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How to Find a License Plate Number From a Vin Number

Updated July 20, 2017

A vehicle identification number, or VIN, is important in obtaining records on a vehicle, such as accident history, and the year, make and model. If a car is missing its number plates you can also find out what the current plates are or, more importantly, if the vehicle has been reported stolen. All that's required is Internet access to use pay websites to look up the information.

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  1. Locate the VIN on the vehicle. It's a 17-character number usually displayed on the dashboard near the base of the windshield. Write down the number.

  2. Open a web browser on a computer with Internet access and open your preferred search engine, such as Google. Search for a vehicle history report website by typing in "vehicle history report" and then execute the search.

  3. Choose your preferred website, such as CARFAX or DMV Guide.

  4. Enter the VIN into the website's VIN search text box and search for VIN records. You'll likely be prompted to create an account and to pay for the search. Prices vary, but usually start at around £13 to £19. Use your credit or debit card to pay for the vehicle history report.

  5. Check the vehicle history report for the number plate. They'll give you the report via e-mail or on your account on their website after you finish paying.

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Things You'll Need

  • Internet access
  • Credit or debit card


About the Author

Aaron Wein is a copy editor for Skagit Valley Publishing. He has been a writer and editor since 2004, contributing to Washington-based publications and clients such as the "Bellingham Herald," "Western Athletics," "GNAC Sports" and Microsoft. Wein obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Washington University.

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