Each car is, by nature, a rolling history book. Thousands of miles of adventures, hardships, and friends met along the way, you can learn much about a person from their car. Although, not all intentions are as innocent, as there may be other reasons why you’d be curious to find vehicle owner by license plate free. Perhaps there’s been an accident or a road rage incident. So, how could you go about this?
There is a myriad of ways you can track a person down using their license plate alone. In fact, there are countless platforms on the web that can do this for you. In a pinch, they can scour through endless bytes of information in their database. However, most of them require a small fee to do it. With that in mind, are there any effective means to find vehicle owner by license plate free? Here are a few…
- What Are License Plates?
- Reasons To Go Searching
- What Can You Learn?
- Is It That Hard?
- Where To Find Them?
- How About The Owner?
- Final Thoughts
What Are Licenses Plates, And Why Do Cars Have Them?
Before we learn more about how and where to find vehicle owner by license plate free, it’s worthwhile studying more about these plates in question. So, what are license plates, anyway? And crucially, why is it that every car has them? I mean, if you buy a phone or a toaster, you don’t expect those to come with registration numbers. So, why should automobiles, as material as they are, have a license plate?
Well, every living human around the world needs to carry around a personal ID, to identify and verify themselves. Seeing that cars are just as numerous, with consequential effects to driving around with them, why not carry over the same concept there, too? When a person commits a crime, for example, an ID enables the authorities to more promptly know who they are, and find ways to catch them.
Similarly, if and when a car gets involved in an accident, one could use the highly visible license plates to more readily find the person behind the wheel. Back in the early days of the automobile, it took a long while before the first registration system was put in place. Quite simply, there weren’t that many cars around. So if something happens, it’s rather easy to figure out who was driving it at the time.
Today, over 1.4-billion cars are driving around right now. As a result, license plate numbers have to do more than merely snitch to the police. In a parking lot with dozens or hundreds of cars that look alike, you could more effortlessly know which one’s yours. Should someone steal it, the license place is there to make it easier for the cops to find it. Of course, there’s all the road tax, insurance, and so on.
The Reasons For Needing To Find Vehicle Owner By License Plate Free
If you’ve come to this article seeking guidance, then you surely already have a good justification. But if you’ve happened to drop in by mistake or just out of curiosity, then I’m sure you’ll have a few questions. The most pressing of which is this; why would you need to find vehicle by license plate free? That’s a bit creepy, no? Fair, there have been cases where folks have used this privilege for malicious intents.
What that being said, there are still a lot of solid reasons why you’d want to look someone up through their license plate. Some imaginative examples include…
- There’s been an accident or a hit-and-run incident. You didn’t catch the driver’s face, but you did spot their registration plate. This might help the police find them.
- You’ve been a victim of a road-rage case, or you’ve nearly traded paint against a bad driver. You could use their license plate to find out who they are, and report them accordingly.
- You’re thinking about buying a second-hand car and want to know more about the car’s past beforehand. There could be some information that the seller is trying to hide in the advertisement.
- You’ve noticed something suspicious with a car, and want to learn more about it. Maybe, you had an odd hunch that it was stolen, or was driven by a wanted criminal.
- Someone’s parked their car illegally on your property or otherwise, causing a nuisance. You can thus use a license plate lookup service to find out who the owner is.
- Perhaps, you just sold your old car and have seller’s regrets. You want it back, or want to keenly check up on how it’s doing, but can’t contact the new owner. Looking up its license plate might help.
What Can You Learn By Finding Vehicle Owner By License Plate Free?
In all, there’s quite a fair bit that you can learn when you try to find vehicle owner by license plate free. As we’ve detailed earlier, the concept of registration plates has many functions in the eyes of the law which lets them know who you are. So, what can you learn about a person or vehicle through a quick license plate lookup online or elsewhere? Here are a few of the most noteworthy ones, just to note…
Some Of The More Scary Things You Can Learn From License Plates…
- Accidents – You can figure out if a car’s been through an accident, collision, or other similar events that might be noted down by the police or insurance company.
- Legal – License plates can also unravel the driver’s past criminal history, as is necessitated by law. And, you could also get to grips about the car’s troubles, such as repossessions.
- Theft – There are clues within a car’s history, uncovered through its license plate number, that can tell if you if it’s been stolen. Or, are perhaps wanted by the police or its actual owner.
- Fraud – If you’re planning to buy a car from someone, you can figure out if you’re being duped or are a victim of fraud. Things to look out for include its odometer reading, title history, and so on.
- Scrap – The license plate number will also make you aware of a car’s condition. You can see if it has a salvaged title, or if it’s been destined for the scrapyard with a junk title.
- Damage – It can leave you more aware of how the car’s been damaged in the past. For example, had there been any significant frame or water damage.
