How to find information on vehicle history by a license plate number

Written by nicole newman
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How to find information on vehicle history by a license plate number
Number plates can be used to find vehicle history (number plates image by timur1970 from

Buying a used vehicle is a tremendous decision that -- if done improperly -- may result in disasters that seemingly arise out of thin air. Be sure to examine the history of a vehicle so that you place your money towards a suitable car. Use the number plate number to learn if the car has been damaged, stolen, rebuilt, salvaged, recalled, or wrecked. A vehicle history report may even uncover odometer fraud. As a consumer, one of the most damaging discoveries is finding out that you have invested thousands of dollars into an automobile that is nothing but trouble. Discover how to locate vehicle history information via number plate numbers and avoid such predicaments in the following guide.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Number plate number
  • Personal computer with Internet access

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Follow the first link in the Resources section to access the Number Plate Search organisation. Type in your complete number plate number on the home page, choose the state, and click "Search".

  2. 2

    The record resources will locate the Division of Motor Vehicle records and, consequently, a match that identifies the state in which the automobile is registered. Submit a payment via credit or debit card to obtain a vehicle identification number (VIN) in addition to a car registration date, license expiration date, make, model, owner's address, and registered lien holder. Number Plate Search organisation has one of the lowest Internet reverse VIN lookup search fees, as of early 2010.

  3. 3

    Use your VIN number to review more detailed vehicle history reports and further minimise risks when deciding to purchase a car. Choose from reputable, established reporting sites including CarFax, AutoCheck, and VinCheck. Compare the features of each service to find one that fits your needs and budget.

  4. 4

    Take full advantage of the additional information that will enable you to make economic and buying decisions with greater authority and boldness. Transform the report into a negotiating tool. Identify issues with the vehicle during the bargaining process to assess whether or not a lower price offer is warranted.

  5. 5

    Bring your vehicle history report along with you at the inspection. Ensure that the car is inspected by a certified auto mechanic, who can dramatically reduce your risk with the aid of your report.

Tips and warnings

  • The Bureau of Automotive Repair recommends using the VIN (vehicle identification number) to obtain the most accurate results as a vehicle plate number may change.

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