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License Plate Lookup - How to Search License Plate Numbers Online

OK, so you’ve got someone’s license plate number. Now what?license plate number search

If you head online to try and track down the name and address behind it, you’ll find a near-endless array of promises from license plate number search companies. They’ll offer things like “free searches”, “instant results”, and even “unlimited searches”.

Unfortunately, this is only good sales copy. These promises don’t actually work out in the real world!

A Free License Plate Lookup?

Let’s start with the “free” part. Common sense should tell you that NOTHING is free. Sure, you might get your first lookup done for free — but only after you sign up for a monthly subscription that definitely isn’t free. No matter what the ad says, you’re going to wind up spending money by the time all is said and done. And, adding insult to injury, the information you get will likely be worthless because these companies don’t use up-to-date databases.  They can’t.  (see next paragraph). All you are likely to get is the previous car owner or a vehicle history report.  If you want current license plate information, meaning, the current registered owner name and address, you’ll need to search with a company like Docusearch.

Let’s move onto the “instant results”. For all of you non-techies out there, in order to get instant information, the records must already be on the website’s server. But if you call the Department of Motor Vehicles in ANY state, they’ll tell you that current vehicle ownership records are NEVER sold to anyone who isn’t in law enforcement or a licensed professional. Since your potential database company doesn’t fit into either category, they’ll be stuck with what the Department of Motor Vehicles DOES sell — old records that don’t contain accurate ownership names and addresses.

What about those “unlimited searches” you’ve been promised?

A license plate number search company may actually offer you unlimited access to its database. The only problem? Their database is made up of all those old, inaccurate records. Making matters worse, you usually have to pay a pretty penny to get this unlimited access. For the database company, it’s a good deal — you pay them a small fortune, and they give you garbage information. For them, it’s pure profit! For you, though, it’s a complete waste of time and money.

Let’s recap: Can I Perform a License Plate Number Search Online?

  1. There is no accurate, free license plate number search.
  2. Any “instant search” will likely return previous owner data.
  3. Unlimited access databases has no benefit.

OK, so what do you do with that license plate number? Is there any way to get the CURRENT name and address behind it?


License Plate Number Search in One Hour.

To do it,  you need to look for a team of investigators that are licensed to perform the search in your state. Docusearch only runs license plates and VIN number lookups in states that we have direct access, currently 37 states (listed below). Each is searched by hand and guaranteed to return the current registered owner. That means you won’t get instant results. Most states we can process and return in less than one hour, however some take a few days. Yes, you can find address by license plate number.

Remember, there is no subscription to buy or monthly commitment. You only pay for the search you need.
As long as you’ve got the right people doing the work, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that you’re getting accurate information that you can actually use!

Get more information regarding our license plate number search or select one of the following available states:

Other Recommended Resources:

License Plate Lookup Scam Alert — Always Read the Fine Print!
License Plate Number Lookup Guide For Your State

34 responses to “License Plate Lookup – How to Search License Plate Numbers Online



  2. I’d like to know why only certain states are in the database? For instance, how do I find the owner of a tag number in Illinois?

  3. Linda, Thank you for your question. First, let me say that does not utilize a database for the license plate lookup. We obtain the results directly from the State DMV through contractual agreement. In this fashion, we can guarantee that results are accurate and current. Unfortunately, does not maintain agreements with every state, but we’re working on it! Currently we have access to 26 states and counting.

  4. Some fo these sites are scams.I tried with one called I woudl use docusearch.

  5. I am trying to find specific information about an individual by the last license plate number that I have, however, they may have purchased another vehicle and traded in their old plates for new plates.

    This person has also, moved and placed everything in a trust, corp., or LLC to conceal both their properties and whereabouts.

    What I looking to confirm is their primary address and the vehicles owned if at all possible. This is for civil case of fraud.

    Or, would you have any other suggestions upon how to accomplish this when they conceal everything they own in a corporation or trust?

    Thank You,


    P.S. I also, have their drivers license number and DOB.

  6. Kay,

    Thank you for your question. Researching an old license plate will only return the address associated with the old plate, and is therefore useless. To locate a new address when all you have is the subject’s name and old address, you should explore one of three searches, depending on the date of relocation. Either the Locate by Previous Address Search, the Skip Trace Search or the Verified Address Search. To understand the use of each of these searches, please read the article Locate Search Quick Reference Guide.

  7. If I purchase this service to find out the address of the license plate holder, it is for personal reasons. What permission should I use to request this?

  8. We cannot advise you regarding the selection of a permissible purpose. This is something you must do in accordance with DPPA.

    Good Luck!

  9. Sorry, no. We only search states that we have direct access to the DMV computer. This way we can guarantee accurate, current information.

  10. For most states, only current registration information is available. For several states, there is an option (in the shopping cart) to receive vehicle histories, when available.

  11. Will I get a refund if you guys cannot find my license plate search? I am trying to reverse-search a plate in florida.

  12. Because our results come directly from the requested state, if we cannot find your license plate, then it is not registered in the state or the incorrect license plate number was submitted.

  13. Is there access to the Oklahoma registration database? I need to research a hit and run to prosecute.

  14. We only offer vehicle registration searches (plates) for state that we have direct access to the DMV computer. Unfortunately, Oklahoma is not currently one of those states.

  15. We only offer license plate searches for states that we have direct access to with their DMV. Unfortunately, Washington state is not currently available.

  16. Sorry, no. We require the full and complete license number to search. No partial plates. We are charged by the state for every search attempt.

  17. I was looking up a person that I helped out tonight and I forgot to ask for his number so I can contact him. But he drove away before I could obtain this so I got his license plate number. I payed for a site to get this information but I payed for something that couldn’t find what I was looking for. But thank you for making this clear that nothing’s for free even if I pay for it.

  18. We only offer license plate searches in state of we we have direct access to the State’s DMV records. Otherwise the records would be old and outdated.

  19. Sorry, no. We only offer license plate searches in states that we have direct access to the DMV.

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