Start Your Background Check Here!

California License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in California

California License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in California
October 31, 2022

Most vehicles in the US are registered in California, the state with the largest population. As of 2019, it had a population of about 39.5 million, and nearly 15 million vehicles were registered.

To conduct a search, you start by entering the vehicle's license plate into a search tool for a California license plate lookup. Usually, the search function provides details about the car identified by the license plate. 

There are several reasons to run a license plate search. In addition to finding out the owner of a car, it's frequently used to get California traffic records and check the car's history when someone wants to buy a car with the inclusion of the license plate.

California's Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for issuing license plates. 


The DMV distributes several license plate designs to, among other things, recognize unique status, grant special acknowledgment, and support various causes (including the arts, breast cancer awareness, and education).

Most vehicles in the state must have front and rear license plates, except motorbikes and trailers. California agrees with 30 other states in the nation that a front plate can assist in resolving auto-related offenses. 

The state uses the 1ABC123 serial system for its license plate numbers. As a result, recent registrations may have license plate numbers that begin with a higher number, such as 7, whereas earlier registrations may have lower numbers.

a man attaching an license plate on a vehicle

What Can I Get from a California License Plate Lookup?

Carrying out a basic or comprehensive California license plate lookup using the license plate number can provide varying information for the requester. Some of this information includes:

* Vehicle specifications
* Vehicle records (titles, title brands, sales, accidents, and theft records)
* The market value of the vehicle in the state
* Vehicle safety worthiness
* Fuel efficiency
* Warranty and recalls

In addition to ordinary license plates, the California DMV also offers specialty license plates for recognition, historical, occupational, or legislative objectives, as well as specific interests like the arts, children, or the environment. 

They also provide decals and placards for parking for people with disabilities, bicycles, and other similar uses. All of this information can be found with a license plate lookup.

Title and Vehicle Registration in California

Before driving a car in California, you must, without a doubt, register your license plate with the state DMV. If you fail to register your vehicle and are discovered, you risk receiving costly fines and legal repercussions. 

Additionally, registering your license plate makes it simple to locate your car if criminals or con artists steal it. Finally, you can view your car history report using the number on your license plate. Within 20 days of moving into California, you must register your vehicle according to state legislation.

shutterstock_394789348 (1).jpg

When you register your vehicle at the nearby DMV office, there are a few documents you need with you, according to the DMV website for the state of California. Here is a list of the documents required:

* Vehicle title
* Emissions inspection report
* The vehicle registration form, also known as Form Reg 343—was completed and signed by the owner. Owners of commercial vehicles must complete Form Reg. 4008; trailers must register using Form Reg. 4017.
* Proof of identification
* Expenditure funds if you are registering a commercial vehicle
* Duly signed Certificate of Title
* Vehicle Emission System Statement (SMOG), known as Form Reg 139
* A statement of facts, known as Form Reg 256

How to Look Up any California License Plate?

There are several ways to look up vehicle records in the State of California using a license plate number:

1. The first option is to request the state for the record. To request driver and vehicle records online, use and fill out the California Vehicle Records Request Form. 


You can make this request in person or by mailing the request to the address of the California state Department of Motor Vehicles:

Department of Motor Vehicles
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 94269
Telephone: 1-800-777-0133

2. Using the California DMV portal to look up a vehicle's VIN is considered one of the best options as it offers access to extra details like the vehicle's service history and its present and prior owners.

3. Alternatively, you can obtain the details of the California license plate from a third-party website. 


These privately operated databases, which are to be utilized for information and verification reasons, are administered by private businesses rather than state or federal government agencies. 


This is the simplest option for information-seeking consumers because it requires the least effort. These websites include Search Quarry, VIN Pit, and Vehicle Report.  

4. Hiring a private investigator is another alternative. This option is quite expensive, but it can be instrumental depending on your request.

shutterstock_323614058 (1).jpg


In California, vehicle registrations are renewed annually. The California DMV will issue new registration stickers for the year after you have finished your renewal. 


The California DMV advises those who want to continue their vehicle registrations to determine if they qualify for the department's online system before proceeding. 


The technology provides eligible users a quicker alternative to the DMV virtual field offices for renewing their vehicle registration.

Start a Background Check Search

100% Confidential!

Customer Support

We are delighted to offer 24/7 customer service. For any questions or immediate help, please use the number below to contact us.

Call Us

For any other inquiries,
please call

Articles You Might Like

Montana Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in Montana
September 12, 2022

Montana Arrest Records: How to Find Arrest Records in Montana

Read More
Warrant Records in Minnesota: How to View Minnesota Warrant Records
September 6, 2022

Warrant Records in Minnesota: How to View Minnesota Warrant Records

Read More
What Is FCRA And What Are Its Guidelines?
April 13, 2022

What Is FCRA And What Are Its Guidelines?

Read More