VIN Numbers on the various body panels

I'm searching for a replacement for my '94 325i, and I came upon an E46 that has no VIN number (that's redundant, isn't it?) stickers on the variouis
body panels.
Does anybody have a good explanation as to why they would have stopped puting VIN stickers on the major body parts? Understanding why they put the stickers on in the first place makes me wonder why they would take them off instead of put them on even more parts. Understanding the costs to put the stickers on the parts they put them on tells me why they don't put them on more parts, but I can't figure out why they stopped putting them on.
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J Strickland wrote:

All original body panels had the VIN stickers. If a panel gets replaced it may have a sticker that says "DOT" or some-such or it may have no sticker.
Unscrupulous re-sellers trying to hide the fact that the car had body damages repaired may go so far as to remove all of the stickers from even the undamaged panels so as not to arouse suspicion?
-- Fred W
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Sorry, I wasn't clear. I know what the VIN stickers are for, and replacement parts have "DOT" instead of the VIN.
What I was asking is, when and why did the factory stop affixing stickers?
The reason I ask is that I was looking at an E46 that had no stickers on it. I looked in all of the usual places - fenders, doors, hood, trunk lid - and there were no stickers on the car. All of these parts could not have been replaced, and if they were, then the DOT stickers were peeled off.
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snip
I should walk away, the car might not belong to the person who is selling it to you...
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Or, the factory doesn't put the stickers on anymore. That's the question.
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Jeff Strickland wrote:

A cursory inspection of my US-spec '04 model-year 330Ci shows VIN identifiers: Driver's B-pillar next to tire-inflation recommendations Visible on dash through windshield above pivot for driver's side wiper Under hood on passenger side shock tower
If even one of those was missing on a car I was reviewing I'd place my hand firmly over my wallet and back away.
Lem Johnson
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I believe Jeff is comparing the newer models to E36s wherein there is small VIN stickers on every major part. Like one on each door, trunk door, even trunk itself it think, both fenders, hood....
I am not familiar with new models as I have an E36 but does your new E46 & above have these small VIN on parts mentioned?
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Thanks. On the earlier models each fender, the hood, the trunk lid, and all of the doors all had the VIN number affixed to them, in addition to the plate at the base of the windshield, on the driver side door jamb, and inside the engine compartment as the current models have.
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J Strickland wrote:

A-ha. I jumped directly from E30 to E46. A quick look under the hood of the newer car reveals no such identifier. Can't say it isn't hidden under the insulation, however.
Lem Johnson
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