How to Find a Car Registration Address

By Aaron Gifford - Updated June 17, 2017
Vehicle form

Personal information from motor vehicle records – such as names, addresses and phone numbers – is increasingly harder to obtain under the provisions of the Driver Privacy Protection Act. However, the federal law is relatively new and there are many gray areas in the debate between freedom of information and privacy laws. You can search for car registration addresses in several places, but it's advised to start at the local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office, where records can be inspected free of charge.

Note the license plate number, car color, make and model. Take that information to the local DMV office, which can access registration information by the license plate. You may be asked why you want the information, which, under the provisions of the Driver Protection Privacy Act, may be limited to law enforcement officers or insurance representatives. There are some circumstances where you may be provided the information, such as recalls, performance monitoring of motor vehicles, motor vehicle market research activities, removal of non-owner records from the original owner records of motor vehicle manufacturers. In addition, the law says businesses, employers and contractors can access motor vehicle records to verify someone's personal information.

Contact your local library system to inquire about public data bases. Some Lexis Nexis services, for example, allow you to search for motor vehicle information by license plate number. The completeness of those records varies by state, but if a street address is not retrieved in your search, the person's name and town are enough information to allow you to complete the search in the telephone book or in online directories.

Visit one of several online public record retrieval services. Look for one that promises to refund your money if the information can't be found, as opposed to paying a fee per search regardless of results. Some of the sites include, and


About the Author

Aaron Gifford is based in New York. He has been on staff at the "Syracuse Post-Standard," the "Watertown Daily Times" and the "Oneida Daily Dispatch." He's also written for "Long Island Newsday," "Empire State Report" magazine and "In Good Health." He has been writing professionally since 1995. Gifford holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from the University at Buffalo.

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