Home Legal Find License Plate Number By VIN – Going Through The Figures

Find License Plate Number By VIN – Going Through The Figures

by Kelvin Yates

As long as you own a car, it always presents itself to be a risk. Risk for accidents, damage, insurance, hefty repair bills, or worse of all, at risk of being stolen. Finding a stolen car and regaining control is not easy. That said, its long and arduous process can be expedited if you know how to find license plate number by VIN.

On top of that, being able to understand what a VIN is, or learning how to dive deep into its mysteries on your own has other advantages. You’re able to become more acquainted with a car before maybe getting hands on one used. It’s able to tell you if that particular car’s been damaged, or should it have been recalled.

The specifications of the car, mileage, fuel economy, its color, previous history, or whether they’re trying to cheat you with an odometer rollback. In this guide, we’ll look at everything you need to know about the VIN number and your license plate number…

VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)

Before we look closely at how to find license plate number by VIN, we should get to know a bit more about the components in question. Now, I’m sure you don’t need us to tell you what a license plate, or registration plate (for more insight, check out our guide on vehicle registration renewal WV), is.

These two plates, mounted to the front and rear of your car, can be considered a car’s social security number. It informs the authorities that this vehicle’s licensed to drive on the road. It informs the authorities that this vehicle’s licensed to drive on the road. You can mount a custom license plate frame as per your personalized design requirements.

Just as the personal ID you carry in your wallet is unique to each person, your license plate number is distinct to every vehicle. So, where the license plate number is the automotive equivalent of social security. Then, the VIN is technically the birth certificate.

A ‘vehicle identification number’ is sometimes referred to as the ‘chassis number’ or ‘frame number’, as it leaves the factory brandishing this mark. It’s a special code that identifies every production vehicle. This doesn’t just include cars, but also bikes, trucks, as well as scooters, commercial vehicles, and even towed trailers.

How To Find VIN Number For Car

In other words, the VIN can be called your car’s fingerprint, as no two vehicles can carry the same vehicle identification number. An idea for a VIN system or a registry for keeping track of vehicles built originated back in 1954.

Although, it wasn’t until 1981 that a standardized 17-digit format was created by the NHTSA that can be used by all carmakers. A VIN is used to identify many key aspects of a vehicle, and it could, at a glance, teach you a lot about itself.

This includes knowing where it was built, the make or model, paint color, specifications and options, trim level (to learn more, check out our guide on what does SE mean on a car), as well as the license plate number registered to it.

The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique identifier assigned to each vehicle by the manufacturer. It’s composed of 17 characters (digits and capital letters) that decode to reveal certain aspects of the vehicle’s specifications, such as the country and factory of manufacture, model, engine type, and year.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, VIN Location#1: Locating the VIN on the Vehicle

Here’s where you can find the VIN number, on your car itself…

1. Dashboard

The most common location to find the VIN is on the lower left-hand corner of the dashboard, where it meets the windshield. From the driver’s seat, the VIN can often be read through the windshield’s base.

2. Driver’s Side Doorpost

Open the driver-side door and examine the doorpost (where the door latches to the body). Many vehicles feature the VIN here, typically on a sticker or a metal plate.

3. Engine Block

Open the vehicle’s hood and look for the VIN on the engine block. This location can be especially useful if the vehicle’s body panels have been replaced, as the engine block VIN should always match the primary VIN.

4. Front Car Frame Near the Windshield Washer

You may find the VIN near the container that holds the windshield washer fluid, typically located at the front of the vehicle on the driver’s side.

5. Inside the Wheel Well

The VIN can sometimes be located inside the rear wheel well. You might have to crouch down and peek into the well above the rear tire to find it.

6. Under the Spare Tire

In some cases, the VIN is printed on an area underneath the spare tire. You’ll need to lift the spare tire out of its compartment to check this spot.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, VIN Location#2: Finding the VIN on Vehicle Paperwork

Besides being on your car, you could also find the VIN in your car’s paperwork…

1. Vehicle Title and Registration

The VIN should be prominently listed on both your vehicle’s title and registration documents. It’s essential to ensure this VIN matches the one on the vehicle.

2. Owner’s Manual

Some manufacturers print the VIN on the cover or within the first few pages of the owner’s manual. If you can’t find it, check the vehicle maintenance section.

3. Insurance Documents

Your car insurance documents will always contain the VIN. Check your insurance card or the declarations page of your insurance policy.

4. Vehicle Service Reports

Service records, such as those from a dealership or repair shop, should include the VIN. If you maintain a file of these records, they can be a good source for this information.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, VIN Location#3: Additional Methods to Find the VIN

Here are a few other places where you can find the VIN number…

1. Check with Your Dealership

If you’re having difficulty locating your vehicle’s VIN, contacting the dealership where you bought the car can help. They will have a record of your VIN and can guide you in locating it on your vehicle.

2. Look on the Vehicle’s Front Grille

Some manufacturers print the VIN under the front grille of the vehicle. Though less common, it’s worth checking if you’re having trouble locating the VIN elsewhere.

In conclusion, knowing your VIN and where to find it is crucial for many car-related processes, from registering your vehicle to buying auto insurance, ordering parts, or scheduling repairs. With this guide, you’re well-equipped to locate your VIN and understand its importance.

With this new standard in place, which remains to this day, the 17 characters of your car’s VIN can tell you quite a lot if you know how to read it. If you’re curious, you can find the VIN number in a few spots dotted around your car. The most obvious place where the VIN plate may be located is placed on top of the dashboard, facing the windshield.

Or, you could find it tacked onto the driver’s side door jamb.

