License Plate Lookup Services – How to Tell If You’re Being Scammed

In the action movies, the hero jots down the license plate number of the bad guy, then hops on his computer, does a license plate lookup, and figures out exactly who the bad guy is.

Unfortunately, doing a license plate search in real life is not nearly as easy!

There are plenty of websites that promise to give you all of the license plate details you need.  However, there are no free websites out there that can give you names, addresses, and other details during a simple license plate lookup.  Instead, you’ll have to get that information from a paid service.

But how do you tell which services are selling genuine information and which ones are just trying to take your money?

It all depends on what kind of service you’re dealing with:

1. A subscription service

About 90% of the companies you find in a Google search are license plate look up subscription services, and, unfortunately, they tend to be the worst of the lot.  Most of these services simply take your money and give you things that you could have found on your own – like links to other paid license plate search sites.

These services usually have great-looking websites and awesome sales pitches.  After all, how can you pass up things like “instant results” and “unlimited searches”?

The truth is, there are no “instant results” in the license plate search world.  Any company that tries to tell you different is lying to you!

2. Information brokers

Information brokers also offer fast results.  Unfortunately, the results they give you are usually out-of-date or flat-out wrong.

But how does that help them make money?

Information brokers promise to refund your money if they can’t find any records during your license plate lookup.  But in order to keep your money, they buy databases that are several years old.  Information brokers don’t do any “real” work, but since they are able to pull up information from old databases, they can argue that records did pop up during their search – and, thus, you’re not entitled to a refund.

3. Licensed private investigators

The license plate lookup services that they offer are head and shoulders above the rest because they are controlled by state regulatory agencies.

When you work with a licensed private investigator, you’re working with someone who has access to your state’s DMV records.  That way, they can do a legitimate license plate search and get results in a day or two.  Typically, a licensed private investigator will charge you $39-$89 for each license plate lookup – but if they can’t find any results, they’ll give you a full refund.

Looking for licensed private investigators?  Order a license plate search online with Docusearch.

License plate searches (lookups) are available for the following states:



Docusearch.com is a fully licensed private investigative firm.

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