Ohio License Plate LookUp

Buying used vehicles is deemed cost-effective by many car users. But the risks associated with getting these vehicles may be too costly to handle, especially if it has a history of accidents etc. It is therefore paramount that you run an Ohio vehicle registration search. This will let you in on the brief history of the vehicle. A free Ohio license plate lookup reveals the previous ownership, odometer reading, title details, crime records and salvage records of the vehicle you are about to purchase and at no cost.

This license plate search will also help you stay off cars with a salvage title or other forms of blemishes. A vehicle without these blemishes will save you money on heavy maintenance, repairs and other issues usually associated with used cars.

Finally, you will be protecting yourself from exploitation by unscrupulous dealers who sell cars with replicated VINs from other vehicles with identical specs.

What Is an Ohio License Plate and How It Works?

An Ohio license plate or vehicle registration plate is an aluminum plate attached to the front and rear of vehicles (trucks, cars, motorcycles, etc.) - that ply Ohio roads - for identification purposes. It is an alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies vehicles and vehicle owners within Ohio. Residents of Ohio were first required to register their vehicles and obtain license plates in 1908. However, many cities within the state started issuing license plates in the year 1902. Since July 1, 2020, you only need a rear license plate for your vehicle.

Currently, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is the only body that issues license plates in Ohio. Whenever you buy a new car, you would have to register it at the BMV’s office. Afterwards, you are issued the type of Ohio license plate you want.

Residents of Ohio were first required to register their vehicles and obtain license plates in 1908. Though most cities in the state started issuing license plates as far back as 1902. An Ohio license plate or vehicle registration plate is an aluminum plate attached at the front or back of vehicles (trucks, cars, motorcycles, etc.) for identification purposes. It is an alphanumeric ID that uniquely identifies vehicles and vehicle owners within Ohio.

Currently, license plates in Ohio are issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), a section of the Ohio Department of Public Safety. Since July 1, 2020, only rear plates have been required for all classes of vehicles. Interestingly, all the plates are made by inmates at Ohio Penal industries at the Lebanon Correctional Institute.

Types of Ohio License Plates

The state of Ohio issues a regular license plate, upon the registration of a vehicle. However, all residents of the state have the option of applying for whatever type of license plates that best suit their needs. Each plate type has its eligibility and fee requirements. The following are the various types of license plates available to vehicle users in Ohio.

Specialized License Plates

These plates have decorative designs of companies, professions, learning institutions, and so on.

Disability License Plates

They are meant for individuals who have a disability. However, to be considered for these plates, you will be required to present supporting medical files to back up your disability claims.

Personalized License Plates

Personalized license plates are issued to vehicle owners who want custom plates. The license plates must be:

  • 4-7 characters long;
  • Available for registration;
  • Authorized by the BMV;
  • Exclude profane characters.

Why Should You Run an Ohio License Plate Lookup?

A Ohio license plate lookup means a lot more than tinkering with a database. A license plate search is usually done for one or more of the following reasons:

Helps You Avoid Buying Poorly Serviced Vehicles

You can save yourself from buying a car with many maintenance and repair requirements by going through its maintenance history. This is especially true if you are getting a second-hand car. This maintenance history can be easily pulled out from a license plate lookup. A car with a history of many repairs is likely to cost a lot more in maintenance in the long run.

Guides Against Fraudulent Dealers

An Ohio license plate search helps you distinguish - from a distance - honest from dishonest dealers. A free VIN search rolls out a detailed overview of the car’s mileage. By comparing this bit of information with what the dealer highlighted, you can tell if they have been honest all along or if there’s some form of fowl play you should be wary about. For instance, if a dealer claims a lower mileage number than what’s estimated in the Ohio Service records, that means the odometer has been tampered with. It is recommended that you steer clear off such dealers.

Reduces The Chances of Purchasing Stolen Vehicles

With an Ohio License Plate lookup, you can also confirm ownership and title information of a vehicle before purchase. It may also help you identify cars that have been penned down as collateral for a business or transaction. This reduces the chances of buying a stolen vehicle.

How to Conduct an Ohio License Plate Lookup?

Do you need help tracking a driver who rams into your vehicle and speeds off? Then, you need to conduct an Ohio license plate lookup on his/her license plate. Here’s how to go about it.

Through The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV)

There are many BMV local offices across Ohio where you could visit to conduct a license plate search. You will be asked to fill out an Ohio Vehicles Record Request Form and send it to the bureau by mail. The BMV will use its database to find out the vehicle’s registered owner’s information and send the results to you by mail.

Online License Plate Lookup

Many online companies have a detailed compilation of license plate numbers and driver’s details. You can conduct a lookup on their sites for free. However, some sites might require you to pay for certain information. An online license plate search will let you know if there’s a match and provide information about the history of a vehicle and its owner.

Hire a Private Investigator

This could be an expensive option, but it’s comparatively a better route to knowing more about a particular license plate.

What Can You Get From an Ohio License Plate Lookup?

An Ohio license plate lookup provides you with all the information you will need in the buildup to buying a particular vehicle. It would help you determine, and on time too, if the vehicle you are getting is a stolen one, is salvaged or has not been properly maintained through its lifetime. Other information you can get from the search include:

  • Vehicle’s image
  • Government recalls
  • The registered owner of a vehicle
  • Odometer reading etc.


It is now crystal clear that a free Ohio license plate lookup is very crucial for all Ohio residents who wish to know more details about a vehicle. Moreover, if you are also looking to purchase a car and want to save yourself from future vehicular problems, you can use the easy-to-use VinPit platform to perform a VIN check or license plate lookup to get a vehicle’s history report.