stolen vehicle.

Simet indicated that as a result of his investigation, the motorcycle was seized and forfeiture proceedings were commenced. Thistle testified that in , he built the vehicle himself from parts he bought at various swap meets and from dealers. Thistle personally stamped the number on the STD engine casing. Thistle did not produce any records of the purchases of the parts or records from the State Patrol.

He also testified that he did not know that all of the identification numbers had been removed. Thistle testified that he registered the motorcycle with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and received a VIN number, which he stamped on the STD engine casing. He also received a license and title. Depies testified that he purchased the motorcycle from Thistle in and properly registered and obtained title to the vehicle through the DOT.

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Depies testified that he was not aware that all of the identification numbers had been removed. It further found that Depies failed to overcome this presumption. As a result, it concluded that the entire motorcycle was subject to forfeiture.


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The trial court ordered the motorcycle forfeited and judgment was entered. Depies now appeals. Section If a law enforcement agency finds a vehicle or part of a vehicle on which the identification number has been removed, altered or obliterated or made impossible to read, the law enforcement agency may seize the vehicle or part of a vehicle.

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If the identification number cannot be identified, the seized vehicle or vehicle part is presumed to be contraband. We do not agree. Based on the credible testimony in the record, this number did not match the make of the vehicle and it was not placed on the motorcycle in accordance with the law and therefore cannot be the basis for concluding that the vehicle was improperly forfeited.

Thistle admitted that he personally stamped this number on the engine casing. A notarized bill of sale and a copy of the title is sufficient proof of ownership for an engine, not for a frame.

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The exception to this is and older, which do not have frame numbers for registration or titling purposes. This only applies to Harley Davidson. For other makes and models, please check with an appropriate source. Also note that not every state follows this, so check with your local DMV before attempting to register a bike made from parts.

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