A license plate number is synonymous with a tag plate number, which is a common terminology that is often used on the east coast of the United States, while the former is more commonly used on the west coast. Either way, every vehicle that is legally registered in the US has a plate number as well as a VIN number, as these are the key identifiable numbers that make up the car’s registration and specification information, respectively.
To obtain a license plate, you will need to register your car within your resident state at the local DMV. And in order to register your vehicle, you will be required to show proof of ownership and have the relevant documentation ready, which tends to vary from state to state.
Furthermore, most states will usually offer vehicle owners various license plate options to choose from, each featuring different backgrounds to highlight local universities, state parks, or other special events. There is also the option to customize your license plate with a unique combination of letters and/or numbers.
These are more commonly referred to as “vanity plates,” and should you ever want to check if a specific vanity plate has already been registered, you can always conduct a VIN check with VinPit.
Table of Contents
What is a License Plate Lookup?
A license plate number search is essentially a quick way to gather information about a vehicle online, with the intention of better understanding the condition and/or history of your car, or when you are purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller.
Furthermore, given that the license plate number of a vehicle will typically be linked to its VIN in the public vehicle records database, you can opt to use VinPit, which is often the easiest and fastest way to get a vehicle’s history report.
This free search tool makes the entire license plate check process fairly easy and straightforward, as all you need to do is enter the right license plate number and select “Start Search.” The platform will then access public databases to find any records tied to the plate, such as the VIN, vehicle specifications, car history, accident reports, insurance claims, and even any outstanding liens.
This in turn helps you to skip over problem vehicles, as you can simply go online and instantly find out more about a vehicle to avoid the risk of any legal issues, hidden accident damage, and title issues.
What is Included in A License Plate Search Report?
A license plate number lookup with the right search tool like VinPit can often reveal a ton of useful information. This can include:
#1. Vehicle Information
With a license plate lookup report, you will usually be able to get detailed information on any car, such as vehicle specifications, previous owner’s information, accident history, sales records, lien records, title history, etc. You should also be able to access technical details about the vehicle such as the year, make, model, engine capacity, odometer readings, etc.
#2. Salvage and Repair Records
These records are important to look at, especially if you intend on purchasing a used vehicle, as you will be able to find out if the car has been previously salvaged, has an accident history, or has a recall/defect history, which is a common indication that the vehicle has some hidden problems that should make you hesitant to complete the purchase, at least without a full mechanical inspection.
#3. Public Records
Another useful piece of information you can get with a license plate lookup is the ability to track down meaningful details about the car owner, such as arrest records, felonies, warrants, DUIs, and more. And while such details may not initially seem to be directly relevant to the vehicle, they can often prove to be extremely useful in situations such as a hit and run, or when you find yourself dealing with a private seller and would like to know if they are actually trustworthy or not.
Should I Hide My License Plate Number?
License plate number searches are a common practice that is often conducted for information verification or vehicle identification, depending on the circumstances. However, since a vehicle’s license plate will usually be left standing out in plain sight, it can sometimes appear to be an identity-theft risk.
This, in turn, can often end up tempting you to cover your license plate number in an attempt to protect your privacy. The problem with this is that, according to state regulations, all vehicle owners are legally obligated to ensure that their license plate remains unobscured from anything that could potentially cover or affect its legibility and visibility.
And while some drivers still try to use coating or wrapping to minimize the visibility of their license plates, it’s never worth risking violating the law, as you are likely to end up being pulled over and handed a ticket. As such, it’s best to display it appropriately and simply leave the license plate as it is.
As a vehicle owner and registered driver, it’s very important for you to be well aware of the importance of license plate numbers as well as how license plate lookups function. This way, you will know what you can do should you ever need to carry out a quick vehicle identification. And even if you aren’t likely to find yourself in a vehicular incident, simply being aware of the process means that you will be prepared should the situation ever require it, be it for yourself or for someone you know.
In this respect, when conducting a license plate search, it is highly recommended that you always pay real attention to the accident history, inspection, maintenance, registration history, mileage rollback, as well as any lien and repossession records of the car. And luckily enough, with the help of VinPit, you should be able to easily and quickly generate all these details in one comprehensive background report.