Decoding A VIN

Otherwise, you also find the VIN in the engine bay. Most likely, this can be found on the inner firewall, separating the engine and cabin. But once you find it, how is it that you can read these 17 figures? On the surface, it looks like a randomly-generated set of letters and numbers, right?

Not really, since each of those characters represents a crucial part of your car’s manufacturing, as well as its configuration.


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Here’s a quick rundown of how to disseminate those 17 characters of your car’s VIN, and then try to decipher its meaning:

The first three digits of the VIN are how you can spot who built your car, and where it was made. This is commonly called the World Manufacturer Identifier, and encompasses practically all makes of vehicles sold in the US.

1st To 3rd Digit – WMI (World Manufacturer Identifier)

To prevent any confusion, note that the letters O (o), I (i), or Q (q) aren’t used, as they can easily be confused with the numbers 0, 1, or 9.

  • 1st DigitCountry of origin. This can make you aware of where the car was built. For example, if a car sold in the US was manufactured and imported from overseas. It can either be a letter or a number. For example, cars built in Japan use J to identify themselves, or W for Germany, or S for the UK. Cars built in North America carry numbers instead, such as 1 for the US, or 2 for Canada.
  • 2nd DigitVehicle Manufacturer. It can be tough for every car-producing country in the world to share just those few letters in the alphabet. Thus, the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) usually assigns the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd digits together. The 2nd is reserved for the automakers. For example, the letters SA to SM are reserved for the UK, where A, B, C, and all the way to M refer to UK-based car factories.
  • 3rd DigitDivision or subsidiary of the automaker. Car companies these days are incredibly expansive mega-corporations, with their operations stretched all over the world. To better pin down which part of the company made the car, its sub-division is included in the VIN. For instance, 1FA denotes Ford cars built in the USA, or WF0 for German-built Fords. Smaller carmakers are assigned the number 9.

4th To 8th Digits – Specifications

Once you’ve figured out where your car was built and who made it, you can then find out more about its specifications in the following five digits. It can inform you about what engine type or size it has, its body style, and even detail its safety features or optional extras. Here’s what they mean:

  • 4th DigitUsed for model-specific features and specialties. Usually, automakers used this to highlight a particular model’s most defining characteristic, such as if it has any unique safety features.
  • 5th DigitSeries production of a specific model. This can be used to denote what production batch the car in question was built on. Or, it could help you distinguish the generations between each model.
  • 6th And 7th DigitsVehicle body style or type. Whether your vehicle is an SUV, 4-door sedan, truck, hatchback, van, or so on, these two digits are reserved to identify the particular layout of the vehicle.
  • 8th DigitEngine size. Usually, a letter rather than a number, this helps to differentiate between the various engine types and sizes that a car may be sold with. It’s also quite useful when it comes time to hunt down spare parts that fit a specific engine.

9th Digit – Vehicle ‘Check Digit'

The 9th digit of the VIN is used as a stamp of approval by the authorities and thus validating it to be used. In layman’s terms, this means that the vehicle is approved to be driven on public roads. When a car is ready to be registered, the 17-digit VIN is authenticated using a complex formula.

This final tally thus corresponds to the 9th digit. This could also be used to identify faked or invalid VIN codes.

10th Digit – Model Or Manufacturing Year

It can either be a letter or a number, but the 10th digit lets you know when the car was built. This could be used either for the model year or more specifically, the year of manufacture. For example, vehicles built from 1980 (to be sold as 1981 model year cars) to 2000 (or the 2001 model year), using A to Y in their VIN.

Meanwhile, 1 to 9 are for cars built from 2001 (2002 model year) to 2009 (2010 model year).


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Since there aren’t enough letters and numbers to go around, the NTHSA resets the numbering as well as lettering every so often. Following 2009, vehicles built from 2010 (2011 model year) to 2030 (2031 model year) will go back to using A to Y.

Remember, the letters O (o), I (i), or Q (q) aren’t used. Once that’s finished, cars built in 2031 to 2039 will use 1 to 9 again, and will be reset the following year.

11th Digit – Production Plant

It’s also known as the ‘plant code’, and can be used as an extension for the WMI in the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd digits. The 11th digit will further detail to you what manufacturing plant of the automaker and in the country of origin built your car. That’s because some of the larger automakers can have numerous plants in a single country.

Each car brand will have a unique plant code for its 11th digit.

12th To 17th Digits – Serial Number

The last 6 digits are specific to every automaker and model. This serial number sequence can usually tell you when the car was built within a lengthy production span of said model. However, it can alternatively be used to let you know other specifications about the car that couldn’t fit in earlier.

For example, what type of gearbox it has, the certain hue of paintwork, as well as if there’s any add-on equipment on your car. Fun fact, you can learn more in our explainer on the catalytic converter code lookup.

Find License Plate Number By VIN

There is a myriad of reasons why you’d want to find license plate number by VIN.

Perhaps you saw a car that didn’t have plates on it, and are wondering if it’s been stolen. Most VINs are quite noticeable, after all, as you can spot them etched onto the windshield or windows. Or, maybe you lost your car or it’s been robbed, but you couldn’t remember the license plate number. But, you do have the VIN.

Whatever the case may be, you can indeed find license plate number by VIN. Although, it might not be as straightforward as it seems. Surprisingly, it’s fairly simple to do this the other way around. Which is to find the VIN using the registration plate, as we’ve detailed in a previous guide.

Nonetheless, trying to comb through the databases and spotting a license plate number using only a VIN can be difficult.

