Legality? its a sticker on a body panel. it isnt for identifying the body's actual vin tag lol. The vin tag you can goto prison for is held down with rosette rivits. rivits that are illegal to possess unless you are a body shop owner.
For argument's sake - The Federal Government mandated that all vehicles manufactured after 1986 has to have a VIN labeling system. The reason for this Federal law was to cut down on theft of not only vehicles, but vehicle parts. The VIN could be etched or attached by the means of a decal.
So, sure, it may be just a "sticker" on a body panel, but it identifies which vehicle that part belongs to (or came from).
The Federal Motor Vehicle Theft Law Enforcement Act of 1984 became law on October 25, 1984. The standard applies to both major parts and all motor vehicles produced during the 1987 model year and all sequential models produced thereafter.
The 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number must be inscribed on the engine, transmission, both front fenders, hood, both doors, both bumpers, both rear quarter panels and the deck lid or hatchback (whichever is present). The VIN taken from the stated locations shall provide a true description of the vehicle to which it is assigned.
good site for checking VIN's: https://www.nicb.org/cps/rde/xchg/ni.../vincheck.html
I don't know about any of you, but when I come across a used vehicle that has either missing VIN decals or I see no VIN decals, there are questions that do arise.
Also one other important note to VIN labels on aftermarket crash replacement panels: There is NO aftermarket Company around that is allowed to place a VIN "DOT-R" label on ANY of their reproduced parts. If you have a vehicle that was involved in a collision and those parts replaced were done so w/ aftermarket replacement crash panels, there will not be any "DOT-R" sticker. This is because the part was not approved by DOT, as it may not meet the traditional crash safety standards as those of the ORIGINAL manufactured part.
Many Dealer genuine replacement crash panels will have a "DOT-R" decal affixed to them and these labels are not to be removed, as it shows that the panel was replaced w/ a DOT approved part.