Free License Plate Owner Lookup


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When you do a license plate lookup, you are running a search using the number for information about the vehicle associated with the plate. But can you find out who owns the license plate with this method?

Here in this article, we will show you everything you need to know about license plate owner lookup: whether it is legal to do it and how you can possibly obtain the personal information of the owner.

Can I Find Out Who Owns a Car With Its License Plate Number?

While you can find vehicle details with license plate lookup, it will not allow you to access personal information about the license plate owner. The Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) protects against the sharing of personal information through license plate numbers, except for specific individuals and organizations with a few authorized reasons. These include:

  • You are from law enforcement or other government agencies and dealing with matters related to traffic violations, car accidents or thefts
  • You work for an insurance company and you're investigating an insurance claim.
  • You're involved in scientific research that requires driver data (in this case you need to promise you won't publish or disclose any of these personal details)
  • You're running a business and you need to verify someone's personal information if he or she is holding a driver's license.

What Are The Ways to Find the Owner of a License Plate?

As stated above, this is not always easy to do owing to legal restrictions. But there are still legitimate ways to get information on the vehicle’s owner:

Apply to the DMVs

The department of motor vehicles in each state has all the registered license plates and knows who the legal owner is. To look up the license plate owner there, you need to go with a justifiable reason (such as the one mentioned above) and make a formal request by going to their office or website.

But you should note that it is difficult to get their permission. And even if they grant you access, you may still be unable to acquire personally identifiable information like names or addresses.

Talk to your insurance company

Your insurance company can help you find the owner in cases like you've been in an accident and the one who should be responsible is missing. When you've filed a claim, they will use the resources and proper methods they know to get in touch with the owner at fault.

Ask help from a private detective

Private detectives or investigators are experts that can find out information about someone’s life, and in many cases can also help you locate a vehicle owner. But their services can be costly and unsuitable for you if you only have a limited budget.

Can I Find the Vehicle Owner With a VIN?

No, you can't. As the code uniquely identifies a vehicle, a VIN only contains information about the car itself, such as the make and model, place and year of manufacture, and specifications.

You may find extra details associated with the vehicle using tools like VinPit. But the DDPA also prohibits the use of VINs to identify vehicle owners, so these platforms can't offer you personal details about the owners either.

What Is The Best Tool to Find Vehicle Information With License Plate Numbers and VINs?

There are many different good options for looking up license plate numbers and VINs, but the one we recommend you try is VinPit. We provide an easy-to-use tool that can generate comprehensive reports containing verified, updated details about a vehicle. They will help you uncover the history of a vehicle or make an informed decision on whether or not to buy a used car.

To look up a VIN or license plate number of the target vehicle, simply enter it on our website and start the search. We will quickly scan through our database and provide you with the results in an instant.


What are the common reasons for license plate owner lookup?

People who do license plate owner lookups usually wish to seek more information about the owner. They may want to know more about the person or to catch the one who is responsible for a hit-and-run case. They may also need this information to make an informed purchase of a used car – they want to know how it was used by its previous owner.

Is it legal to do a license plate owner lookup?

No, it's not. The DPPA restricted the sharing of personal information of vehicle owners. So the data holders, be it a DMV or a VIN check service, will not be allowed to tell you the name, address, and contact information of the owner.

What can I find with a license plate lookup?

A license plate lookup usually just helps you find information about a vehicle itself, which includes vehicle specifications, mileage, recalls, accident records, theft records, and so on.

Is it possible to find information about the owner with a license plate lookup?

In most cases, you'll only be able to know the number of owners of the vehicle, and whether they are an individual or a company. You may also be provided with the title of the vehicle, which may reveal a little bit about the vehicle ownership.

What can I do with a bad driver?

Whether you witness someone driving dangerously, or you're the victim of this behavior, the only thing you need to do is to report their license plate number to the police, instead of finding the driver by yourself. They will have the legal authority required and better resources to do this.