Find License Plate Number By VIN

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There are two ways that you can go about this, in seeking to find license plate number by VIN:

  • Bring your VIN number, as well as all accompanying paperwork detailing that you own a vehicle, to the local DMV offices.
  • Use an online VIN checker or look-up tool, and hope that it can provide some accurate information concerning the license plate numbers.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of how to find license plate number by VIN of your car, with those aforementioned options:

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Option #1 – Go To The DMV

As you might know, the US doesn’t have a single license plate registry, but 50 of them. Every state has its own distinct license plate, administered by their state DMVs. Or, the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unless, of course, you’re driving around a government-issue vehicle courtesy of the armed forces, or if you’re a staff at the federal government, or are a foreign dignitary or official.

They use special registration plates. For the rest of us, however, a New York plate can’t be searched by way of the California DMV, for example. You’ll have to ring the New York DMV offices and try to run the plates with them. This also means that you can find license plate number by VIN with the DMV.

As they’re the ones that registered your car, they’ll know all about it, and keep a detailed history report.

To find license plate number by VIN with the local DMV or authorities, you have two more options of how to go about this:

1.1. How To Contact The DMV Offices

  • Find and visit the local DMV branch office. Just make sure you ring them up beforehand to see what day and hours they’re open. You may also consider setting an appointment date to smoothen things out. In addition, and owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, be certain that they’re at all ready to accept walk-in visitations on-site.
  • Alternatively, most DMVs have online portals where you can access their database all the same. Note, mind you, that not all DMVs share this ability and some might not be as intuitive or as featureful. We still recommend an in-person visit as your best bet. Still, go around your state DMV’s webpage, and see if they offer vehicle history reports that you can request.

1.2. Bring Your Documentation Along, With The VIN Number

As you’re visiting the DMV, remember to bring along any and all accompanying paperwork for this car in question, whose license plate you want to find.

If you’re the owner of this vehicle, then you’ll need a few pieces of paperwork to get the DMV to help you. To be more precise, your ID, driver’s license (and learn how to renew drivers license online Alabama), and documents that clearly show the vehicle’s VIN. But what if you’re sending someone else to do this?

In that case, your representative will need to have both proof that you own the vehicle, as well as written permission. This paperwork should also include the name and address, vehicle VIN, and your express authorization that this process is carried out.

To maximize your chance of succeeding, we’d suggest that the owner of the vehicle themselves head over to the DMV to request the license plate.

1.3. What If It’s Not Your Car Or License Plate Number?

For the DMV to even consider helping you find license plate number by VIN, you’ll need to bring proof that you really don’t have access to the registration plate. Or, if your car’s been stolen, and its license plate number’s been changed to a point where you can’t find it anymore.

This includes bringing along as much documentation as is possible to prove that you’re indeed the owner of the vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN

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For instance, testimonies from vehicle service records, your insurance company, bank financing or loan details, vehicle title, and more that have the VIN number. You could even show them snapshots of the VIN in a bid to convince the local DMV.

Additionally, you’ll then have to explain to them why you’re so keen to find license plate number by VIN. Did you somehow lose the license plate, by chance? But let’s say you’re not the owner of the vehicle whose license plate you’re trying to find with the VIN.

In this case, the DMV is unlikely to help you out. That is, unless, you’re a private investigator or are a member of the press. If you’re trying the find license plate number by VIN on a vehicle that you don’t own, the only avenue is the police. Press the matter urgently, and you may persuade them.

1.4. Be Mindful Of The Fees For Finding The License Plate Number

The DMV will ask quite a few questions before they’re ready to hand you a full vehicle history report, including its license plate number, through the VIN.

They also press you on whether or not you’ve checked high and low for the registration number. Remember, documentation such as the car’s title, vehicle registration, and other paperwork that accompanied the purchase should have the plate. You should only contact the local DMV for help in trying to find license plate number by VIN if:

  • All of the documentation that may have detailed the license plate number was lost or was disposed of accidentally.
  • The vehicle in question isn’t in your possession and is thus not possible for you to inspect the license plate or paperwork stored in it.
  • Your car’s been stolen, and you suspect that the original license plate number’s been swapped out. But in this case, the DMV might question you’re coming to them, instead of the police.

Visiting the DMV should only be reserved as a last resort or for emergencies. Their assistance to find license plate number by VIN for your vehicle may come at a cost. These processing fees should usually be fairly minimal given the urgency of your situation. Nevertheless, it’s worthwhile asking them as to how much this will cost you beforehand.

2. Find License Plate Number By VIN, Option #2 – VIN Lookup Tools

As we mentioned earlier, it’s much easier to find the VIN with the license plate. Rather than finding the license plate through the VIN.

This is especially so with online VIN or license place look-up tools, as seeking to find license plate number by VIN can be fairly limited. This is intentional, as a bid to protect the privacy of vehicle owners. What that being said, VIN checkers and be quite informative.

Some of them, for example, can detail the exact specifications of the vehicle. They could also spit out other useful data, such as how much the vehicle is worth, as well as a detailed history report. This may include the title, service history, ownership changes, registration renewals, and so on. These look-up tools might also detail any damage to the vehicle, insurance claims, and so on.

Find License Plate Number By VIN

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Here are some of the best that we’ve found (including the best free VIN decoder):

2.1. They’re Quite Constrained In Finding The License Plate Number

As you’re going through these, note that the license plate information will most likely not be visible or present at all.

And even if they do allow you to look at the license plate number (SearchQuarry.com is able to let you see this and the previous owners, thanks to data from the NHTSA), it comes at a cost. Just like going to the DMV, online VIN lookup tools will charge a fee for a full vehicle history report.

