Several years ago when I first moved to California, I brought along a '54 F-250 I had restored. The VIN plate on that vehicle was attached to the inside of the glove box door. I had removed it to paint it... drilled out 4 very small rivets and never got around to re-attaching it. When I took it the the CHPs station to get it inspected/licensed the guy almost went apoplectic when he saw the plate was not where his book said it was supposed to be. I reached into the glove box and showed it to him. At that point he went a little crazier and began talking about how did he know I had not stolen the vehicle. When I produced other evidence it was legally mine, he insisted that he destroy that neat little plate with the Ford logo, which he did.
My advice, if you feel its all legal, and he just removed them to paint, replace them as carefully as you can, maybe with those little SS rivets that have threats that you pound in and take it down. If you get called on them, plead ignorance... 'the guy I bought the car from musta done it when he repainted'.
But don't take 'em down unattached. If you don't re-attach them it would probably be better not to take them at all and just depend on whatever paper work you have to prove its legal.
These guys (at least the one I dealt with) have no common sense and are real rule followers and bureaucrats. i.e., when I pointed out to that dimwit that since the VIN plate was attached to glove box door at the factory, if I wanted to steal the truck and change the VIN all I would have to do is get another glove box door and bolt it on, he couldn't seem to grasp the concept. The other funny thing was that I had set the body on a '73 chassis... had a big block V8 all tricked out. That fool spent nearly an hour trying to locate the VIN where the book said it was stamped on the frame.
Last edited by 36scsc; 12-07-2004 at 08:43 PM.