Free California License Plate Lookup
California Department of Motor Vehicles
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the issuing agency for driver’s license, vehicle registration and validation, license plate and vehicle title. Most vehicles in the state, except motorcycles and trailers, are required to have front and rear plates. Like 30 other states in the country, California believes that a front plate can help solve crimes involving vehicles. The state’s license plate numbers follow the 1ABC123 serial format. Recently registered vehicles may have license plate numbers that start with a higher number like 7 while older plates start with lower numbers.
What can a California license plate number tell you?
Basically, a license plate number can give you information on the vehicle owner as well as information about the vehicle. However, the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act prohibits the release and use of certain personal information from state motor vehicle records.
Where can I find the license plate number?
The easiest way to check the license plate number is on the vehicle itself. If for some reason this is not possible, you can always check the vehicle documents: insurance documents such as the insurance card and vehicle registration documents such as the title or the registration card issued by the California DMV or registry.
What do I get out of a California license plate lookup?
Warranty and Recalls
What are the sources of license plate search results?
Vehicle.report runs a comprehensive database of vehicle data from the US Motor Vehicle Title System (NMVTIS), DMVs, traffic safety authorities, law enforcement agencies, inspection stations in California and other states.
We also collate information from car manufacturers, car dealerships, insurance companies, auction shops, vehicle rental and fleet companies, collision repair shops, and salvage or junk yards in the state and across the country.
California License Plate FAQs
What is the difference between a California license plate lookup and a California VIN check?
VIN number and license numbers are critical information provided in documents basically to identify the vehicle. These numbers can be used as a search index to look for vehicle information. At Vehicle.report, both tools can give you a full vehicle history report.
What are the types of license plates in California?
Aside from the standard license plates, the California DMV also issues these specialty license plates: for special interests such as arts, kids or environment and for special purposes such as recognition, historical, occupational, or legislative. They also issue decals and placards for bicycles, disabled person parking or similar purposes.
Can I get a personalized license plate in California?
You can personalize your license plate with a catchy slogan or phrase. You can use 2 to 7 characters that are a combination of numbers, letters, and some special characters. Slang or offensive words in English or any other language. Just make sure it does not look like an existing license plate.
How can I apply for a California license plate?
Within 20 days of your purchase of a new vehicle or transfer to California, you need to register your vehicle at the California DMV. You need to fill out an application form, present proof of a valid car insurance, additional documents such as an emissions test or previous title, and the payment for the registration.
You must also buy validation stickers which should be placed and visible on the rear plate to show the month and the year of expiration. Only the new year sticker is replaced every time you renew your vehicle registration.