How to Find a License Number

by Emile Heskey

Looking up a license plate number can tell you about the history of a car as well as about the person who drives it. Privacy laws in the United States have prevented open-access databases of car license plate numbers, in order to protect people's information. However, if you have been involved in an accident or witnessed a crime, you can contact the police or the DMV and have them look up the license plate number.

Ensure that the number of the license plate you have is correct. Check that you are sure that what you have written down is legible. If you have written the license plate number down in a hurry, you may have obscured some of the letters or numbers.

Report any crime to the police. The police have access to the database of license plate numbers, meaning that they can easily look up the owner's name given the license plate number. If it is not a police matter, then it is still possible to look up a license plate number.

Contact the DMV, which will be able to help you look up a license plate number at a minimal cost. The information on the license plate owner will be provided to you, although your information will also be passed on to the owner.


  • close Attempting to find someone's records without his consent is a crime. Websites that offer this are illegal, and should be avoided. Going through the proper channels will protect you in case something goes wrong.

About the Author

Emile Heskey has been a professional writer since 2008, when he began writing for "The Journal" student newspaper. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in modern history and politics from Oxford University, as well as a Master of Science in Islamic and Middle Eastern studies from Edinburgh University.

More Articles

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images