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You might need to search for a car’s license plate for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the license plate number of a vehicle involved in an accident is crucial, especially if the accident was a hit-and-run. You might also want to look up the license plate of a car you’re interested in purchasing to obtain the vehicle’s history and be sure that all of the seller’s information is correct.

The state of North Carolina has a vanity plate lookup service available through the Department of Transportation website. Using this search feature, you can search for a vanity plate combination to find out whether it’s been registered or not. If your preferred vanity plate is available, you can go to any North Carolina DOT office to register the plate. The North Carolina Department of Transportation is responsible for motor vehicles similarly to the DMV in other states.

How to Find the Registered Owner of a Vehicle With a License Plate Owner Lookup

The Department of Transportation’s website doesn’t have a search feature that allows you to access owner information regarding a vehicle. However, you can use an online public database to find the information you need. Online public databases usually have millions of official records, but they’re run by outside third parties rather than the government itself.

Many of these databases have a fee for their use. You’ll need to create an account and pay any of the required fees before you can use their search tools. The amount of information available varies from database to database, so you should make sure you sign up with one that contains the information you’re seeking. This website allows you to perform a reverse license plate lookup completely free of charge.

A license plate owner lookup will give you access to the following information:

  • The title history of the vehicle
  • The registration information for the vehicle
  • The VIN number of the vehicle
  • The owner of the vehicle
  • Whether the vehicle has ever been stolen
  • Whether the vehicle has ever been reported damaged or salvaged

These are all essential things to know if you’re planning to purchase a vehicle. If you need to get in contact with the owner of a vehicle, oftentimes a second search for their name will yield contact information like a phone number or email address. This is handy in cases such as accidentally hitting a parked car and being unable to locate the owner.

The one potential drawback of a third party website is that the records may not be as up-to-date as the current records kept by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.