How to Check Car Registrations

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Every state requires car owners to register their vehicles with the county in which they live. If you want to check a vehicle's registration, you need to gather information on the vehicle itself. Write down the license plate number and make a note of the county listed on the license plate. Jot down the make and model of the vehicle as well. Since license plates sometimes get switched by criminals trying to elude the police, verify that the registration information matches the vehicle. Keep in mind that driver information is protected under the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).

Verify that you have a legal reason for requesting registration information on a vehicle. Per the DPPA, registration and other driver information can only be released in cases in which a driver safety issue, accident, product recall or other legal reason is shown.

Contact the Tax Commissioner's Office for the county and state in which the car is registered.

Provide the information you recorded about the vehicle, as well as your reason for requesting the information. You may need to request the information in person and pay a processing fee.


  • If you want to check the registration of a vehicle because of an accident or suspicious activity, consider contacting the local police department and filing a police report. That way you don't have to check the registration; the police will handle it.


About the Author

Jean Asta has been a freelance writer for domestic and international clients since 2005. She also acts as a training consultant to businesses and nonprofit organizations in the southeast United States. Asta holds a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in nonprofit management and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature, both from the University of Georgia.

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