There are a number of reasons why you may need to run a license plate number trace. For example, perhaps you noticed a “For Sale” sign in the window of a moving vehicle and the only information you managed to get was the license plate number. In this case, a license plate trace could provide you with the contact information of the owner so you could make an offer on the vehicle. You have a few options when it comes to running this type of search.
There is unfortunately no free way for a civilian to run a license plate trace. The DMV can, and the Police Department can. However, if either one of these organizations did trace a number, it is unlikely they would be able to reveal the information to you. If you saw someone committing a criminal act and all you have is the license plate number, you should hand it over to the authorities and let them do their job.
Of course, if you have a legal and legitimate reason for wanting to do a license plate trace, there are websites that offer this service. Akiba is an example of a site that offers license plate searches for a fee. You provide the license plate number, and they provide you with information like the owner’s name, address, phone number, vehicle identification number and whether or not there are any liens on the vehicle.
Another way to get the information associated with a license plate number is to hire a private investigator. This is going to be your most expensive option but may be the best one if your paid search did not yield the information you needed. Private investigators have access to resources and tools that the general public does not, in addition to specialized training.
No matter which search tactic you choose, make sure you have a valid and legitimate reason for wanting the information. There are instances where running a license plate search may be considered an invasion of privacy. Consider the other person’s potential reaction before running any search of this type.