Find Out a Car Owner Using the License Plate Number

Find Out a Car Owner Using the License Plate Number

One can legally find out the owner of a car using the license plate number by asking law enforcement personnel to complete the search.

To collect information on car owners using the license plate number, people must ask for help from law enforcement personnel. Police officers collect data from the state DMV office. Officers can also gather car owner information from people who have been involved in a car accident and file a police report. These reports might show the owner's name, the car's license plates, title history and place of registration, mug shots and any history of car crashes. State DMV reports might also show other criminal offenses like warrants issued for a person' arrest, felony and misdemeanor convictions, sex offender registration and more. Since motor vehicle agencies are operated at the state level, they vary in the type and quantity of information that is kept on car owners. Therefore, an attempt to look up a car's owner using the license plate number may result in limited information.

Access to the information provided in the information that police gather is enabled through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which gives individuals the right to request public information, but doesn't necessarily let them obtain it. Therefore, they must have an authorized individual access that information on their behalf. In addition to requesting help getting data from police, people sometimes go to their local courts to find public information.

Following a car accident, people have a good chance of getting contact information for the other car owner in person, as part of the proper procedure following a car crash is to exchange information. This exchange is done for legal and insurance reasons. Information that one might obtain from another driver includes name, address, insurance company and phone number.

License Plate Lookup
Although a search for a car owner can be difficult, an individual has other options for finding out more information about the vehicle itself. By looking up the license plate record online, one can find the VIN number, the vehicle's history, its make and model, any recalls, the date and location of manufacture, and more. With the VIN number, the individual can find out the history of the car and possibly more information on its owner.

VIN Record Search
As with license plates, people can search online for car VIN records. A VIN record search also shows much of the same information as an online license plate search. People usually look up a vehicle identification number (VIN) when they are planning to purchase a car, as the VIN number lookup reveals all past information about the car, including whether it was in an accident or had any insurance problems.

Driving records, police records, sentence records and other public information is available through many state motor vehicle agencies and courts, but people can only legally obtain car owner information with the help of law enforcement. There are third-party companies that offer owner lookup services. However, if people choose to perform a records search by hiring an outside company, they should be aware of offers like a free license plate or owner record lookup, warns DMV.org. Since legitimate companies charge a fee for these services, a free offer usually indicates a scam.