A Few Curious Things You Might Unravel From A License Plate…
- Mileage – By being able to understand more of what the car is, such as the specific make and model, you can thus understand its mileage and fuel economy figures.
- Maintenance – While quite basic at times, license plate data can inform you of how a car’s been cared for, as well as expose some of its maintenance history.
- Specs – In some cases, you can learn more about the car’s specifications through the license plate. For example, what color is it, what size and type of engine it has, and so on.
- Safety – Many websites allow you to input a license plate to check a car’s safety rating, as well as any crash test results. Moreover, you can find out about a car’s warranty, or if there are any recalls for it.
- Value – Quite a few online car buying and selling websites let you input a car’s registration place as a way to quickly ascertain its market value.
What Is It So Hard To Find Vehicle Owner By License Plate Free?
Another interesting question arises as we look closer into studying all the ways of how to find vehicle owner by license plate free. This conundrum is as to why it’s so difficult to lookup a registration in the first place. Surely, if one could randomly Google for quick facts about a person on social media, a car might be easier to track down, right? Well, not really, as trying to locate a car isn’t so simple.
Now, there’s some merit to why this is the case. Namely, it’s to protect the privacy of the driver of said vehicle. As we’ve discussed already, you can expose yourself to quite a lot of information simply with your car’s registration plates. Folks can see if your car’s been maintained well, what sort of make and model is it, has it been involved in an accident before, or were there are any legal issues tied to it.
It’s for these privacy-related reasons why license plate lookup services are limited as to what data can be gathered from a license plate. And more importantly, what sort of information can be accessed by some stranger on the internet. Hence, why you can’t, for instance, figure out precisely where a person lives, their occupation and workplace, or other such personal details through merely a license plate.
You don’t want some creep to be staring at you through the window now, do you? For the most part, vehicle registration lookups could be done for free and quite easily at your local DMV or Department of Motor Vehicles. Nonetheless, they won’t be able to reveal much, with the right documentation and paperwork in place, of course, other than the name. Otherwise, you have to rely on elsewhere.
Where To Find Vehicle Owner By License Plate For Free?
So, you might be wondering as to where you could find vehicle owner by license plate for free, then. In that case, you’re in luck! Sure, some of the more detailed sites may cost you for a license plate lookup. However, most of the free ones should be more than sufficient. They can handily supply you with a lot of information across tens, or sometimes hundreds of millions of cars across most states in the US.
They could also search through specially-licensed plates. For instance, those used on cars owned that are government-owned, as well as distinct plates issued by Native American tribes. Their databases are continually growing, supplemented by government agencies, automakers, and non-profits. If you need to find vehicle owner by license plate free, here are some of the top sites you can check out…
They’re one of the most comprehensive options on this list, with a registry of license plates that is 268-million cars deep. Besides that, they also, as its name might suggest, offer free services to look-up car VINs. Using VINCheck.info is as easy as typing in the license plate number, and then selecting the state in which that plate is registered.
Here’s what VINCheck.info can inform you about a car from its license plate:
- The market value of a car
- Vehicle specifications, such as engine type, transmission, color, etc.
- Fuel efficiency
- Safety rating
- Warranty information, as well as manufacturer recalls
- Title history
- History concerning any salvage title or total loss
- Odometer readings, or if there’s been an odometer rollback
They’re another incredibly powerful license plate lookup tool. Similarly, FindByPlate.com makes this an easy process to follow, simply requiring a license plate and the state. Once that’s done, you can view information about the vehicle carrying this license plate. So far, users have already made more than 60-million searches. Best of all, they’re not just a lookup service.
In fact, FindByPlate.com has sort of built a whole community around it. They feature:
- Detailed analysis of each vehicle, even listing our minute spec information such as how many airbags they have, as well as where a certain car was built at.
- Being able to post photos and videos of the vehicle that carries this plate, and share them with others.
- You can review or leave behind comments of the vehicle and driver in question that are attached to that license plate. This way, you can report a bad driver for the rest of the community to be aware of.
- A great place to leave behind anonymous reviews of Uber and Lyft drivers. The actual app might see who you are, but FindMyPlate.com will keep your identity a secret.
Its platform is able to screen through over 269-million cars sold in the US, which can pop up incredibly in-depth information within seconds of searching. They’re just as detailed as VINCheck.info as well as FindByPlate.com. There is a big caveat, however. For their free service, you can only view very basic information. Should you need a full, detailed report, you do have to pay up.
Getting one report on FAXVIN is going to cost you $8.95. Three reports, on the other hand, will set you back $17.90. For the price though, and if you really need its depth of information, it’s a worthwhile expense. Here are some of the things that it can check for you:
- Owner information (although like any other lookup service, no compromising personal data is made available).
- Vehicle specifications, including make and model, model year, the first state where it was registered, OEM equipment, options, VIN, and so on.
