License Plate Lookup

Free License Plate Lookup

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

Are you buying a used car? You’re in good company! 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. Vehicle information is literally just a couple of clicks away for any of the 289+ registered vehicles in the country. To get a comprehensive vehicle history report, simply run a license plate lookup for any vehicle.

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. 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 for custom license plates or vanity plates.

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of Registered Cars as of 2016

Registered Cars in the US - license plate lookup

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 information.

What Can I Get from a Free License Plate Lookup?

You can get a vehicle history report with the following information:

  • Complete NMVTIS vehicle history report
  • Market value
  • Vehicle specifications
  • Fuel efficiency
  • Safety rating
  • Warranty or manufacturer recall
  • Indicators of potential auto fraud and theft:
    • title history
    • brand history
    • salvage or total loss history
    • odometer reading


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

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.

For answers to the most common questions about renewing your current registration and about license plates (how to apply, renew, replace tags, cost of license plates) at your state’s DMV, click on your state below: