Can you Find Someone’s Address from their License Plate

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Can you Find Someone’s Address from their License Plate

In today’s world, you can find information on just about anyone by searching online. The amazing thing about all that is the fact that you can search with any information. You can use a name, email address, physical address, phone number, business name, username, and more to find information. The results can range from vital records to criminal records on a search. But, can you find someone’s address from their license plate?

A license plate, also known as a vehicle registration plate or number plate is an official numeric figure that is attached to a motor vehicle to uniquely identify it. A license plate is required for every motor vehicle that drives on the road all over the globe. This can be cars, vans, trucks, buses, or motorcycles. They are expected to have it at the front and back.

It’s much more convenient to lookup a license plate from the state where it was issued in the United States. That way you can find out the name and address of the owner. However, it is considered illegal to run a license plate check on someone else unless you are a member of law enforcement and are looking for vehicle information.

There might be a car that may seem abandoned, making you concerned. You might have come across a reckless driver and gotten involved in a hit-and-run accident. These are some of the scenarios that might compel you to try and find someone’s name and address using a license plate.

Acceptable circumstances that may need a person to perform a license plate lookup officially include the following:

  • If it is to be used by any government agency (court officials, law enforcement agency.) Basically the police.
  • To be used in matters of a motor vehicle or driver safety and theft, motor vehicle discharges, motor vehicle product modifications, recalls, or advisories, performance checking of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and dealers, motor vehicle market study undertakings, such as survey research and elimination of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle producers.
  • For business users to verify facts in order to avert fraud.
  • If it is to be used in conjunction with any civil, criminal, governmental, or arbitral process in any Federal, State, or local court or agency.
  • If it is to be used for research purposes as long as you don’t divulge personal information.
  • If it is to be used for Insurance purposes by an insurer.
  • For notifying owners of towed vehicles.
  • To be used by a private investigator.
  • For use by an employer to find or verify the information.
  • To be utilized by private toll transportation companies.
  • For use by attorneys only if the plate’s holders communicated consent to the state.

The Department of Motor Vehicle

Each and every state in the United States has a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) or its equivalent which is responsible for tracking all licensed drivers in a state. This includes all license plates and related driving records.


Each state has its own rules that govern the availability of license plate information. You might need to first familiarize yourself with them before conducting your search. Otherwise, you might find yourself on the wrong side of the law and facing the consequences.

If driver information is considered public records in the state, then then you have a chance of finding out the name and address information with a license plate instantly.

Most states would need that you make a formal written request or online request for information on a license plate. This request is normally accompanied by a certain fee. The waiting time for results differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

In some states, upon filing your request, a copy of the documents will be mailed to you while others might send you a link to where you can find the information online. You will be required to visit the government office in person at times to view the documents. You may be allowed to copy them but this might come at a price.

Get in Touch with the Police

It might happen that you witness a hit and run, or there is an abandoned car that you see parked somewhere. You might be tempted to go and search for details on the license plate. This might not be a good idea.

The best route to take in such a situation would be to contact the police. They are the ones with the perfect resources to find out the information. You can pay them a visit or give them a call.

They will then conduct the investigation and after the case has been closed, you can then request to see the police report and records. These are definitely going to have the name and address of the owner of the license plate.

Another option that might work in finding an address by using a license plate would be to try searching from a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, Bing. By typing the license plate on a search engine’s search bar and starting a search, you might be on your way to a result.

These ideas can be a solution to the question, can you find someone’s address from their license plate? To obtain information on a license plate, you will need a valid reason, even though they are public records.

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