- Accidents, or if the vehicle’s been involved in any collision or natural disasters.
- Car title, as well as informing you if the car’s been stolen before, or used as collateral for loans.
- Manufacturer recalls, as well as any inspection data from the DMV.
- Odometer readings, and if there’s any mileage rollback.
This could be, by far, the most extensive registry of license plates in the US. So much so, that some of the previous services mentioned earlier rely on the SearchQuarry.com database, too. The one downside is that their free option can only inform you of the car’s make, model, and model year, as well as for trim levels. To access the rest of the details, you’ll need to pay for that, as well. The standard 7-day trial is $5.05.
Printing out a single report, on the other hand, is a relatively pricey $16.78. Or, if you frequently find yourself needing to lookup license plate numbers, there’s a $35.40 payment for a yearly trial, with unlimited access. You do get a lot of information, at least. Some examples of what they inform you include:
- Criminal records, which include the full name of the driver, and vehicle-related crimes (e.g. hit and run, vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, vehicular homicide, etc.).
- Driving records, including the driver’s full name, as well as any road violations per state or county.
- Traffic citations, such as being ticketed for speeding, driving through a red light or stop sign, reckless driving, DUI or DWI, and so on.
- Detailed vehicle records, such as car history, make, model, VIN (and a lot of other vehicle data besides).
Back to something much simpler, VinFreeCheck.com is another great tool. For free, you’re given access to a lot of information, such as detailed vehicle specifications. In addition, you can view its collision history, title information, and odometer readings or if there are any rollbacks. Moreover, it could also tell you the vehicle’s usage, such as if it’s under a loan, leased out, or is used as a rental car.
Moreover, it can let you know of that particular vehicle’s fair market pricing. VinFreeCheck.com is very thorough, which is partly thanks to its information stream being connected to the NICB, NHTSA, and the NMVTIS. With that being said, a more thorough analysis, with 22 additional title and brand history checks, is locked behind a paywall. A single history report will cost you $8.99, down from $9.99.
Or, you can view the history of 3 vehicles for $17.99 (down $29.99), or a stack of 10 vehicles for $28.99 (down from $99.99). These premium options will unlock extra parts of the report, which include:
- Any damage on record (fire, hail, flood, etc.).
- Status if the vehicle has a rebuilt or reconstructed title, or records of it being scrapped or junked.
- Reports on major collisions, as well as any structural damage.
- Detailed accident reports.
- Data on sales and ownership changes.
How About Finding The Actual Vehicle Owner By License Plate Free?
You might’ve spotted that in all of the abovementioned services, none of which can tell us the exact information of the vehicle owner in their free searches. Some of them, such as SearchQuarry.com, can give you the full name of the owner, but for a fairly high cost. The truth of the matter is, and all for the better, I think, you can’t so easily find vehicle owner by license plate free. Or at least, it’s not easy.
The only place where you may be able to get this for free is through your local DMV. Although, bear in mind that some DMVs, depending on the state, might charge you a fee for it. Head over to them, and inquire if you could run a license plate to get the owner’s information. You may have to go through a series of paperwork first. Remember, you’re trying to retrieve another person’s PII.
Or, ‘personable identifiable information’, which is protected under privacy laws. The only way the local DMV will even authorize your request and provide a name is if you have a justifiable reason for it. You may be permitted if your requests are generally involved with:
- Matters concerning road safety and theft.
- Wanting to verify information provided by the owner of said vehicle (usually for business-related use like a car dealership).
- If it’s involved in court or arbitration proceedings.
- Required for insurance claims or bank loans.
- Proving information the owner of a car being towed.
- Employers want to verify commercial driver information.
- Should you have written consent from the vehicle owner.
- If you’re connected to licensed private investigation agencies or security companies.
Final Thoughts On Finding Vehicle Owner By License Plate Free
So then, can you find vehicle owner by license plate free? Sort of… If you’re resourceful enough. While the DMV may provide you with the name of the vehicle’s owner, it can’t tell you his or her address. For that, you’ll have to get crafty. Once you have the name, you can resort to using Google, social media, or go through web forums, communities, and chat rooms to find them. It’s essentially detective work.
You can look for clues within the number plate to narrow down your search. For example, being able to clue in on identifiers that can tell you where they might work at. Or, homing your search to a local neighborhood. Once there, you can start asking around. Alas, trying to find vehicle owner by license plate is time-consuming and exhaustive. Most of those web services can get you pretty close, though.
If you’re keen to do all the work yourself, then you can consider hiring a private detective. They’re able to gain access to the information that civilians otherwise can’t. Give them time, and they’ll send back an elaborate report. Albeit, they cost a lot of money. One free option is to call the police. This should be a given anytime the vehicle owner in question is involved in a crime. All it takes is to dial 911.