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Guide to Check Owner of a Car by License Plate Number in the U.S
Table of Content

Motor vehicles owned and leased by the federal government are required by law to be clearly marked. This and other objectives were included in the design of the U.S. Government license plate. In order to keep our drivers and cars safe while assuring appropriate stewardship of taxpayer dollars, license plate design, manufacture, management, registration, use, and dispose have developed over time to handle security, record keeping, asset management, and other challenges.

Read the information below if you're seeking for a means to find out who owns an automobile in the US by its license plate number.

What Information Can A U.S Car License Plate Give?

The following details about the vehicle are available when you try to look up license plate information online in the United States:

⇒ Vehicle specifications

⇒ Vehicle accidents records

⇒ Manufacturer recall and Warranties

⇒ Market value

⇒ Fuel efficiency

⇒ Indicators of potential auto fraud and theft: title history, brand history, salvage or total loss history, odometer reading

Check Owner of a Car by License Plate Number in the U.S: Illegal or Not?

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Photo: Smartcitylab

Short answer: NO, it is not illegal.

Long answer:

The bad news is that it is legal to identify a vehicle's owner by their license plate, despite what some websites claim. However, there are some restrictions on who may carry out such a check and for what purposes. The law is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act, found at 18 U.S.C. 2721. (DPPA).

The DPPA forbids the motor vehicle departments from using car owners' personal information for any other reason than those that are authorized. It was put into effect in 1994 when a lot of individuals started seeking for and threatening abortion patients and providers.

Best Way: Tell the police

The DPPA prohibits using license plate data to gather information unless there is a good reason to. As a regular person, you lack the authority to ascertain the owner of a license plate. If it's a hit-and-run or you want to report a careless driver, you can let the authorities know and let them handle the problem.

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Can You Find U.S Vehicle Owner by VIN Number?

The VIN can be used to identify a car's owner, so the answer is yes. Similar to searching by license plate, you'll need a reason, like a crime, to obtain personal information.

You can find out information about the car to ensure its reliability. This is especially beneficial if you're buying a used car. Often, law enforcement will assist you in determining whether a crime has been committed or whether a vehicle has been abandoned.

There are several techniques to locate the owner of an automobile using the vehicle identification number (VIN) or license plate number.

Step 1

Locate the VIN, which is printed along the inside of the car's door frame. If you cannot open the car door, the VIN is also located on the dashboard near the windshield.

Step 2

Write down the plate number. Make sure the plates are current by inspecting the registration sticker in the corner. Current license plate tags are the only means of establishing ownership.

Get in touch with a site that allows you to do a search based on a vehicle identification number or license plate number (below). This service locates the owner of a vehicle by using its current license plate number or vehicle identification number. Another choice is to use a site like, which provides access to a vehicle's whole history. This is more affordable and will include details like the car's previous owners and collision records.

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Photo: Poulinautosales
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Photo: Vincheck

It is possible that more than one vehicle will show up in the search results when you use our free license plate lookup service. Based on the provided vehicle details and other criteria, you should be able to identify the appropriate record.

What information does a lookup of a license plate yield?

In most cases, if the license plate has already been reported, you will be able to view photos and videos taken by other users, as well as read reviews and access helpful links.

If you're looking for more information, you can contact the police, the DMV, the motor vehicles agency, or the state police in your area. They will provide extra details upon request, sometimes for a fee. We only use publicly available information for our website. Plates for the vanity market and other special occasions License plates bearing the owner's chosen characters or numbers are generally available in most countries and jurisdictions.

Some personalized license plates read "MY RIDE," for instance. Most governments have laws against using profanity, obscene language, or insulting slang. It is common practice for registration details to be made available on the official website of the state DMV office. A valid driver's license is required in order to register a vanity license plate. Some specialty and vanity plate numbers may incur additional fees, depending on the plate design. Contact your state's DMV for specifics on registration fees and processes, or view the relevant state page on this site for contact information.