This may be as minimal as $5 if all you want is a report on the vehicle’s background. Or, it can cost you more than $15 if you want a more extensive report on the vehicle’s past ownership, as well as having access to the license plate number. Be wary, however, of sites that claim to provide these services for free.

It’s possible they could be scamming your personal data, not to mention compromising the VIN.

How To Look Up A License Plate

While using the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to find the license plate number of a vehicle provides limited details, there are other practical methods that can provide you with the information you need.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #1: Dive Into Maintenance Records

Maintenance records are often overlooked sources of vehicle information. Regular servicing of your car generates a trail of paperwork that often includes details like the license plate number.

  • How it Works: Service centers and mechanics typically keep records of every vehicle they work on. These records often include the vehicle’s license plate number, VIN, and other specific details. In the case you’ve misplaced your license plate details, contacting your regular service center or mechanic could lead to a swift resolution.
  • Benefits: This method is potentially fast and uncomplicated, especially if you have a long-standing relationship with your service center or mechanic.
  • Considerations: Note, however, that privacy laws might limit the sharing of this information. Be prepared to confirm your identity and establish your ownership of the vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #2: Review Purchase Documents

Documents related to the purchase of your vehicle, whether from a dealership or a private seller, can also hold the key to uncovering a license plate number.

  • How it Works: Purchase agreements, financing documents, and sales receipts often contain detailed information about the vehicle, including its license plate number. Reviewing these documents can provide you with the details you’re looking for.
  • Benefits: If you’ve kept your paperwork organized, this method can quickly provide you with the needed information.
  • Considerations: Depending on how long ago you purchased the vehicle, these documents might be outdated. If you’ve updated your license plate since then, this method might not provide accurate information.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #3: Consult Parking Tickets

Parking tickets, though inconvenient, are often rich sources of vehicle information, including the license plate number.

  • How it Works: Each parking ticket usually notes the vehicle’s license plate number, make, model, and color. If you’ve kept any of your past parking tickets, they could help you track down your license plate number.
  • Benefits: This method provides a quick solution, especially if you’ve recently received a parking ticket.
  • Considerations: The downside, of course, is that not everyone keeps their old parking tickets. In addition, if you haven’t received a ticket recently, the information might be outdated.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #4: Reach Out to Your Lender

If you’re still paying off your vehicle, your lender might be able to provide you with the license plate number.

  • How it Works: Your lender keeps detailed records of your vehicle to ensure it maintains its value while under financing. As a result, they typically have the license plate number on file.
  • Benefits: Contacting your lender is typically a straightforward process and could provide the information you’re seeking.
  • Considerations: As with other methods, privacy laws could limit the lender’s ability to share this information. You’ll likely need to verify your identity and ownership of the vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #5: Leverage Online Resources

Several online databases provide a variety of vehicle information. While these don’t typically include license plate numbers due to privacy concerns, they can be useful starting points.

  • How it Works: Websites like AutoCheck or Carfax can provide vehicle history reports using the VIN. Although these reports might not directly provide license plate numbers, they can offer additional avenues to explore, like previous owners or registration locations.
  • Benefits: These resources are quickly accessible and can provide a wealth of information.
  • Considerations: These methods are usually not free, and as previously mentioned, they rarely provide direct access to license plate numbers due to privacy laws.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #6: Vehicle Reports and History

One highly recommended method is procuring a Vehicle History Report. Services like Carfax or AutoCheck will give you a comprehensive look at the car’s past, which usually includes license plate numbers along with accident history, maintenance records, and previous ownerships.

However, these services typically require a fee. Make sure to choose a reputable provider to ensure the accuracy and legitimacy of the data you receive.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #7: Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies can help find a license plate number using the VIN. This method is rarely used and is often considered a last resort, as it requires a legitimate reason and necessary paperwork. Additionally, privacy laws often restrict access to this kind of information, making this option more challenging for the average person.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #8: Local Body Shops and Dealerships

If your car has been serviced at a dealership or body shop, they may have records containing your license plate number. This is especially true if your vehicle had significant repairs or maintenance, as these establishments typically keep detailed records. A simple phone call to these places with your VIN might provide you with the information you need.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #9: Online Resources

There are several online platforms that could provide you with the license plate number associated with a VIN. Websites like VinCheck or VinDecoder can sometimes provide this information. Always consider the credibility of the website before entering any sensitive data, and be aware that they may charge a fee for the service.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #10: Towing Companies

If your car has ever been towed, the towing company may have a record of your license plate number. These companies typically document the license plate numbers of all vehicles they tow as part of their routine procedure.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #11: Leasing Companies

If you lease your vehicle, your leasing company should have a record of your license plate number. They typically document all vital information about their vehicles, including license plate numbers. Contact your leasing company and inquire about this information if necessary.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #12: Car Rental Services

Rental companies document license plate numbers for all vehicles in their fleet. If you have rented the vehicle in question, you might be able to get the license plate number from the rental company, although privacy policies might restrict access to such information.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #13: Private Investigators

Hiring a private investigator may be a more costly, but effective method. These professionals have access to databases and resources the average person doesn’t. However, remember to ensure the investigator you hire is licensed and reputable, and keep in mind the legality and ethical implications of the search.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #14: Legal Counsel

In some cases, your lawyer can subpoena the license plate number associated with a VIN if it’s necessary for a legal case. This should be considered a last resort, as it involves legal proceedings and could be time-consuming and costly.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #15: Traffic Tickets and Violation Notices

Traffic violation tickets are another potential source of license plate numbers. When a ticket is issued, it is generally associated with the vehicle’s license plate number. If you have past tickets, they may provide you with the information you’re looking for. Keep in mind, however, that traffic tickets often include sensitive information, so they should be stored securely.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #16: Toll Road Records

If you’ve used toll roads in the past, these systems may also record your license plate number. This is especially true for those with electronic toll collection accounts, like E-ZPass. These accounts tie your vehicle directly to the license plate number, so your records should include it. As always, this information will only be accessible to the vehicle’s registered owner.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Alternatives #17: Car Purchase or Sale Documents

Documentation from the purchase or sale of a vehicle can also include license plate numbers. Whether you bought your vehicle from a dealership or a private seller, the bill of sale or purchase agreement should include this information. Keep these documents in a safe place as they contain a wealth of information about your vehicle.

