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License plates are issued by the Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles to owners of vehicles in Missouri. State law requires two license plates on vehicles. One is mounted on the front and the other is affixed to the back. Most vehicle owners use standard plates, but there are specialty plates available as well as plates for disabled people.

You must complete your license plate application within the thirty day period after you buy the vehicle. The application can be completed in the following ways:

  • You can complete the application in-person at the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • You can mail the request to the DMV
  • You can go to the DMV’s website and complete the application online

You can use these same methods to find the registered owner of a vehicle by completing a license plate owner lookup.

Looking Up a License Plate

There are a few different ways to look up a vehicle’s information using a license plate. The traditional one is to go through the Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition to the previously mentioned communication methods, you can make a phone request for vehicle information by calling 573-751-4600. If you mail your request, address the envelope to the following:

Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles
301 West High Street- Room 370
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Sometimes the Department of Motor Vehicles isn’t the most convenient or efficient way, though. Wait times in line and long holds over the phone can take up large portions of your day, plus requests sometimes take several days to process. Fortunately, there’s another way to gain the information you need: online public databases.

Online public databases have access to all the same records that the Department of Motor Vehicles does. The difference is that they’re owned and run by private companies rather than the government. To use an online database to do your license plate lookup, create an account with the database of your choice. You may have to pay required fees. Then you can use their search tools to find vehicle information.

This website allows you to do a reverse license plate check completely free of charge. The check will give you access to the following information:

  • The registration information for the vehicle
  • The VIN number of the vehicle
  • The owner of the vehicle

If you can’t find contact information for the owner with the initial search, a second search for their name will often yield a phone number or email address that you can use.

Regardless of the method you choose, information about these vehicles is readily available for you using nothing but the license plate.