Official Ways to Check The U.S Car Owner

1.Contact Department of Motor Vehicles for Fee

The DMV can provide details about a given license plate (DMV). If you have a good reason to request this information, the DMV will help you out.

The license plate can be looked up on the state's DMV website by entering the number into the search bar. Specifics about the car, such as its make, model year, and production history, will then be provided to you.

However, the service comes with a price tag attached. The DMV also does not share personally identifiable information about the vehicle's owner, including the owner's name, phone number, and address.

The price of your search will be less than $50 most of the time. Depending on where and how you submit your form, you may be asked to show identification.

In some cases, you may get an immediate response to your inquiry. The results of your inquiry will be mailed to you after the agency reviews it, but this may take some time.

2.Contact the Authorities

If there has been a violation of the law or a threat to public safety, you can report it to the authorities in your area.

They may have insight that will be useful in settling the issue. With their help, you can find the car's owner and have them testify on your behalf in court. The police might not give it to you, but they could make sure it gets to the right people.

3.Contact your Insurance Company

You should make a claim on the driver's insurance if he or she caused damage to your vehicle or property. The agents of the insurance company have more tools at their disposal to track down the vehicle's owner.

Your insurance company, if it agrees to pay out on your claim, will typically track down and sue the vehicle's owner on your behalf. Depending on how things go, you might never have any need to know who the driver is.

4.Private Investigator

If all other methods fail, hire a private investigator to track down the previous owner. Simply typing "find car owner" into a search engine should return several Private Investigators.

In order to find the owner of a given license plate, you can use one of several online resources that scour public records. However, there is usually some sort of fee associated with these offerings.

If the license plate was issued in your state, you may wish to hire a private investigator to help you track down the vehicle's owner. You can look in the yellow pages or online to find private investigators in your area along with their contact information.

Top Best Free Sites to Check or Search The Car Owner by License Plate Number in the USA

Editor Note: There’re many websites that indicate they provide a free license plate lookup service.

There are online databases that will assist you with locating publicly available information.

But, free lookups usually can’t give accurate information, some may get your personal information to send you harassing emails or messages.

1. Check Car License Plate on for Free

Best Free Sites to Check The Car Owner by License Plate Number in the U.S
Check The Car Owner by License Plate in the USA on

In the United States, BeenVerified is the go-to site for checking a car's history via its license plate or vehicle identification number (VIN). To conduct a rough search, you only need to know the Year, Make, and Model. The search engine will provide you with a detailed and accurate report because it is backed by billions of real-sourced data from governments and the public.

Simple steps use BeenVerified website to check a license plate.

♦ Click BeenVerified Vehicle Search

♦ Type the license plate number, select its state, then hit SEARCH.

♦ You will wait a few seconds as BeenVerified searches its millions of vehicle records in its database and generates a report for the vehicle for you.

Best Free Sites to Check The Car Owner by License Plate Number in the U.S
Research a Vehicle By VIN Number on

In the US, you can utilize to look up a vehicle by its license plate. You may learn about a vehicle's salvage, theft, and accident histories by looking at the bumper. It's a fantastic tool for comparing two identical autos as well. You can choose more wisely with the aid of their cost information and 150+ data points on vehicle specifications and recalls.

♦ Click

♦ Click SEARCH BY LICENSE PLATE, then enter the License Plate and select the State. Click SEARCH.

♦ Bumper will search on its database and give you a report that contains the information you need.

3.Seach the Vehice License Plate on

To look up information about a car, truck, or motorcycle, just visit and enter the VIN or license plate number and state. If the vehicle identification number (VIN) is hidden, difficult to read, or absent from the vehicle in question, a search via license plate and state is a great alternative.

Please enter the license plate number and state in the boxes provided. After the data is entered, the records will be returned on that platter. You may get multiple results from some searches. This usually means the owner has swapped out license plates between their various vehicles. So, say you bought a Toyota sedan five years ago and just switched to a Honda SUV, but you're keeping the same license plate. Both cars will share one license plate.