By exploring these channels, you have several strategies to find a license plate number beyond using the VIN alone. Remember, however, that access to this kind of information may be restricted due to privacy laws. Always respect the rights of others and the legal boundaries in place.


What Can You Learn From A VIN Number

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a car’s unique identifier. It’s like a social security number for your car, offering an abundance of information if you know how to interpret it. A comprehensive VIN lookup can uncover various facts about a car’s past and present.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #1: Decoding the VIN

A VIN isn’t a random assortment of characters. Each digit or letter represents specific details about the vehicle. The first digit represents the country where the car was manufactured. The next two characters signify the manufacturer or maker. Following that, the vehicle’s type, engine code, and various other specifications are outlined.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #2: Car Specifications

Knowing a car’s specifications is essential for both potential buyers and current owners. A VIN lookup offers insight into the car’s engine type, body style, drivetrain, and even the model year. The details also include the manufacturing plant and production number, offering a clearer picture of the vehicle’s origin.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #3: Service Record

Car maintenance history is another crucial aspect that a VIN lookup can reveal. This record includes when and where the car was serviced, the type of service performed, and potential issues addressed during those services. Regular maintenance often indicates a well-cared-for vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #4: Accident History

Unfortunately, not all cars have had a gentle life. A VIN lookup can reveal if the car has been in an accident, the severity of the damage, and the repairs done. This data is essential for buyers to avoid vehicles with hidden damage.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #5: Repossession and Ownership History

A car’s past can be traced through the VIN. The lookup will show previous owners, duration of ownership, and any repossession records. Such information is helpful to ensure the car doesn’t come with unwanted baggage.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #6: Trim Level and Options

A VIN lookup also unravels the car’s trim level and factory-installed options. These details can significantly affect a car’s value, especially when it comes to reselling or insuring the vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #7: Damage Records

A car might carry scars from past incidents like floods, fires, or even vandalism. A VIN lookup will expose these records, letting you know the complete history of the vehicle.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #8: Vehicle Title Information

The title status of a car is another critical detail revealed through a VIN lookup. If a vehicle has a ‘salvage’ or ‘junk’ title, it signifies the car was once deemed a total loss by an insurance company.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #9: Recalls and Warranties

Has the car been recalled for any reason? Is the warranty still active? A VIN lookup answers these questions and more, helping potential buyers and current owners stay informed about the vehicle’s status.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #10: Fuel Efficiency

A vehicle’s fuel efficiency rating is a valuable piece of information, particularly for those conscious of fuel costs and environmental impact. A VIN lookup can provide this information, offering insights into the car’s performance.

Find License Plate Number By VIN, Lookup Details #11: Theft Records

The last thing anyone wants is to unknowingly purchase a stolen car. A VIN lookup can bring to light any theft records associated with the vehicle, ensuring you stay clear of any potential legal issues.

Every single piece of data drawn from a VIN lookup adds up to a complete picture of a vehicle’s history and current status. It’s invaluable for car enthusiasts, potential buyers, and regular owners alike. Keep in mind that while many online VIN lookup services are available, a trip to your local DMV can also provide comprehensive information. Happy car hunting!

What Can Someone Do With Your Licence Plate Number

Have you ever wondered just what information can be unearthed from a simple license plate number? Here, we delve into the wealth of data that can potentially be gathered, and how you can safeguard your personal information.

1. Diving into the Data Pool

Though the average person may only glean basic details from your license plate, tools and databases exist that can provide a more comprehensive picture. A license plate can offer insights into:

  • Vehicle details: Information about the make, model, and year of the car is readily available.
  • Accident history: Previous accidents involving the car can be traced back.
  • Repossession history: Details about any past vehicle repossessions can be found.
  • Fuel economy and engine capacity: These details about the vehicle’s performance can be retrieved.
  • Natural damage: Information on any damage from natural disasters is often accessible.
  • Maintenance records: The car’s upkeep history can be found.
  • Driver criminal history: In some cases, the driver’s criminal history can be unearthed.

2. Protecting Your Personal Information

While a license plate number can disclose a great deal about a vehicle and its history, it’s important to note that the personal information of the owner is typically safeguarded. The Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) limits the scope of information that can be accessed, making it difficult to obtain an individual’s name, address, or other personal information.

3. The License Plate and Identity Safety

A common misconception is that your license plate number could lead to identity theft. Rest assured, the data accessible to the public from your license plate is limited. Personal information is usually restricted to law enforcement, government officials, and the DMV.

4. What Can One Do with Your License Plate Number?

It’s worth understanding just what could be done with your license plate number in the wrong hands.

If someone is interested in purchasing a used car, your license plate can be used to research the vehicle’s history, any previous accidents, and its mileage. This is a common practice and generally not a cause for concern.

