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Locating People By License Plate Numbers

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By Edited Sep 19, 2016 1 7

You can easily locate people by using their alpha-numerical license plate numbers on a vehicle that is registered to them. A search can be done through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or by using alternative methods. You can obtain their current address and other information, pertinent to your search or investigation. There may be several reasons for locating others by using their license plate. In this efficient digital age--with the sophistication of the Internet search engines--information can be obtained and people located easier and faster than previously available means.

Step 1

Request the name, address, ZIP code and telephone number of the person you are looking for from the DMV. Give information about the current license plate number and state in which it is issued. Some DMV offices have plate information only from their state. Many government agencies have compiled national license plate databases. If you have expired plates and wish to locate the person to whom they were registered, the state DMV has records of all license plates, which are kept indefinitely.

Step 2

Access a search engine directly that scans through a large multi-state license plate record database and can give you requested information in minutes. The fees are low and memberships are available if you need multiple searches. This option is ideal for those that want to be discreet.

Step 3

Run a partial license plate and vehicle identification number (VIN) check, when searching for someone. The DMV can do this online or in person, for a fee. Other options include using a private investigator or online investigative service. The prices may vary significantly, as well as the time it takes to get back results.

Step 4

Call the highway patrol or sheriff’s department if you have a missing friend or family member. If they have a registered vehicle, their complete or partial license plate number and vehicle description will help to find them. Always attempt to get the license plate number of your child or other loved one's friends or associates with whom they usually drive.

Step 5

Write down the license plate number of someone that you witness committing a crime or robbery. Notify the authorities with plate number so that person can be apprehended as soon as possible.


  • Just Law Links: Public Records: Finding Someone's Address From Their License Plate Number
  • License Search Pro: Find Online DMV Records By License Plate Instantly


Jul 31, 2011 1:20pm
That's kind of creepy that someone could locate your address just by your license plate number. I'm all about freedom of information, but a little privacy in this digital age is called for sometimes!
Aug 2, 2011 11:08am
Amazing information. I'm with Phoenix. Our rights to privacy are disappearing at an alarming rate.
Aug 9, 2011 5:03am
This is scary stuff. Luckily I can't think of anyone who would want to track me down. Great article though.
Aug 9, 2011 12:22pm
Why does the average person on the street, if he is not a stalker, need to randomly be running anyone's license plates under any circumstances (unless he or she is a letigimate member of the law enforcement communtiy)? Just curious...
Aug 31, 2011 11:28am
Thanks for the info. Tis a scary thing when you think about.
Sep 3, 2011 1:10pm
The DMV will not give you this information even for a fee. The only way I have ever received license plate info from the DMV was when a member of my family worked there. If you call the police with a license plate number, they will investigate, but never give you the name and address of the person. Your privacy is better protected than you think. The best way to get the information is to use a private investigator.
Nov 23, 2011 8:13am
Great info. I had no idea it was this easy.
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