2006 New York Code - Enforcement Procedures For Insuring The Retention Of Vehicle Identification Numbers On Vehicles.



 
    § 423-a. Enforcement  procedures for insuring the retention of vehicle
  identification numbers on vehicles. 1. Seizure of vehicle.  (a)  Members
  of  the  state  police, any local police department or any peace officer
  acting pursuant to his special duties shall seize and confiscate a motor
  vehicle or trailer if any  original  identification  number  or  special
  identification  number  is  destroyed,  removed,  altered, defaced or so
  covered as to be effectually concealed.
    (b) The commissioner shall establish standards for determining whether
  an identification number on a motor vehicle, trailer or part thereof  is
  destroyed,  removed, altered, defaced or so covered as to be effectually
  concealed. Whenever  a  vehicle  described  in  paragraph  (a)  of  this
  subdivision is seized or confiscated, members of the state police, local
  police  department  or  peace  officers acting pursuant to their special
  duties, if warranted, shall  arrest  the  supposed  owner  or  custodian
  thereof,  and  cause  prosecution  to be brought in a court of competent
  jurisdiction.  It shall be the duty of the  appropriate  agency  or  the
  department  of  motor  vehicles  to  retain  the  custody  of each motor
  vehicle, trailer or part seized pending the prosecution  of  the  person
  arrested  until  the  ownership  of  such motor vehicle, trailer or part
  shall have been ascertained. If the ownership  of  such  motor  vehicle,
  trailer  or  part cannot be ascertained, or if the owner or custodian is
  convicted of the theft or unlawful possession  of  said  motor  vehicle,
  trailer  or  part,  such  motor  vehicle,  trailer  or  part,  if in the
  possession of the state police or any other state agency shall,  at  the
  direction  of  the office of general services, be held for, or delivered
  into the possession of, such  office,  and  title  shall  vest  in  such
  office,  or  if  in the possession of a local police department or other
  local authority, such motor vehicle or trailer shall be  treated  as  an
  abandoned vehicle pursuant to section twelve hundred twenty-four of this
  chapter, or such part may be sold by the local authority to a registered
  dealer  or  to  a  registered  vehicle  dismantler  or  certified  scrap
  processor as  defined  in  subdivision  nine  of  section  four  hundred
  fifteen-a of this chapter.
    2.  Assignment  of a new identification number. If a person other than
  the person arrested be the owner, the motor  vehicle,  trailer  or  part
  shall  be  returned  to  him  as  soon  as  he  has arranged to have the
  department of motor vehicles affix a new number, or in  the  case  of  a
  part,  inspect such part, and the department has done so, as provided in
  section four hundred twenty-two of this chapter. Prior to the return  of
  the  motor  vehicle, trailer or part, or the transfer of custody of said
  motor vehicle, trailer or part, the  arresting  officer  shall  transmit
  notice of the arrest to the commissioner.
    3.  Disposition  of certain motor vehicles, trailers and parts. (a) If
  the owner of a motor vehicle or trailer cannot be ascertained, or if the
  owner or custodian is arrested and convicted of the  theft  or  unlawful
  possession  of  said motor vehicle or trailer, and such motor vehicle or
  trailer is held for or is in the possession of  the  office  of  general
  services, the office of general services shall sell the motor vehicle or
  trailer at public auction or by bid, or, it may be registered for use by
  the  office or by a state agency in the performance of the duties of the
  office or of such state agency, provided that the  department  of  motor
  vehicles  first  affixes  a  special  identification number to the motor
  vehicle or trailer, if required. The special identification number shall
  thereafter be used for identification, registration and all purposes  of
  this  chapter, and the purchaser thereof may sell and transfer the motor
  vehicle or trailer bearing  such  a  special  identification  number  or
  numbers.
    (b)  If  the  owner  of  a part or parts of a motor vehicle or trailer
  cannot be ascertained, or if the owner  or  custodian  is  arrested  and
  convicted  of the theft or unlawful possession thereof, and such part is
  held for or is in the possession of the office of general services,  the
  office of general services shall sell such part or parts to a registered
  dealer  or  to  a  registered  vehicle  dismantler  or a certified scrap
  processor as  defined  in  subdivision  nine  of  section  four  hundred
  fifteen-a of this chapter.
    (c)  Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, ownership of
  an unidentifiable part in an otherwise identifiable vehicle, other  than
  a  stolen  vehicle, held by the department or by a police department may
  be transferred to the owner of such vehicle provided that the department
  or police department has made findings that such owner had no  knowledge
  that  the  part  was  unidentifiable  and  that  such  owner was neither
  responsible for rendering such part unidentifiable nor acting in concert
  with any person who rendered or had such part  rendered  unidentifiable.
  Such  a  transfer  may  be  made  to  a  person  who is presumed to have
  determined and to know identification  numbers  on  motor  vehicles  and
  parts  pursuant to subdivision one of section four hundred twenty-one of
  this article only upon payment  to  the  department  or  to  the  police
  department  of  an amount equal to the reasonable wholesale value of the
  part. Such a transfer may be  made  to  any  other  person  without  any
  payment  being made to the department or police department provided that
  the department or police department is satisfied  that  the  person  has
  been  the  owner  of  the vehicle with the unidentifiable part contained
  therein for a period of at least eighteen months.    Such  findings  may
  only be made after an investigation and, if appropriate, a hearing. Such
  investigation  shall  be  made  promptly by the department or the police
  department upon the request of such owner. Proceeds from the transfer of
  any such part shall be paid into  the  general  fund  of  the  state  if
  transferred  by  the department or the division of state police, or into
  the general fund of the appropriate local authority, if transferred by a
  local police department. No such part shall be so  transferred  until  a
  special  identification  number  has  been  affixed to such part and the
  appropriate fee has been paid by the owner of the vehicle.
    4. Whenever a vehicle or part which is in the possession of the  state
  police or any other state agency or a local police agency or other local
  authority  is  returned  to an owner, the cost of making delivery of the
  vehicle or part shall be a charge upon such owner. With respect to motor
  vehicles, trailers and parts held by the state police or any other state
  agency, the commissioner  of  the  office  of  general  services,  after
  consultation  with  the commissioner of motor vehicles, shall promulgate
  regulations  to  effectuate  the  provisions  of  this   section.   Such
  regulations may include, but shall not be limited to, provisions for the
  removal  of  parts  from  vehicles, the storage and sale of vehicles and
  parts and the recovery  of  costs  incurred  in  performing  the  duties
  required herein.
    5.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the commissioner is
  holding a vehicle or vehicle part, upon determination  of  the  rightful
  owner  of  the  vehicle  or  vehicle  part,  the commissioner shall give
  written notice to the owner to retrieve such vehicle  or  vehicle  part.
  Fifteen  days  after  the  receipt of such notice by certified mail, the
  commissioner shall impose a storage charge of ten dollars a  day  for  a
  vehicle  and  five  dollars  a  day  for a vehicle part or parts. Unpaid
  storage charges shall be a lien upon the vehicle  or  vehicle  part  and
  such  lien may be foreclosed in accordance with article nine of the lien
  law. Any moneys collected  as  storage  charges  or  as  the  result  of
  foreclosure of liens for storage shall be used to fund the motor vehicle
  theft prevention program established by section two hundred twenty-three
  of this chapter.

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