There are instances where someone may misuse a license plate number. For example, they may have a similar car and create a fake plate with your number. Alternatively, they might have witnessed you breaking the law and used your license plate to report you.

However, rest assured that the likelihood of your personal information being accessed from your license plate is limited.

5. Is It Legal to Photograph License Plates?

Taking photos of license plates and posting them online is perfectly legal, as long as the photos are taken in public. However, linking false information to the photo or inciting violence could have legal repercussions.

6. Should You Be Concerned?

If someone takes a photo of your license plate, there’s usually no need for an alarm. If you’ve committed a violation or crime, they could report you to the police. Otherwise, you’re safe, as your personal information is generally inaccessible via your license plate number. Remember to stay informed, and protect your personal information where you can.

VIN Number Interesting Facts

The world of cars is an expansive universe filled with fascinating details. One element that car enthusiasts, automotive professionals, and everyday drivers should be familiar with is the Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN. Although it may appear as a random assortment of numbers and letters, a VIN holds significant information about a car.

This section will delve deeper into the interesting facets of VINs and decode the mysteries hidden within them.

1. What Is in a VIN?

A VIN isn’t just a serial number. This unique identifier carries within it information about the car’s manufacturer, year of production, type of engine, and even the manufacturing location. Yet, not all VIN decoders can extract all these details.

In fact, many on the market only decode the pattern formed by positions 1-8, 10, and 11. This pattern can reveal the car’s year, make, model, engine type, and some safety equipment. For a more granular decoding, specialized tools like DataOne’s VIN decoder API can be utilized.

2. The Inconsistency of Trim and Transmission

Not all VIN patterns encode trim or transmission data. The information that gets encoded varies from one manufacturer to another. Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has set requirements for VIN encodings, manufacturers still have some discretion.

Thus, significant details such as trim or transmission can be left out of the VIN pattern.

3. The Tale of Dual VINs in RVs

Interestingly, some Recreational Vehicles (RVs) might have two different VINs, and sometimes, these could pertain to different model years. Class A, B, and C motorhomes can carry a VIN from the RV manufacturer and another from the truck chassis or cab manufacturer. These vehicles might even showcase two different model years, referred to as “multi-stage RVs”.

4. VIN Length: A Journey in Time

Contrary to popular belief, not all VINs are 17 digits long. The NHTSA only made the 17-digit VIN number a requirement for vehicles manufactured since 1981. Prior to that, VIN formats varied widely. They were typically 8-10 characters long in the 1950s and 1960s, encoding details such as vehicle series identity, model year, assembly plant, and production number.

The number of characters started to increase by the late 60s, including more details like engine type and body style.

5. VIN Engineering: The Art of Backtracking

In some instances, if a user needs to submit a VIN but doesn’t have it handy, certain VIN decoding tools can reverse engineer a VIN pattern. This can be useful for processes like generating preliminary insurance quotes. However, this reverse engineering will not generate a full 17-digit VIN, so the actual VIN is still required for properly underwriting an insurance policy.

6. VIN Standards: A Global Perspective

VIN standards are not universal. While vehicles destined for sale in the U.S. and Canada follow the NHTSA VIN standard, the rest of the world abides by the ISO standard. These standards have similarities, like the World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) format, but there are key differences.

For instance, the NHTSA standard includes a check digit for VIN validation, while the ISO standard extends its vehicle descriptor section (VDS) by an extra character.

7. Birthplace of Your Vehicle: Encoded in the VIN

The VIN can disclose where your car was made. The country of manufacture and the vehicle manufacturer can always be identified by the VIN, with the NHTSA standard even including the manufacturing plant.

8. Maintenance of VIN Decoders

VIN decoders require constant updating and maintenance. Despite the fixed logic and rules of VIN decoding, providers must regularly update their databases to decode the newest model years and mid-year model releases, handle pricing updates, comply with OEM changes, and keep up with mid-year content updates.

9. Commercial Trucks: A Different Ball Game

Decoding VINs for medium and heavy-duty trucks doesn’t offer as much detail as for passenger or light-duty vehicles. This is primarily due to the high level of customization in these vehicles. These commercial vehicles often have upfitted bodies and carry their own VINs, separate from trailers they may haul.

10. Model Year Mysteries in Commercial Trucks

Determining the model year from the VIN alone can be impossible for some medium and heavy-duty trucks. The NHTSA requires vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 lbs. or less to follow a specific standard for the model year. Medium and heavy-duty vehicles aren’t bound by the same rule, meaning they can use the same VIN pattern for multiple years.

11. The VIN: A Snapshot, Not a Life Story

The VIN encodes the details of a vehicle at the time of manufacture, not its history. Information like accident reports, registration records, or ownership transfers are tied to the VIN but not encoded in it. Services like Carfax or Experian collect and provide such vehicle history data.

12. Accessories and Optional Equipment: Absent in the VIN

Finally, accessories and certain optional equipment or packages aren’t encoded in the VIN unless installed at the time of manufacture. These elements are typically added at the port or the dealership after the VIN has been assigned to the vehicle, making them absent in the VIN’s encoding.

13. Decoding the Fascination with VINs

VINs may seem simple, but as we’ve discovered, they’re laden with details and nuances that make them an integral part of the automotive world. Through a VIN, we can trace a vehicle’s journey from its creation, marking every unique feature that sets it apart from the rest.

Whether you’re an automotive enthusiast or just a curious car owner, understanding VINs can add a whole new layer to your appreciation for cars.

