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Missouri License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Missouri

Missouri License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Missouri
December 7, 2022

Missouri, the 19th most populous state in the United States, is situated in its Midwestern region and boasts over six million residents. 


Missouri first required state residents to adequately register the vehicles with the State's Department of Revenue in 1907. 

Until 1911, vehicle owners had to provide their own license plates to display on their respective vehicles. 


As of today, the state's license plate is manufactured at the Jefferson City Correctional Centre and issued by the State's Department of Revenue through the Motor License Offices in various counties across the state.

The Missouri license plate is an aluminum plate tag that displays the license numbers and characters of a vehicle's registration. 


A Missouri license plate features the state's name or shortened name and the motto "Show-Me State." 


The year of expiration is attached to standard license plates in the form of a color-coded tab. 

On January 1, 2019, a new bicentennial license plate was introduced to commemorate the state's 200th year of its statehoodness in 2021. 


The expiration month of the registration is encoded on the Missouri license plates. The expiration month code is as described below:

* January: A, B
* February: C
* March: D, E
* April: F, G
* May: H, J
* June: K, L
* July: M, N
* August: P, R
* September: S, T
* October: U, V
* November: W, X
* December: Y, Z

a blank license plate on a car

The Missouri Motor Vehicle Law

According to the Missouri Motor Vehicle Code, the license plate belongs to the owner and can only be transferred to another vehicle registered by the owner. 


When a vehicle owner sells their vehicle, the vehicle's license plate remains with the owner and should be transferred only to another vehicle owned by the same individual.

As a result, the car owner may transfer a license plate without giving up ownership of the first vehicle. 


However, the first vehicle registration from which the license plate was transferred will expire once the transfer is completed.

Also, Missouri is a state with two license plate options. Except for Motorcycles, trailers, tricycles, and scooters that are permitted to have just a single rear plate, all other automobiles have two license plates attached to the front and rear of the vehicle. 


Finally, buses, trucks, and tractors weighing over 12,000 pounds must always ensure that their license plates are attached to the front of the vehicle.

a man attaching an license plate to a vehicle

Categories of License Plates in Missouri

There are different types of license plates offered to vehicle owners in Missouri. 


Depending on the vehicle owner's need and the vehicle's purpose, license plates are issued to vehicle owners. Here are some forms of Missouri license plates:

* Personalized License Plate
* Standard License Plate
* Specialty License Plate
* Collegiate License Plate
* Military License Plates
* Organization License Plate
* Historic License Plate

Getting a Missouri License Plate

In Missouri, vehicle owners can get their license plates from the various license offices under the Department of Revenue of the state within 30 days of the vehicle's purchase. 


To obtain your license plate, the following documents are required:

* Vehicle's Certificate of Title
* Completed Application form for Missouri Title and License (Form 108)
* Personal Property Tax Receipt
* A valid safety inspection certificate 
* Valid proof of insurance of financial responsibility.
* It is mandatory for residents of Saint Louis City, Franklin, Saint Charles, and * Jefferson to provide an emission inspection certificate
* Proof of Identification Number/Odometer Reading (ID/OD)
* Payment of $8.50 title fee, sales tax of 4.225%, local sales tax, license plate fee of $18.25 for a 12HP Paying or $51.25 for 72HP Paying, $6 title processing fee and $6 registration fee for a year registration or $12 for two years.

an illustration of a car with a form next to it

How to Look Up a Missouri License Plate?

A license plate lookup in Missouri is an electronic search of the digits on a license plate to obtain vehicle records. 


The vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) is one of the essential pieces of information obtained from a license plate lookup. 

This number reveals personal information about the car owner, the manufacturer of the car, the model of the car, and other public details about the car and vehicle records.

You may look up a vehicle's license plate using the Vehicle Identification Number. 


The VIN and license plate number are connected to the Missouri car registration database. 


The Department of Revenue makes it possible to check the status of a car using the VIN. 


The request for a license plate lookup can be performed in person at any vehicle licensing office in the state or online through the department's website. 

License plate lookup services can also be provided free or for a fee by third-party businesses or websites. 


The information retrieved from the lookup can be utilized to locate the car owner via a phone number lookup or by examining Missouri vehicle service records. 


Importantly, these websites are managed by independent organizations that compile information from government-run repositories.


The Missouri Department of Revenue is in charge of license plate renewal. 


A car owner can apply for a license plate renewal during the month of expiration or up to six months before the expiration date. 


The different ways of renewing your vehicle registration and, subsequently, the license plate include in-person at a physical license office, by mail, online, or by phone renewal service at (573) 751-1957.

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