A license plate is created for identification purposes and is usually issued when the vehicle owner registers it for the first time. Usually, if you know an automobile's plate number, then you hold the key to discovering its make, model, engine type, and other essential information.
In the past, you needed to visit the local department of motor vehicles (DMV) to perform a license plate lookup. This process is usually very strenuous and generally involves joining long queues and taking numbers for service.
Fortunately, many state DMVs including Florida offer online license plate search services now. You can conduct a free Florida license plate lookup to check a vehicle using its registration number from the comfort of your leather upholstery.
Get to Know About Florida License Plates
Florida license plates are metal plates used to identify registered vehicles and associate them with registration records. The assigned number is a combination of numbers and letters.
The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) issues license plates to all registered vehicles in the state. Also known as tags, these plates are affixed to the rear of all cars in Florida.
The FLHSMV currently issues three license plates:
- Standard Plates: These plates feature a graphic image of the state outline and the state's official website, myflorida.com.
- Personalized and Specialty License Plates: These plates are used to support various organizations and are personalized for special interests.
- Temporary License Plates: These plates may be used for a period of 10, 30, or 90 days depending on the temporary purposes for which the plate is issued.
If you are interested in Florida License Plates & Registration, explore more here.
Why Does a Florida License Plate Lookup Matter?
When you buy a used vehicle from a dealership, in theory, the dealer should have already done a license plate check and should tell you everything you need to know about the vehicle.
But not every seller is upfront. Some pre-owned cars for sale may have been stolen, been involved in accidents, suffered damage from a natural disaster, not have a client title, or even had an odometer rollback.
You can protect yourself and your investment by cross-checking the seller’s information. This is where a free license plate lookup tool comes in handy, enabling you to confirm that everything is legal and that you will not have more expensive repair bills down the track.
What Information Can I Get From a License Plate Lookup in Florida?
You may be surprised at how much information you can get from a license plate lookup in Florida, including but not limited to the following:
- Market Value - You can find out how much the vehicle was last sold for, so you know if you are getting a good deal on the price.
- Model and Images - You can see the car model and a picture of the car, so you can check if the plate belongs to the right vehicle.
- Odometer Reading - You will see the actual odometer reading, so you can make sure the current mileage is reasonably accurate.
- Accidents & Repairs - When a car is taken to a repair shop, this will be noted on the registration, so you can find out if it has been involved in any accidents or if it has had major repairs in the recent past.
- Title & Registration - You can check that there are no outstanding loans on the car and that it is not being used as collateral for a title loan. You can also see if there are any unpaid warrants or traffic fines.
- Other Details - You will also have access to a lot of other information gathered from various public databases, such as fuel efficiency, safety rating, current warranty and vehicle insurance details.
Where Can I Do a License Plate Lookup in Florida?
Vehicle Lookup Website
The first place to go to, and probably the easiest, is to use an online VIN lookup tool such as VinPit. This is a search platform, especially for license plate lookups and VIN checks. It taps a vast network of sources including available government websites, insurance companies, and the automobile industry to ensure that the vehicle records are 100% reliable.
Just enter the registration plate number in the search box of this page, and you will then get a detailed report with all the information you need along with images of the car, and sometimes even videos will appear on the screen.
Another way to perform a license plate lookup in Florida is to contact the FLHSMV directly. Their large and reliable databases of Driver and Vehicle Reports & Statistics are accessible to the general public.
You can obtain many of their resources online so you don't have to wait in line at a local office. Note that the website may seem complicated and it is not always easy to find the information you seek.
The third option is to hire a private investigator and this can be costly. A professional usually charges a set fee for all the jobs involved during the license plate search. They often have contacts within the law enforcement field and can access databases that are not easily available.
If you are really interested in a unique model with high value, an investigator might be a better option. Or if you want to track someone down through a license plate number, this can also be a good choice. Note that this could only be applicable under certain circumstances, such as for legal use.
Frequently Searched Questions
Is It Free to Do a Florida License Plate Lookup?
Most online vehicle searches are free of charge, although the amount of information you will get varies. You can also opt for the FLHSMV to obtain a vehicle report, but this will incur certain charges. Visit the fee page if needed.
Can I Look Up a Florida License Plate With a VIN Number?
Yes, you can look up license plates using a VIN number since the VINs are associated with license plates and other vehicle & owner information maintained by the FLHSMV.
Can I Trust the Vehicle Reports From Florida License Plate Lookups？
Of course! Typically, these online search portals like VinPit gather information from National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), state DMVs, insurance companies, and other authentic resources, which is accurate and available to the general public.
Can Someone Track Me Using My License Plate Number in Florida?
Don't worry! Your information is safeguarded by law. All state DMVs are required to protect personal information under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). This act prevents people from accessing your private details unless allowed by laws.