Free California License Plate Lookup

Free California License Plate Lookup

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Buying a used car can be hard. Scammers are everywhere. Make sure to research the vehicle’s history. There are several ways to get a vehicle report. You can either lookup by license plate or by VIN. For vehicles registered in the state of California, you can run a free California license plate lookup to get everything you need to know about the vehicle.

Enter a California license plate below to lookup your vehicle and get a complete report:

Enter a California License Plate: offers free license plate lookup. Using your license plate, you can get a complete vehicle report at no cost. A vehicle report from contains:

  • Market Value
  • Vehicle Specifications
  • Equipment Details
  • Fuel Efficiency
  • Safety Rating
  • Inspection Checklist
  • Current Warranty
  • Auto Insurance
  • NMVTIS Report

California License Plates

California License Plate LookupCalifornia has required license plates on vehicles since 1905. Currently, California Plates are issued by the California DMV. Front and rear plates are required on most types of vehicle in California, including all passenger vehicles. Exceptions to this rule are motorcycles and trailers, which only require one rear license plate. License plates are used for identification purposes and provide law enforcement a means to locate the vehicle owner through DMV records. Rear plates must have current registration sticker in order to show that they are valid.

If your license plates have been stolen, mutilated, damaged, or lost; it is your responsibility to obtain a replacement. You’ll need to submit an Application for Replacement Plates Form (REG156) either by mail or in person at one of the DMV offices.

Types of California License Plate

There are eight (8) types of plate available for issuance in California. Depending on the particular plate that you will choose, requirements may differ.

  1. Standard License
  2. Special Interest
  3. Special Interest Motorcycle License
  4. Special License
  5. Special Recognition License
  6. Occupational License
  7. Legislative License
  8. Apportioned License

California License Plate Sizes

Automobile, commercial, and trailer license plates are 12″ x 6″.

Motorcycle license plates issued prior to July 1, 1970, are 8″ x 5″. Those issued on or after that date are 7″ x 4″.

Identification plates issued since January 1, 1981, to vehicles not bearing automobile, commercial, trailer, or motorcycle plates are 7″ x 4″. Those issued prior to that date are 8″ x 5″.

California License Plate Validity

Plates are valid by affixing appropriate stickers or tabs. The license plates remain with the vehicle except for certain plates which may, upon request of the owner and payment of appropriate fees, be reassigned to another vehicle. These license plates are environmental (personalized), special recognition or special interest license plates.

Transferring a California License Plate

Generally, you can transfer a license plate from one vehicle to another that you own. For further inquiries, read the FAQs section of How To: Change Vehicle Ownership (HTVR 32).

For more information, contact a California DMV near you!

More Resources for California Drivers:

Buying a used car in California?  Don’t make a costly mistake. Run a Free License Plate Lookup on your vehicle!

  1. Check for accidents. Every year, millions of automobile accidents are reported.
  2. Check for title brands. Flood, hail-damage, and salvage titles. These are examples of critical title brands.
  3. Check for special purpose designations. This includes taxi-use, rental-use, or police-use.
  4. Check for thefts. Lookup a VIN to check for an active theft or previously recovered theft record.

Uncover the full-story of your California-registered vehicle in seconds! Run a Free California License Plate Lookup now!

Enter a California License Plate: