How Do You Search A License Plate Number

Search License Plate Records

“How Do You Search A License Plate Number” is a common question. There are a variety of reasons you might want to do a license plate search. Maybe you’re concerned about the accident history of a vehicle you’re looking to buy and want to be sure you’re making a good purchase. Or maybe there is a suspicious car frequenting your neighborhood and you want to see if the owner has a criminal history before jumping to any conclusions and calling the police.

License plate numbers are considered to be public record due to the Freedom of Information Act. This means that U.S. citizens have the right to freely look up license plate numbers for good reasons without fear of reprisal from government or legal agencies.

If you’ve been in a hit and run it’s a good idea to provide the license plate number of the perpetrator to your insurance company or a police officer. If you’ve been a witness to a crime always give the license plate information to the police rather than trying to get involved yourself by doing a private license plate number lookup.

The following information will give you some ideas on how to how to search license plate numbers.

How Do you Search A License Plate Number From The DMV

So how do you search a license plate number? There are a number of reverse license plate lookup services online that provide information nationwide. You can also obtain the information from the DMV, but the procedures and data available vary from state to state. Make sure to research your options in the particular state you live in to make your search easier.

How to Search For a License Plate Number Online

You often need to sign up for an account or subscription service to use the online lookup services. Some sites are disreputable or charge a fee for lookup. Make sure you’re careful and do your research before giving your financial information to a site that provides a pay service.

Reverse license plate lookup services are third party information providers that pull the records from court, corrections, DMV and statistics databases. There are multiple reputable sites you can go to in order to conduct your license plate lookup.

How to Go to the DMV and Look For a License Plate Number in Person

The DMV requirements for license plate searches vary from state to state. Some states offer the option on their website, while others require you to be personally present to look up a license plate number. The DMV in your state may charge a small fee for lookup and require that you provide a good reason for your search. Your inquiry is likely to be recorded and kept on file for legal purposes.

Information that Can be Obtained Through a License Plate Search

  • Who owns the car
  • License plate numbers
  • Car crashes
  • Registration Info
  • DUI arrest records and police reports
  • Mug shots
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Felony and misdemeanor information
  • Sex offender listings
  • Warrant information
  • Inmate records
  • Title information

More personal information such as financial and social security information cannot be obtained through a license plate lookup by a private citizen.

In Conclusion

License plate searches should only be performed if you are aware of the legality of performing a search in your state. The differences in how to search license plate numbers between states can be quite different as each state regulates it’s own laws.

As stated, good reasons to do a search might include concern over a suspicious car that’s been frequently seen in your neighborhood or to learn the accident history of a used car you want to buy as part of a smart buying decision. You may even want to look yourself up and see what information is available about you.

Remember, if you’ve been involved in a hit and run, you’re much better off providing the license number to your insurance company. If you’ve been witness to a crime and have managed to write down the license plate number of the perpetrator, submit the information to the police rather than doing a lookup on your own.

Be smart when it comes to looking up another person’s information and consider the situation before deciding on a course of action. Doing so will help you make beneficial decisions that keep you safe and legal. Try not only to ask, “How do you search a license plate number,” but “Why your are looking up this license plate number” and make sure it falls into the legal context of what is permissible.

how do you search a license plate number

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