If more than one vehicle record is returned, you can easily pull the desired report by selecting the desired record from the drop-down menu. Then you can start reaping the many benefits of using an Experian Automotive vehicle history report to your advantage as you shop for a car.

Best Free Sites to Check The Car Owner by License Plate Number in the U.S
Search for vehicle history records with a valid US license plate number on

Note: No VIN? Check the vehicle history with a license plate and state instead.

4.More Best Sites to Trace US Vehicle Owner Vehicle License Plate Search

A vehicle license plate search is similar to a VIN check. You type in the license plate number of a given vehicle, and we provide you with information about it. Free License Plate Search and Lookup

Look up a license plate and get a free report on the vehicle's past right now. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of a car is linked to its license plate number in official databases. More than 268 million automobiles are listed in the United States' public database. provides not only a free VIN check, but also a free license plate search. Inspecting a pre-owned vehicle for defects is possible.

Enter and search a license plate number below to get a free vehicle history report.

In the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a valid license plate or a temporary license plate that has been issued by the appropriate authority. Each state is responsible for issuing license plates, and these plates are then assigned a unique number for each vehicle. Because of this license plate, state governments are able to keep tabs on who owns which vehicles; you now have access to some of that data as well.

With FAXVIN, acquiring vehicle records is quick, simple, and secure. It's your one-and-only chance to conduct any and all checks you're curious about, including a reverse license plate lookup.

To start you plate search you’ll need to take the following steps:

→ Enter the number on the plate into our online checker.

Hit the Check Now button.

→ Get the results in the form of a short informative report. Usually, it takes a few minutes.

→ Read the report from your mobile, PC, laptop, etc.

3 Main Reasons to Trace Vehicle Owner by Number Plate

There are a few logical reasons you might need to look up a vehicle’s owner by the plate number.

Hit and Run Accidents

You can let the police handle it from there if you have the license plate number. The license plate data will likely be used to identify the other party involved in the incident.

Data could be sent directly to your insurer, bypassing you altogether.

Strange Behavior

It is helpful to have the license plate number of a person who is acting strangely so that they can be located. If you're tired of cars speeding past your house or disobeying stop signs, a license plate lookup may lead you to the driver.

Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car requires a significant leap of faith, but knowing the vehicle's VIN number can alleviate some of that uncertainty. Worst case scenario: the person selling the car turns out to not be the owner.

The Permissible Uses for License Plate Owner Information

♦ For use by any government agency

♦ For use in connection with "matters of motor vehicle or driver safety and theft"

♦ For use in the normal course of business by a legitimate business or its agents, employees, or contractors, but only to verify the accuracy of personal information and correct information

♦ For use in connection with any matter before a court or arbitration proceeding

♦ For use in research activities, and for use in producing statistical reports, so long as the personal information is not published, redisclosed, or used to contact individuals

♦ For use by insurance companies

♦ For providing notice to owners of towed vehicles

♦ For use by any licensed private investigative agency or licensed security service

♦ For use by an employer to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a commercial driver’s license that is required under chapter 313 of title 49.

♦ For use by private toll transportation facilities

♦ For any other use in response to requests for individual motor vehicle records

♦ For the bulk distribution of surveys, marketing materials, or solicitations (opt-in only)

♦ By anyone when written consent of the individual is provided

♦ For other uses specifically authorized by state laws


You can legally find car owners by their license plate. Problems arise only when the information is applied incorrectly. You couldn't use it for illegal purposes like stalking or harassment. It cannot be used in any way that would affect a person's ability to obtain a mortgage, credit, or insurance, and it cannot be used in tenant screening.

Having a dashcam installed will allow you to record the license plate of the person who caused damage to your vehicle, which you can then give to the police.

It is against the law to conduct a license plate lookup; if you are involved in an incident, contact the authorities instead. However, you can check the vehicle's history with a license plate search before making the purchase. Finding out the car's past history can help you learn more about it and negotiate a better price.

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