How to Run a License Plate

by Damica Brownswood
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By running a license plate, you can obtain personal information on the owner of a vehicle. There are many reasons why a person may want to run a license plate. However, civilians have limited access to this information. The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and the police department are the only authorized personnel legally allowed to trace a license plate.

The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DDPA) has restrictions on the reasons for running a license plate. If your reasons are in compliance, you can contact the DMV or police department to run a license plate.

How to Run a License Plate

Step 1

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV should be your first stop. They will have records of license plate owners. Contact the DMV located in the state of the issued license plate you are attempting to run.

Step 2

Complete a request form. Some states will have these forms available online. If forms are not available online, request a form from the local DMV.

Step 3

Review the procedure. Some forms require the signature of a business or government official. For example, the form may need to be completed by an insurance agency if the reason for running the license plate is accident related. Clarify the procedure with an administrator before completing the form.

Step 4

Pay the fees. The DMV will charge a fee to run a license plate. The fees will vary depending on the state. Check with the local facility for accurate cost.

Obtain information. Information regarding the owner of the license plate will be released to you if the DMV feels that your request is in compliance with the DDPA. If your request is denied, you can seek out a private investigator to further assist you.

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