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U.S Students: Getting A Car History Without License Plates

The anticipation of starting college and purchasing a car may cloud our judgment and common sense.

No matter how attractive a deal looks, be wary of the numerous dangers posed by getting a second-hand means of transportation.

Vehicle history may contain a lot of various problems no buyer would like to face. The license plate may tell you a lot.

However, what if you do not have it at hand? You could still find it using the VIN number.

Are you sure the seller is the actual owner? What if the hatchback you love so much was stolen? To prevent all kinds of unpleasant consequences, try using a license plate owner lookup to confirm the facts.

This type of service is similar to a VIN check with a few caveats, and you can try it for free. But is it worth deducing the license plate number if you have the VIN?

Location of the number

The number of the plate will be shown in a VIN report. It could be received online - from FAXVIN, or in person - from your local DMV.

If you send someone else to the office, they need special written permission.

Once you get your vehicle history report, you will see the number you are looking for, along with a wealth of valuable facts and figures.

When do license plate numbers change?

Everywhere in the country, owners of motor vehicles must receive license plates issued by their state’s DMV.

This happens upon vehicle registration, and plates are changed periodically after that. The validity period is different in different states.

In addition, the numbers are replaced in case of loss or theft. An owner may also want to change the plate to a personalized or special one.

In all cases, alterations must be requested from the DMV. However, a license plate number is always connected with the car’s VIN number in DMV’s records.

Will I see the owner’s name?

If you expect to get the owner’s name to compare with the seller’s you are going to be disappointed. In the United States, running a license plate check on another individual is unlawful, no matter what circumstances you are in.

The only people authorized to find owner details using license plates are members of law enforcement. 

Hence, be wary of those sites and companies that promise to disclose the name of the owner using just the license plate. This service is illegal, so you are likely to lose money.

However, the car report will reveal a lot of useful details - in essence, the same as the contents of VIN lookup results.

A number of US laws, such as the Freedom of Information Act, guarantee free access to data collected by the government.

The resources involved in collecting such information exist on taxpayers’ money. Moreover, it is in the government’s best interests to prevent fraud and car theft. 

If you follow these tips, you should be able to obtain a car history without the actual license plates, and know exactly what you are buying.