How to Check Car Registration Plates

Written by contributing writer
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Checking somebody's car registration plates can be useful in many situations (for instance, if an unattended vehicle has been parked across your house and it's raising suspicions, you can search for its owner). Also, if victims of hit-and-run accidents manage to get hold of the driver's number plate number, they can use this information to trace the person. For tracing an individual through his plate number, you'll need to avail the services of a specialised company that deals with such matters.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state and ask whether it can provide you with relevant information regarding the registration plate number and the vehicle. Depending on the particular DMV, you may or may not be charged for this information. There's also a chance that the DMV might not disclose this information, in which case you should consider other methods.

  2. 2

    Visit a website that lets you look up number plate numbers. As of 2010, searching for a plate number will cost you anywhere between £16 and £65. Typically these services let you subscribe for about six months. Within the specified time period, you can check as many registration plates as you want. The search results will include the owner's name, issue date and issuance location of the number plate, including the state and Postcode.

    Some websites that offer this service include Gov DMV Records, License-Plate-Search and Abika (see Resources).

  3. 3

    Register on the particular website you've decided to use for looking up the number plate number. To register, you'll need to provide your name and credit card information. After successful registration and payment, you'll be allowed to check the plate numbers.

  4. 4

    Contact the police department to check the car registration plates, if you're looking up the number plates for legal reasons. If you're searching the registration plates for personal reasons, however, your request might not be accommodated.

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