How to Obtain a Reverse License Plate

Written by damica brownswood
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There are plenty of online resources to help you obtain reverse number plate information. The websites will charge a fee and may provide you with the information you need. However, these websites will not protect you legally.

According to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), it is illegal to perform a reverse number plate search unless you have a legitimate and legal reason to do so. The safest way to obtain reverse number plate information is to contact the issued states Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or state police department.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Number plate number
  • Number plate state
  • Form of payment

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    How to Obtain a Reverse License Plate

  1. 1

    Contact the state police department. If your reason for obtaining information through a reverse number plate search is criminal or accident related, contact the state police department and file a report. Be advised that they may or may not release this information to you. Instead, they may offer to assist you in filing a police report.

  2. 2

    Contact the DMV. If your reason is not criminal or accident related, contact the DMV located in the state of the issued plate. The DMV will have records on all number plate numbers within that state.

  3. 3

    Complete a request form. Many states have these forms available online. If not, request a form from the local DMV. Read the instructions very carefully. Some forms require the signature of a business or government official. This signature is to verify the legal reason why you need the requested information.

  4. 4

    Pay the appropriate fee. The DMV will charge a fee to perform a reverse number plate search. The fees will vary depending on the state. Check with the local DMV for a current fee schedule.

  5. 5

    Obtain reverse number plate information. Information regarding the owner of the plates will be released to you if the DMV feels that your request is in compliance with the law. If your request is denied, you can hire a private investigator to further assist you.

Tips and warnings

  • If decide to use a "reverse number plate search" website and choose to perform this search without first contacting the DMV or police department, your reasons will still need to be compliance with the DPPA. Using information that was not obtained legally could result in legal punishment.

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