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Every car in Indiana has a license plate for easy identification. Not only do license plate numbers make it easier to catch drivers who commit crimes, they also make it easy for private citizens to look up a car if they’re trying to find out who owns this vehicle or get vehicle history reports. One of the most common situations where you may want to check out a car by its plate number would be if you were planning to buy it, and you needed to make sure everything checked out first.

Getting vehicle information from a plate number used to be a slower process, but that’s no longer the case. This guide will show you how to do it and explain how this info can be beneficial for you.

An Indiana License Plate Lookup – The Old-Fashioned Way and the Modern Approach

If you want to do a reverse license plate search, you have a traditional method and a modern method. Either will work, although the latter is the superior option.

The traditional method would be to provide the plate number to your DMV and ask the for information on the vehicle. You could send a letter to the DMV to request this, give them a call or visit your local DMV office in person. This method works, but it’s not the most convenient way to go about things.

The modern method is to go on a site that have a license plate lookup option. You can do reverse license plate searches easily on Here’s how you would do so from start to finish:

  1. Go to
  2. Next, to where it says Find Records Fast in the header menu, click Plate.
  3. Type the plate number you have into the field for that.
  4. Click the dropdown menu below State and select Indiana.
  5. Perform your search.

It doesn’t take the site long to drum up your results, and it gives you the car’s basic details, including year, manufacturer, model and style, right off the bat. If you just wanted to confirm that the license plate hadn’t been swapped from one car to another, you’ll know immediately from the car details. You can also perform a detailed background check on people as well.

For the rest of the info, including vehicle ownership records and history reports, you can choose the View Report option and make an account.

How to Use the Information You Find

You’re going to have quite a bit of information at your fingertips after you do the plate lookup, and it’s important to know how to use it. Here’s a closer look at what you’ll have and how it applies when you’re thinking of buying a car.

VIN Information

Besides the plate number, the VIN is the car’s other key identifier. But the thing about VINs is that people can change them. Let’s say a seller has a car with 200,000 miles. They want to get more money for it, and to do that, they hack the odometer, and then change the VIN to one for a car with fewer miles but the same basic details. You’ll notice this if you look up the plate number and the VIN listed doesn’t match the one you saw on the car.

Ownership Records

Ownership records are important for a couple reasons. You can’t always trust a title or a vehicle’s registration information, and a license plate lookup is another way of confirming that the person selling you this car is actually the person who owns it.

These records can also give you a rough idea of how the car has been treated. As a general rule, cars with a small number of long-term owners end up in better shape than those cars that get passed from short-term owner to short-term owner, because when you aren’t going to have a car long, the last thing you want to do is waste time and money taking care of it.

Vehicle History Reports

A car can be repaired and look good as new after an accident, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good as new. There could still be underlying structural issues, and the odds of this increase with each accident. To know how many accidents a car has had, you need to look at its history reports.

History reports can also contain other valuable information on any incidents that occurred involving the car. If it was ever stolen or caught in a flood, it’s good to know that before you buy. None of this means that car would be a bad buy, but you should have full knowledge of its history before you make any deals. This can also help you score a lower price through some simple negotiation.


You don’t need to involve the DMV anymore if you want to get some information using a car’s license plate number. When you know where to go, you can have a thorough look at who has owned the car and what has happened to it.

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