How to Look Up a Tag Number From a Vehicle

by Cassandra Tribe
George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

If your car was damaged in a hit-and-run accident and you want to pursue legal action, but the only information you have is the runner's tag number, you can use that to locate him and his driving history. The process of how to look up a tag number from a vehicle no longer involves private detectives and large sums of money and time. You can find the registered owner of a tag number with just a few clicks of a mouse. All vehicle registration information is in public records.

Step 1

Woman on laptop

Go to your state's Motor Vehicle Division website. Look under the menu of options and select "Vehicle Tag Registration" or "Driving History." Many states offer a free, searchable database of registered tags. Enter the tag number and hit "Enter" to get the information you need.

Step 2

Rear view of car driving away

Do a license plate search at or a similar website if the tag is out of state and you cannot locate a free service from that state to search for the registration information. Enter the tag number of the vehicle you are searching for and the state the tag is from. Click "Search."

Woman on laptop

Select the payment plan you want on the next screen. This site charges for searches but is known for its reliability. It offers one-, two- or three-year search plans. Enter your billing information and select "Submit."


  • Try the free state searches first. All vehicle registration is publicly available, and there is no need to pay someone to look up a tag number on a vehicle unless time is a consideration.


  • Tag numbers and registration information, while publicly available, is protected by law against misuse. Do not search for people's information for advertisement purposes or you may be liable of fraud.

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