Most people believe that a license plate search is a task reserved for law enforcement officials, auto insurance companies, and other agencies. However, this is not true since anybody can run a license plate lookup of a given vehicle as long as he or she provides a valid reason as to why he or she wants the information.
An Arkansas license plate lookup may be helpful when:
• You are looking for a vehicle’s details for business use like providing insurance services
• You want to buy a used car.
• You want to find out who the owner of the vehicle is
• You want to generate some information to use in statistical reports
• You are looking for information for litigation purposes
However, a license plate lookup is most practical when you are seeking to buy a used vehicle from an individual.
Why is a license plate lookup necessary before the purchase of a used vehicle?
Buying a used car is among the most cost- saving moves, but it may end up exposing you to costly repairs if you purchase the wrong vehicle. Therefore, it is imperative that you learn the whole truth regarding the vehicle you are eyeing before purchasing it.
One of the primary ways to uncover a car’s history is running a plate search through the Department of Motor Vehicles or any other reputable site. A license plate lookup is necessary since it lets you know a vehicle’s history that the vehicle seller may hide from you.
What Information Can You Acquire From A License Plate Search?
The search will present you with a detailed report of the claims related to the vehicle, legal owner of the vehicle, whether it has ever sustained damages from floods, history of liens and loans, the vehicle’s VIN, and the history of major repairs on the vehicle. The information will help you gauge if the used car you are eyeing is a worthy investment.
Some of the pertinent issues to take into account include:
• Flood damage
It is common knowledge that water can damage a car’s engine, electrical systems, and its upholstery. Usually, such damage is costly to remediate, and it is the reason why auto insurance companies consider flood-damaged vehicles as salvage. Therefore, it would be a wise idea to avoid a flood-damaged car.
• Check if the seller is the legal owner of the vehicle
If you are looking to buy a used vehicle from an individual, we suggest that you find out who the owner of a vehicle is. You can do this by confirming that the details on the seller’s government-issued identity card match those on the car title. If the seller is not the legal owner of the vehicle, you run a risk of legal troubles that may even lead to loss of the vehicle.
In addition to determining if the seller’s names are similar to those on the car title, you also need to confirm that the vehicle identification number generated on the report is similar to that printed on the vehicle. This assures you that you are buying the right vehicle from the right owner.
• Weigh the claims filed for the vehicle
Another great thing to take into account from an Arkansas license plate lookup report is the claims filed for the vehicle. You should avoid vehicles that have been involved in major accidents since they possess a higher risk of regular and costly repairs.
• Watch for vehicle liens
When a vehicle owner uses his or her car as collateral, the lender places a lien on the car. This means that the lender may rightfully seize the car in case the owner defaults the loan. It would be advisable to avoid used cars whose title has a lien.
• Vehicle maintenance history
In the bottom line, you should look at the vehicle’s maintenance history on the license plate lookup report to gauge if the car was neglected or it was properly cared for. As a rule, neglected vehicles may develop costly mechanical issues while a well-maintained car may last for a while before it breaks down.
How to Do a License Plate Lookup in Arkansas
Obtaining a license plate number is an easy task that anybody can do as long as he or she has a valid reason as to why he or she is requesting the information.
The simple process entails:
1. Getting the license plate number
The first thing is to record the vehicle’s license number as it appears on the vehicle’s license plate or the vehicle’s registration documents. You will want to ensure that you do not miss out the number or letter combination as that will lead to the generation of wrong details.
2. Visit the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles
With the correct license plate number, visit the department of motor vehicles to receive the details you want. Note that the amount of details you receive will depend on the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act. For this reason, DMV may withhold some information, or at times, it may turn down your request.
As an alternative, you may seek for the license information through the relevant agency’s website or through a phone call. To receive these details online, the Arkansas Department of motor vehicles requires that you sign up, pay some fee, and then search for the information you want. Most people prefer the online process as it gives them the freedom to access the details from the comfort of their homes or offices.
3. Make Use Of A Reverse License Plate Lookup
While the state’s department of motor vehicles serves as the primary provider of a vehicle’s details, you can opt for the reverse plate search whereby you search for the details through private investigators or organizations. These private agencies are an ideal option in case the department of motor vehicles turns down your request.
Most of the reverse license organizations, however, will charge a higher fee than that paid to DMV for the services rendered. Nonetheless, they may provide more details than those you would find from the department of motor vehicles. With a little research, you can even find organizations that provide free vehicle information.