Extra Tips & Tricks: How to Find License Plate Number and VIN Information

  1. License plates are crucial in identifying and tracking down suspects for law enforcement.
  2. Keeping license plates free from dirt and damage is essential to identify a person quickly.
  3. Local police can locate the owner and give their address using the vehicle’s license plate number.
  4. Online searches can also help find the owner’s address, but accuracy may vary.
  5. VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) contains 17 characters and tells a car’s history, including manufacturer and assembly plant, model year, and transmission type.
  6. The VIN can be found under the hood or on the driver or passenger-side doors, typically under the windshield.
  7. The DMV’s website can provide license plate number information, but personal information should be provided with caution.
  8. VINs can be used to track a car’s ownership history, engine size, make and model, and service history.
  9. VINs are useful in identifying specific cars and checking for recalls and safety ratings.
  10. Traditional car license plates cannot be removed without destroying the VIN, and other sources of license plate number information include car registration, title, insurance card, DMV office, and mechanic records.

Finding License Plate Number By VIN: In Conclusion…

In all, trying to find a license plate number by VIN leaves you with few options. If you want the best and most reliable outcome, your only choice is the authorities. If your car’s been stolen or if it’s an urgent matter, then your first contact should be the police. They can run the VIN number to find the license plate number right quick.

If it’s not all too critical, then you can take your time with the DMV. It will necessitate you bring along as much documentation as is possible. This will all lead to proving that you are the owner of said vehicle. Titles, service records, bank and insurance details, you name it.

Plus, you’ll have to make a strong case for why they should give you the license plate number, to begin with. It will cost you a fee, but at least there’s a stronger chance you’ll get what you came for.

Finding License Plate Number By VIN: FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions (and answers) about finding the license plate number by VIN…

Can You Look Up License Plates

Yes, in many areas you can look up license plates, but the ability to do so varies by location due to privacy laws and regulations. Generally, government officials or law enforcement personnel can look up this information. There are some third-party services that claim to offer license plate lookups, but the accuracy and legality of such services can vary widely. Always make sure to respect privacy laws and regulations when attempting to obtain this kind of information.

How to Check If a Vehicle Is Stolen for Free

You can check if a vehicle is stolen for free by using online resources such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s (NICB) VINCheck system in the United States. By entering the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), you can see if the car is reported as stolen but not recovered, or if it’s been reported as a salvage vehicle. Be sure to have the VIN handy to use these services.

What Is My License Plate Number

Your license plate number is unique to your vehicle and is typically printed on a rectangular metal plate attached to the back and/or front of your vehicle. If you can’t recall it or don’t have access to your vehicle, it should be listed on your vehicle registration documents, insurance papers, or any correspondence from your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

How to Find My VIN Number Without My Car

There are several ways to find your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) without your car. The easiest method is to check your vehicle’s insurance card or policy, as they often list the VIN. Additionally, the VIN is often listed on your vehicle registration. It can also be found on any paperwork related to the vehicle, such as loan documents or maintenance records.

How to Find License Plate Number With VIN

The process of finding a license plate number with a VIN may vary by location due to local privacy laws. In general, this information is usually accessible by law enforcement officials or qualified private investigators. It’s typically not available to the public due to privacy concerns. You may wish to consult a professional for further guidance.

What Is a Car Tag

A car tag is another name for a vehicle’s license plate. This tag displays an identifying number, the name of the state or province, and sometimes a slogan or an image. The purpose of a car tag is to uniquely identify the vehicle for law enforcement and administrative purposes.

How to Find Your License Plate Number Online

Finding your license plate number online largely depends on the services provided by your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Some regions offer online access to vehicle registration details. After logging in, you can access your license plate number if you have misplaced it. Always ensure to follow the relevant laws and guidelines when accessing this information.

How to Find Owner of License Plate

Due to privacy laws, it’s usually not possible for individuals to find the owner of a license plate without assistance from law enforcement or certain government agencies. If you believe there’s a legitimate need for this information, such as a hit-and-run incident, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

What Is a Vehicle Identification Number

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a unique code used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles. It’s often a 17-character code that includes a serial number along with information about the vehicle, such as its manufacturer, model year, and place of manufacture.

How to Check Vehicle Registration Status

The process for checking a vehicle’s registration status can vary based on location. Many regions offer online services through the local Department of Motor Vehicles where you can enter your license plate number or VIN to check the status. Make sure to have your vehicle details on hand for this process.

What’s My VIN Number

Your VIN or Vehicle Identification Number is a unique 17-character code that identifies your vehicle. This number can be found in several places on your vehicle, including the driver’s side dashboard (visible through the windshield), the driver’s side door jamb, or on the engine. If you’re away from your car, this number is also listed on your car’s insurance card, and on your vehicle registration documents.

Can You Look up Someone’s License Plate

In general, looking up someone’s license plate is restricted due to privacy laws and regulations. Usually, only law enforcement officials and other authorized entities are permitted to access this information. Some third-party services may claim to provide this service, but the legality and accuracy of such services can greatly vary.

Can You Find Someone by Their License Plate Number

Typically, the ability to find someone by their license plate number is restricted due to privacy laws. This information is protected and often accessible only by law enforcement or government officials. It’s always important to respect privacy rights and to only seek this information through legal channels if it is absolutely necessary.

How to Check If a Car Is Stolen by License Plate Free

Checking if a car is stolen by the license plate for free can be done through certain online services. However, this service is not universally available. In the U.S., the National Insurance Crime Bureau offers a free service to check if a car is stolen, but it requires the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), not the license plate.

How to Track a License Plate

Tracking a license plate generally isn’t possible for the public due to privacy laws and regulations. Law enforcement agencies, however, do have the ability to track a license plate in the course of an investigation. It’s essential to respect privacy rights and only attempt to track a license plate in line with the law.

