How to Verify a Plate Number with the DMV

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How to Verify a Plate Number with the DMV

If you’re in the market to buy a used car, it can be tricky to know whether or not it has been stolen and if there are any outstanding payments on the vehicle. However, you can easily verify plate numbers and make sure that they don’t belong to any other vehicles in your area by using the DMV website or one of many smartphone apps designed specifically for this purpose.

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How to Verify a Plate Number with the DMV

If you’re looking to verify whether or not a license plate number is legit, there are several ways to do so that don’t require you to waste your time or money at the DMV in person. This guide will teach you how to find information about license plates online, as well as how to verify them using specialized tools and your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Since every state maintains its own database of vehicle ownership, you have a couple of options for searching it. First, check your state’s department of motor vehicles or equivalent. And if you’re in charge of security at an organization that deals with vehicles—like, say, an airline—you can also ask them for help in verifying plate numbers. If your organization operates within one state, then it might be able to provide that information through public records; if you operate across state lines (as most airlines do), then you’ll need some other sort of verification process in place.


When you have checked off every number and letter on your vehicle’s license plate, take it to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office for validation. If you don’t feel comfortable taking your current car in for inspection, another person can apply for verification on your behalf. As long as he or she has all the necessary paperwork and identification, it will be accepted. Keep in mind that some states require only one of these forms of verification while others may require both. Therefore, it is always recommended that you contact your DMV prior to visiting in order to confirm any additional requirements and procedures regarding license plate number verification.


There are three ways you can verify plate numbers online. One is through plate number verification services, which provide information about vehicle ownership but no other detail beyond that. Another option is to check a car’s history of ownership, which requires you to know the vehicle identification number (VIN). The final way—and our favorite for privacy reasons—is checking public records through motor vehicle departments’ websites. In these cases, users can pull up an owner’s name and address from public records as well as past registrations.


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With your smartphone and their free app, The DMVs’ electronic recording devices can also allow you to record interactions with police officers or other officials as long as you don’t interfere. You’re entitled to use these services in order to help protect yourself if there are questions later. If something did happen and they take issue, they could ask that your record be produced; it’ll save you from doing it manually. From there, they may destroy your phone while making notes of pertinent details first. That way they can make copies if necessary. Protecting yourself is always important; having some means by which to verify plate numbers is key when identifying criminals or dangerous individuals should that need arise.Share

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is one of your best resources for plate number verification. They can tell you whether or not a plate number is legal, along with all sorts of other useful information. If you don’t want to visit an office in person, many states allow you to search their databases online, either by looking up specific plates or by searching license plates on file in your local area. And if those options don’t satisfy your needs, there are plenty of additional ways to verify ownership via third-party companies such as AutoCheck and CarFax. However, these companies charge additional fees and provide information only upon special request. Use your discretion when making purchases based on the limited information that might be passed off as factual.

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