How to Identify a Person by Their License Plate Number

By Dulce Dretti ; Updated March 17, 2017
Columbine

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In cases involving accidents you may need to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for information such as the registered owner of a license plate. The DMV representative can provide you with information such as state laws you may need to reference, forms needed and processing fees. In addition, you can refer to the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) for additional information about searching for an individual by a license plate. Obtaining DMV records from uncertified agencies may be illegal. You can avoid legal ramifications by going to a certified agency such as DMV or the police department.

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in the state of the license plate. You can call directory assistance or go to the DMV website to get information such as DMV locations and phone numbers. DMV has information and records of all registered license plates and the person’s name to whom the plate is registered.

Ask the DMV representative to provide the process details, forms and the amount of any fees that you may need to pay. State law where the license plate is registered may require a government official or a certified agent to complete the form before it can be processed. Forms may be available on the Internet or at the DMV. The payment of fees may be required before the forms can be processed. Fees may differ from state to state.

Wait for notification that your request has been approved. Approval may take one to 15 business days, and notification may come by mail. Your request can be denied if incorrect information is provided or if your request does not comply with the state's laws. You can obtain the information after your request is approved.

About the Author

Dulce Dretti began writing professionally in 1997 for companies such as Englehard, Whydham and BNY. She has also produced and edited information technology and security technical documents, policies and training material. Dretti is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in information security management at Capella University.