Looking up a car’s license plate number is quite common. Every day, hundreds of people provide a vehicle’s license plate number in the hopes of getting something in return. Sometimes, it’s the identification of a driver who’s abandoned their car. Other times, it’s a vehicle’s history and market value.
Today, there are plenty of reasons to look up a car’s license plate number, making it imperative to know how to accomplish this task. You never know when a situation will arise where you’ll need to identify a specific driver or learn about a vehicle’s background.
For example, what if someone committed a hit and run? Remembering the perpetrator’s license plate number and knowing how to look it up will come in handy if you want justice. Additionally, what if you decide to buy a car but need information on the vehicle before you make a purchase? Knowing how to check out the license plate number will lead to the details you seek.
Undeniably, you need to understand how to look up a car’s license plate number to save you stress in various situations. But if you’re unsure how to go about this task, you’re in the right place. This article will provide everything you need to know.
What is a license plate number?
Regardless of the state you live in, if you have a car, that vehicle will have a license plate. Every state requires the DMV or a transportation agency to assign a registration number or license plate to a motor vehicle upon registration.
On that metal or plastic plate, you’ll see a unique number that doesn’t exist anywhere else. This unique number is the license plate number, and it helps identify a vehicle.
Typically, most states will have distinct-looking license plates. You’ll likely notice a specific logo, color scheme, and registration number format for the license plates in a certain state. However, it is possible to choose the number and letter combination on the license plates by ordering vanity or custom plates.
Still, one thing that doesn’t usually change is where the license plates go on a vehicle. To ensure the plate number is easily accessible, the license plates must be mounted on the front and back of a car or just at the back.
What information do you get from a plate lookup?
As previously mentioned, there are many reasons why you may want to look up a car’s license plate number. But there are a few common reasons that typically come up.
For example, you may want to check out a plate number to find out the following:
- The owner of a car
- A vehicle’s make and model
- A vehicle’s market value
- A vehicle’s safety rating
- A vehicle’s specifications
- A car’s manufacturer recall or warranty
- Signs of potential auto fraud and theft
Depending on how you look up a car’s license plate number, you can get more or less information. But if you need simple details, it should be easy to get that regardless of the method you use.
The best ways to look up a car’s license plate number
When trying to look up a license plate number, there are three ways you can go about it. Each path is quite different, so the one you choose will ultimately depend on personal preference.
1. The DMV
In some states, the DMV will provide details about a license plate number for a fee. If your state DMV does this, you’ll need to go on its website to find the link for Plate Inquiry or Request for Record Information. If you don’t find one of these things, look for something similar.
From there, once you’re in the right place on the site, enter the plate number into the search field. Then, you’ll receive basic information about the car, but you won’t get any personal information.
2. Private Detective
This strategy may seem like something you only see in movies. But the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act allows real-life private detectives to access the database that houses license plate numbers and the names of those who own a vehicle.
Of course, because this route can provide a bit more information, it is the most expensive, so you shouldn’t use it unless it’s absolutely necessary. And if you do decide to hire a private detective, make sure you avoid giving them money before you have a conversation about the information you can expect to receive. You don’t want to be misled, which can easily happen in this scenario.
3. A transportation agency
Using a transportation agency to look up a car’s license plate number is the easiest solution out of the three. Depending on the agency you use, you’ll get more information than the DMV. For example, transportation agencies like Barry Risk Management can provide more personal details like the owner of an abandoned vehicle.
What’s also important to note is that transportation agencies will do the research for you. Unlike the DMV, which makes you use a website that’s not user-friendly or easy to navigate, a transportation agency like Barry Risk Management will look up a car’s license plate number so that you don’t have to worry about it.
Additionally, transportation agencies are much more cost-effective than hiring a private detective. You can easily pay hundreds of dollars for a detective to do a plate lookup, while a transportation agency will be significantly cheaper to accomplish the same task.
Take the easy route
Looking up a car’s license plate number can be as hard or simple as you want it to be. If you go with the DMV or a private detective, you’ll get little to no information or run into high prices. But if you use a transportation agency, you’ll get more insight from a license plate and better prices.
Barry Risk Management, for example, has over 30 years of experience in the DMV industry and knows how to get the information you seek for a cost-effective price. Our team is knowledgeable and does everything online, so you won’t have to wait long. All you’ll need is the license plate number that you want our representatives to look up, and we’ll have the details for you in no time.
Call 1-888-995-TAGS(8247) to speak with a representative from Barry Risk Management to look up a car’s license plate number!