License Plate Lookup

Free License Plate Lookup

Search and lookup your US license plate number to get a free vehicle history report.

What is a License Plate Lookup and How Does It Work?

A license plate lookup tool allows users to search for information about a vehicle using its license plate number. Getting a vehicle history report before buying helps you make a more informed decision about whether or not to purchase it. Over the years, pre-owned car sales have exceeded new car sales. In 2021, used car sales in the United States hit an all-time record with 40.9 million units sold. With a more advanced vehicle research tool, you can buy the car you want with confidence.

License plate lookup services are also used by law enforcement agencies, private investigators, insurance companies, and even individuals who want to check on the background of a car they are considering buying. By entering the license plate number into the search field, users can get access to detailed records about a vehicle in just seconds.

How to Use a License Plate Lookup for Vehicle Verification & Identification

Vehicle verification and identification are important steps for any car owner or buyer. Using the license plate is the easiest way to verify the registration details of a vehicle, including its make, model, year of manufacture, vehicle’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and other relevant information. It can also provides you with the complete vehicle’s title history, recalls, theft and accident history.

These are just some of the reasons why license plate search services are becoming increasingly popular. People now use license plate lookup services for different reasons including finding out who owns a specific vehicle, tracking down a stolen car or even just to satisfy curiosity.

Reverse License Plate Number Search versus License Plate Search

A Reverse License Plate Number Search and a License Plate Search are two types of online services that allow you to find information about a vehicle using its license plate number. However, there are some differences between these two services:

  • A License Plate Search involves searching for information related to a specific license plate number. You enter the license plate number, and the service returns information about the vehicle, such as its make, model, year, and registration status.
  • A Reverse License Plate Number Search involves searching for information related to a vehicle using partial information you have about the vehicle, such as its make, model, or registered owner’s name. The service then returns a list of matching license plates associated with that vehicle.

In other words, a License Plate Search starts with the license plate number and retrieves information about the vehicle, while a Reverse License Plate Number Search starts with information about the vehicle and retrieves matching license plates.

What is a License Plate Number?

The state DMV assigns the license plate or registration number to a vehicle upon registration. This unique number is embossed or surface-printed on a metal or plastic plate. To identify the vehicle, the plate is mounted on the front and rear or at the rear of the vehicle. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and designs, and can be personalized or customized to fit the needs of the vehicle owner. Most states have their own distinctive color scheme, logo, and registration number format for license plates.

The Washington, D.C. city government, the federal government, and some Native American tribes issue special license plate numbers. If you want to choose the letter/number combination, you may order custom license plates or vanity plates.

Is it Legal to Lookup License Plates in the US?

In the US, it is illegal to look up a license plate without a valid reason. This is because of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) which was passed in 1994 to protect drivers from having their personal information misused. The DPPA restricts the use of personal information obtained from motor vehicle records, including license plate numbers. It requires that anyone who obtains such information must have a “permissible purpose” for doing so and must not use it for any other purpose. Therefore, looking up license plates without an appropriate reason is considered illegal according to this act.

In general, law enforcement agencies, licensed private investigators, and certain authorized entities such as toll operators, parking enforcement officials, and government agencies may legally look up license plates in the US.

A license plate lookup from third-party providers like is also legal when the information is accessed for personal use, such as when you are buying a used car and want to check its history, or when conducting research or gathering data for academic or journalistic purposes. Anyone can search a license plate and get a complete vehicle report for free using’s free license plate lookup service.

What Data Does a License Plate Lookup Provide?

Using our license plate search tool, you can get access to a wealth of information about any registered car in the US. It can give you details like the make and model, the year it was made, its current owner’s name and address, and even any accidents or tickets associated with it. With a reverse license plate search, you can look up any car registration number to find out all of this information. This can be useful if you’re looking to buy a used car or if you want to check out the history of a car that’s been sold recently. With this data, you can make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase the vehicle.

Vehicle information is a critical consideration once you have set your eyes on one or a few vehicles. With a vehicle license plate search, you can unlock the most important details you should know to make a well-informed decision.

  • Vehicle information:
    • Vehicle specifications
    • Equipment details
    • Fuel efficiency
  • Indicators of possible fraud, theft, and other issues
    • Complete NMVTIS vehicle history report:
      • title history
      • brand history
      • salvage or total loss history
      • odometer reading
    • Flood Check
    • Theft Data
    • Lien / Impound / Export Records
  • Buyer and seller resources
    • Market value
    • Ownership Cost
    • Safety rating
    • Warranty or manufacturer recall
    • Vehicle inspection checklist

Where does Get Vehicle Information? regularly gathers vehicle data linked to a VIN or license plate number into its large database. We tap into a vast network of government, auto industry, and non-profit sources. By making this database searchable, we give you free access to one of the most complete sources of vehicle data.


Issues DiscoveredDescriptionOdds Ratio
SalvagedVehicle has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged.1 in every 5
RebuiltPreviously salvage-branded car that has passed anti-theft and safety inspections.1 in every 15
AccidentInvolved in a minor or major accident.1 in every 25
Odometer IssuesOdometer reading is not the actual mileage or odometer cannot display actual mileage.1 in every 50
Flood DamageDamaged by flood (specified or not specified whether caused by fresh or salt water).1 in every 100
Owner RetainedDeclared a total loss but the owner maintains possession and ownership.1 in every 200
JunkNot for safe operation; no resale value. Also known as non-repairable, scrapped, or destroyed.1 in every 250
TheftRecord of historical active reports of theft and theft recoveries. 1 in every 250

Look Up a License Plate for Any US State, Any Model or Make

No need to go to your local department of motor vehicles (DMV) or other agencies to check vehicle records. From any location, you can almost instantly run a report for any car. Our free license plate check tool supports all types of license plates issued by states as valid identification of vehicle registration and ownership. is a free one-stop shop for vehicle information for any model or make of vehicles that states have allowed to register and operate.

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of Registered Cars as of 2021

Registered Cars in the US - license plate lookup
In some cases, our free license plate lookup may pull up records for more than one vehicle. Based on vehicle information and other details, you should be able to identify which record pertains to the target car.