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How to Track a License Plate

Updated April 12, 2017

There are a number of situations that require tracking a number plate number. Debt collectors often use number plate tracking to find debtors. If you are the victim of a hit and run, but managed to get the number plate number of the vehicle, you can track down the owner of the vehicle using reverse lookups. Online resources tend to be easy to use and inexpensive.

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  1. Verify the number plate number that you want to track. The most important part of this process is to get the number plate number you want to look up. If possible, recheck and verify the plate number before starting this process.

  2. Check with your local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) in regards to their guidelines and policies. You local DMV will sometimes provide this information, but it varies by state. There are a few states that provide this information for free, but the majority will charge a fee.

  3. Find a website that you are comfortable using by searching number plate lookup. Hundreds of websites offer reverse number plate lookup services, so it is important to find a reputable one that you trust. While almost all of them will make claims of free lookup, you will have to pay a fee before you are given any helpful information. The prices usually start around £16 and go up to £48 as of 2009 for access to their information for a predetermined amount of time, often 6 months to a year.

  4. Sign up, enter your credit card information, and search the number plate number. Once you have found a website, opened an account and paid the website's fee, you will be able to conduct unlimited number plate lookups. You will receive the name of the driver, the issue date of the plate, the city, and state and zip code of where the plate was issued. The report should also include the details of the vehicle owner, weight, height, eye colour and the last recorded address, which can be very handy in tracking someone down.

  5. Tip

    If your state DMV does provide number plate lookups, it is often cheaper to use their service.

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About the Author

Mark Vallet is a a stay-at-home dad who began freelance writing in 2009. He has produced online content for Demand Studios, Autos.com and CarsDirect.com. He has traveled extensively within the U.S. and internationally. Vallet holds a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the University of Iowa.

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