Q:

How can I find out who owns a car by using the license plate number?

A:

Quick Answer

There are many ways to find a car's owner by using the license plate number, including getting its VIN number from a government smog site and asking the smog shop that worked on the car for information about the owner. Individuals can also fill out a Request for Record Information form or consult a state database if applicable.

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How can I find out who owns a car by using the license plate number?
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Full Answer

Individual states sometimes have websites where a user can input a license plate number into a site to retrieve a history of smog checks done on the vehicle. From this information, the user can directly contact the smog check station that last serviced the vehicle and request information about the owner of the car. In some cases, the state site may provide the VIN Number for the car, and this can help the user to obtain additional information.

One alternative that is less likely to work is completing a Request for Record Information about the vehicle's owner. Additionally, some states may offer a database that users can utilize after paying a small fee. One example is Minnesota's TLO website. Users input the license plate number on the TLO site and receive information about the car's owner, model, make, and its color.

Keep in mind that searching for this information may violate the privacy of an individual and may violate state or local laws. Consult relevant local and state laws before investigating any person using these methods.

Learn more about DMV & Records

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