Can I Lookup My Vehicle Specs by VIN Number

Yes, you can look up your vehicle’s specifications using its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Various online tools and websites can decode your VIN, revealing information such as the make, model, year, and key features of your vehicle. Always be sure to use a reputable service when doing so.

Who Owns This Car by License Plate

For privacy reasons, it’s generally not possible for members of the public to find out who owns a car by the license plate number. Only certain authorized entities, like law enforcement agencies, have access to this information. If you have a legitimate need for this information, you should contact law enforcement or a relevant government agency.

How Long Is a VIN

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is typically 17 characters long. This includes both numbers and letters. Each character in the VIN provides specific information about the vehicle, including its manufacturer, model year, and place of manufacture.

How to Find Registered Owner of Vehicle Free

Due to privacy concerns, it’s usually not possible for the public to find the registered owner of a vehicle for free. This kind of information is typically accessible only by law enforcement or government agencies. If you believe there’s a legitimate need for this information, you should report it to your local law enforcement agency.

Where Can I Find My License Plate Number

Your license plate number is located on the metal plate attached to the back and sometimes the front of your vehicle. If you’re not near your vehicle, you can often find your license plate number on your vehicle registration documents, insurance documents, or any official paperwork associated with your vehicle.

Are License Plates Public Record

License plate numbers themselves can be seen by the public, as they’re displayed on the backs and sometimes fronts of vehicles. However, the information connected to these numbers, such as the vehicle owner’s personal details, is not public record. Access to this information is usually restricted to certain authorized parties, like law enforcement agencies, due to privacy laws.

Where Is the Vehicle Registration Number

Your vehicle registration number, also known as your license plate number, is displayed on the license plate which is usually attached to the back and sometimes the front of your vehicle. If you’re not near your vehicle, this number is also commonly found on your vehicle’s registration document, insurance paperwork, and other related official documents.

What Information Can You Get from a License Plate

License plates can provide a variety of information. For law enforcement and authorized entities, license plates can be used to identify the vehicle’s registered owner, the vehicle’s make and model, and potentially the vehicle’s registration status. For the general public, a license plate can reveal the issuing state or province, and sometimes the vehicle’s registration year or county of registration.

How to Check If License Plate Is Taken

Checking if a license plate is taken can be done through your local Department of Motor Vehicles’ website or office. Many jurisdictions offer an online service where you can enter your desired license plate number to see if it’s available. This service is often used by individuals interested in obtaining personalized or vanity plates.

What Plate Type Is My Car

The type of plate your car has is determined by the category of registration you or the previous owner selected when registering the vehicle. This could include standard, personalized, specialty, or disabled plates. The type of plate should be indicated on your vehicle registration documents. If you’re unsure, your local Department of Motor Vehicles can provide assistance.

How to Find an Old Car You Once Owned

Finding an old car you once owned can be challenging due to privacy laws. In general, your best bet is to try online platforms like car forums, social media groups, or websites for car enthusiasts. You could also try contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles or the insurer you had at the time. Although, they may be unable to help due to privacy restrictions.

How to Read License Plates

Reading license plates involves recognizing the issuing state or province displayed, usually at the top or bottom of the plate. The main body of the plate displays a series of letters and numbers which is unique to each vehicle. In some places, license plates may also display the year of registration, a county identifier, or other information.

How to Know If Someone Reported Your License Plate

Generally, if someone has reported your license plate, you’ll likely be contacted by law enforcement or your local Department of Motor Vehicles. However, there isn’t a universally applicable method for individuals to independently verify if their license plate has been reported.

Where Is License Number Located

Your driver’s license number is located directly on your driver’s license. The location can vary depending on the design of the license, but it’s typically prominently displayed. If you’re referring to your vehicle license number, also known as your license plate number, that is found on the license plate attached to your vehicle.

Can You Get Someone’s Insurance Information from Their License Plate

Typically, you cannot get someone’s insurance information from their license plate due to privacy laws. Only authorized entities such as law enforcement or involved parties in a legal incident usually have access to this information. If you’re involved in a collision, the other party should provide their insurance details at the scene.

Can You Put Your License Plate on Your Dash

No, you typically cannot put your license plate on your dash. Most jurisdictions require the license plate to be affixed to the exterior of the vehicle. This is usually at the rear and sometimes at the front, so it’s clearly visible. Failing to properly display a license plate can result in fines or other penalties.

Where Do You Get a License Plate

You can get a license plate from your local Department of Motor Vehicles or an equivalent agency. When you register a vehicle, you’ll be issued a license plate for that vehicle. If you need a replacement or want to get a personalized plate, you’d also do this through the same agency.

When Was My Car Manufactured VIN

You can find out when your car was manufactured by looking at the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). The 10th character in the 17-character VIN represents the vehicle model year. This standard applies to vehicles built in or after 1981. Before then, the format was not standardized. It’s also important to note that the model year is not the same as the year it was actually manufactured.

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Joshua January 20, 2022 - 7:51 pm

Hi there,

I just wanted to find out if it is possible to find the owner or at least their contact details, of a vehicle using the VIN code, as I wanted to buy back a car previously owned by a family member in the UK who then sold it to someone in Belgium. I know what the VIN number is, the original number plate before it was re registered and the general details of the car but don’t have the owners number.


Raj March 16, 2022 - 11:17 pm

Hi Joshua,

I completely understand how important this car is for you but as a matter of fact, it’s not possible to get any personal information about the owner with the VIN. Wish you good luck maybe you will find the car one day.



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