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Indiana License Plate Search: How to Search Indiana License Plate

Indiana License Plate Search: How to Search Indiana License Plate
October 27, 2022

If you are a resident of Indiana, you may have noticed that every motorcycle or car in the state has a license plate fixed to its body. 


An Indiana license plate is comprised of six figures and letters that create a unique code used in tracking and identifying the car without even conversing with the owner. 

Before a vehicle can be legally driven in Indiana, it must be registered with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). 


An Indiana license plate lookup can be used to pull information on a vehicle's history by simply carrying out an Indiana license plate lookup. 


Continue reading to find out all you need to know about license plate lookup in the state of Indiana!

What is an Indiana License Plate?

Indiana license plates are distinct number plates issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles to automobiles, for identification purposes.


Indiana is one of the "Rugged Nineteen" states in the U.S that require one plate on vehicles. 

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This means that owners of vehicles need only display a single license plate attached to the vehicle's rear. The following category of automobiles are, however, required to display license plates on the front side:

* Trucks with rear-mounted forklifts
* Tractors
* Dump trucks

Indiana license plates must be fully visible, and the stickers, text, and numbers on the license plate must be free from any obstruction, such as plate frames or covers. 


The state also mandates vehicle owners to attach their license plates horizontally at a height not less than 12 inches from the ground. 

An Indiana license plate contains a sticker or indicator at the top right corner showing the year it is due for expiration and renewal. 


In addition, there must be a sticker on the top left corner showing the day and month it is expected for expiration and renewal. 


Finally, on the bottom right corner, the license plate must display a sticker showing the county where it was registered. 

The state of Indiana provides that every interim or provisional license plate issued by a manufacturer, the BMV, or a dealer must either be attached on the left side of the window facing the vehicle's rear end or on the rear of the vehicle. 

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles issues specialty and standard license plates using different themes, like customized number plates, organizations, colleges and universities, and the military. 

Indiana License Plate Search: Who Can Carry Out the Query 

In Indiana, not every resident of the state qualifies to carry out an Indiana license plate lookup. 


Under the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) enacted in 1994 by the federal government, information collated by state Departments of Motor Vehicles (DMV) relating to drivers and vehicle owners are not accessible to every member of the public. 

The Act prohibits using and releasing information by DMVs, their contractors, and law enforcement authorities in connection with a motor vehicle record. 

a man sitting in front of a laptop with a coffee cup and a notepad


In addition, the Act mandate states to obtain permission from such persons before releasing or selling their details to third-party platforms. 

Therefore, not every person can receive a driver's personal information through license plate lookups. 


Indiana license plate lookup is only available to verify licensed persons and businesses that qualify under particular categories. They include:

* Schools
* Debt collectors 
* Attorneys
* Auto dealers 
* Towing companies
* Private investigation agencies 
* Insurance agencies 
* Bail bond businesses 
* Recovery agents
* Mobile home parks 
* Law enforcement agencies 
* Security guard services 

Persons or agencies that do not fall under any of the categories listed above can petition the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles by emailing [email protected]

How to Carry out a License Plate Lookup in Indiana 

If you intend to purchase a pre-owned vehicle in Indiana, experts recommend carrying out a license plate lookup. 


Running a license plate lookup provides you with publicly available information on a vehicle. 

The information does not include the driver's or owner's name or contact details; it mostly includes data that allows you to identify the vehicle's owner. 


The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles maintains an online database accessible to specific persons, such as those listed above.


Follow the steps on how to carry out license plate lookup on the BMV database:

* Navigate to the official website of the Bureau of Motor vehicle 
* You will be required to open a myBMV account
* Log into your account and click on "Get Info on Driver's Plates and Registrations."
* Enter the vehicle's license plate number and other required information
* Click on "View Results"

The site charges fees based on the nature of your search and the number of times involved. 

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Payments can be made using either a credit or debit card. Information provided must only be used for the exact purpose required; misuse of information is an offense punishable under Indiana laws. You can also contact the BMV using the following details:

Motor Vehicles Vehicles Bureau
Indiana Government Center North
Room 402
100 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: (888) 692-6841

Finally, aside from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, interested parties can also carry out license plate lookups on third-party websites. 


These platforms offer information from government-based agencies, such as federal motor vehicle databases, insurance companies, and motor vehicle departments. However, they are not always reliable. 


Carrying out a license plate lookup is a great way to discover valuable information on your potential vehicle. 


Residents of Indiana looking to run a license plate lookup can utilize any of the techniques mentioned above!

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