Is There a Free License Plate Lookup?

Can you find vehicle owner by license plate free of charge? Before running off to the many advertised Google listings promising free license plate searches, please read this brief article. It will save you hours of wasted time and money.

The Free Reverse License Plate Search Myth

You’ve probably already visited several websites promising unlimited license plate lookups delivered instantly, for a low access fee or database subscription fee. What these websites don’t tell you is that they are providing records that have been discarded by state DMV’s as obsolete. Despite what you may have been told or seen advertised, the DMV does not sell current registration records to the public OR to private databases. It is protected information available only to law enforcement and licensed private investigators who demonstrate a need for the information—private investigators like the ones at Docusearch.

“But I’ve seen websites that offer free license plate checks, instantly.”Free License Plate Lookup Search

These websites offering instant and free license plate searches for license plate information are the biggest scams out there. They lure you in by advertising that the search is free; simply enter the license plate number you’re searching. After some fancy computer animations, their software informs you that your desired information has been found–just pay a one-time, or worse, a continual subscription fee to access it.

The problem is, even if they happen to have a record for the license plate number you searched, it won’t be for the current owner or current vehicle, since that information is protected. And by the way, it doesn’t matter what license plate number (or state) you enter. The response is always that your plate results have been found.

Docusearch is different. Our license plate search provides you with accurate, up-to-date information about the owner and vehicle of the license plate or VIN number you provide, including the current registered owners name & address, the vehicle year, make, model, and any available lien holders. Results are typically returned within one business day of your order, sometimes within hours.

There are no hidden subscription fees—you pay a one-time price per search—and unlike those automated sites, you can contact us directly by phone or email. Other sites try to get you to pay for a subscription fee, often promising “unlimited searches”. There is no such thing as unlimited license plate searches of current vehicle owner information. These sites trick people into paying for a subscription, and then customers are sent links to other websites that either require more money or send out those bogus results mentioned above.

Is a license plate search available in every state?

Unfortunately, not. Some states even restrict access to licensed investigators. Docusearch has access to 37 state DMV computers.

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13 responses to “Is There a Free License Plate Lookup?
  1. I agree that information should be confidential and only restricted to law enforcement and private investigators. I also believe that there should be a site where people may look up certain information like the name of the person, vehicle info and insurance agency insuring the vehicle. (I.e) hit and run, or if a person doesn’t have his or her insurance paperwork. By allowing limited access to the public information that is not revealing of personal information like ssn or postal address. States could cut back on vehicular crime by allowing the public to call the info in without involving police out on a wild goose chase for a description of a vehicle. Many vehicles look the same but they don’t have the same plate or driver in them. Providing a site for free to get the minimal amount of info on a person could help cut back on vehicular crime and allow more police officers to provide more service where it is needed more. thank you for reading my comment.

  2. “the DMV does not sell current registration records to the public OR to private databases.”

    “Docusearch is different. Our license plate search provides you with accurate, up-to-date information about the owner and vehicle of the license plate or VIN number you provide, including the current registered owners name & address, the vehicle year, make, model, and any available lien holders.”

    So…..if the DMV doesn’t “sell” information are you getting it for free? If the DMV doesn’t provide the information at all than your second paragraph makes no sense.

  3. The DMV DOES sell current DMV records to licensed private investigators (like us) for permissible purposes.

  4. Is it possible to have more than one vehicle license plate with the same numbers? I received a bill for a toll crossing on the Golden Gate Bridge on a date that I know I was not even there! My car has both its plates intact and I did not loan my car to anyone. Could a different State issue a duplicate number?

  5. It is doubtful as California has a unique plate format of a number, three letters followed by three numbers.

  6. So if the plates i want info on come up as law enforcement will that be available to me as well?

  7. Odds are, law enforcement plates will return no records or ownership by the city, county or state.

  8. I have a tractor trailer in PA and my tag is on the front bumper. I have been sent two separate fines for toll running. The problem is that the truck in the photo is a straight truck and the plate is on the back. The plate shown has my number but it does not show the state. The first one was on the PA turnpike and they dismissed it with a phone call but the latest one was in Baltimore at the I/95 tunnel and they aren’t being as cooperative. They said that their computer says that the letters and numbers on the tag are the type PA uses even though they can’t read the state or make out the little keystone emblem between the letters and numbers on my plate. So now I have to become Perry Mason and find this freight truck with a lift gate. It looks like a New York plate but all of the sites I’ve tried say that the plate doesn’t exist in any other state. I have had the plate since 11/2016 and this happened on 5/24/18. Maryland accused me of putting it on another truck.

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