Legal motor vehicle records in New Jersey are maintained by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. This commission issues licenses, runs searches, keeps records, and does everything in between.
There are a variety of choices to select from regarding license plates. Size and formatting of license plates are standardized, but customized plates are available. Specialized plates include plates with wheelchair symbols, dedicated plates, and sports plates. They can be used by volunteer workers, military personnel, organizations, volunteer workers, and other special vehicles.
If your license plate is lost or stolen, you’ll need to file an official police report and keep a copy of that filed report. After filing the report, you should go to the nearest Motor Vehicle Commission agency and give them your registration and ID. The Motor Vehicle Commission has the same responsibilities as the DMV in other states.
How to Perform a License Plate Owner Lookup
Unlike many other states, New Jersey will not allow you to search for vehicle information via a license plate through their online site. If you need information about a vehicle, you’ll have to go to an MVC office in person and apply for a search.
This isn’t always the most convenient or efficient method of obtaining records, though. Lines at the MVC can be long, and sometimes it takes a long time for searches to be approved. It’s faster to use an online public database to find registered owner of a vehicle.
Online public databases contain all the governmental records that are available to the public. However, these databases are run by outside third parties rather than the government itself. To use an online public database, you’ll need to create an account with the database of your choice and pay any associated fees for your search. Then you can use their search tools to find information about a vehicle. This website even allows you to perform a reverse license plate owner lookup completely free of charge.
A license plate search will give you access to the following information:
- The vehicle’s VIN number
- Information about a vehicle’s owner
- The vehicle’s history
- Information regarding whether the vehicle has ever been stolen
If you need to contact the vehicle’s owner, oftentimes a second search for their name will yield contact information like a phone number or email address.
The only drawback of using an online public database is that their records are not always up-to-date. To guarantee you have the most recent records for a vehicle, you’ll need to go through the MVC rather than a third party.
Regardless of the method you choose, this information is readily available to you.