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Virginia License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Virginia

Virginia License Plate Search: License Plate Lookup in Virginia
November 27, 2022

A license plate, also known as a vehicle registration plate, is a metal or plastic affixed to the front or back of a car, motorcycle, or trailer. 


It is usually issued after registering a vehicle. This plate contains unique figures and alphabets that specifically identify the vehicle. 


It has its registration details, owner’s information, history report, roadworthiness, suitability, and other details.

Most states have made it mandatory for car owners to obtain a license plate for their car as a means of identification before they can legally drive it on the road. 


Based on their jurisdiction, they have different processes laid down to obtain this. They also have specific legal requirements that have to be followed and agencies assigned to issue the plates. 

In most cases, every license plate in the State of Virginia is unique. However, it can be very similar to another in other states in the US. 


While cars in Virginia are expected to have it attached to their front and back, trailers and motorcycles can have it at the rear only. 


Every license plate in Virginia is also required to have a decal sticker. 


It should be positioned at the top of the plate so that the date is obviously noticeable.

a sign that reads driver licenses

Categories of License Plates in Virginia

The agency saddled with the responsibility of issuing license plates in the state is the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 


Based on your interest and specific reasons, the agency offers different types of license plates. They include;

Personalized license plates

This form of license plate allows vehicle owners to customize their vehicle plate to whatever suits them. 


It is usually done at a fee, and they can only pick a maximum of seven characters – figures and alphabets.

Standard license plates 

This is the common or standard type of license plate issued to most car owners after registering their vehicles. 


It normally has a white background with the characters on it written in blue.  

Special license plates

The issuance of this form of the license plate is hinged on the vehicle owner’s membership in a particular college, university, charity, organization, or interest group. 


It could be a college, military, or special interest license plate.
Temporary license plates 

This is a form of a license plate that allows a vehicle owner to drive legally within the state for a while. 


It can only be used for 30 days, and the vehicle owner must have gotten the standard license plate within this period.

Disability license plates

This type of license plate is issued to persons with disabilities who present medical evidence to this effect. 


It enables them to park their vehicles in specific locations allotted to people of that category within Virginia. 

a man's hand holding car keys

How to Lookup a License Plate in Virginia

It is very easy to look up license plates of vehicles in Virginia, and it can be done in different ways. 


You can reach out to a private investigator or an information broker to help you dig out details of the vehicle with its license plate. 


Law enforcement can also assist you with this.

Alternatively, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles can also supply you with information on a particular vehicle based on your request. 


However, you have to pay for most of these services. 

Also, you can look up license plates online. There are some third-party websites that can supply you with the vehicle information you need. 


All you have to do is go to your browser, type in a site that offers the license plate lookup service, and input the vehicle registration figures. 


With this, you can get all the details you need about a vehicle. 

It can either be free or paid, but most paid services offer more detailed information. 


You can also look up license plates with the Vehicle’s Identification Number (VIN), usually on its registration documents, since they are linked.  

Why Do You Need to Lookup a License Plate?

It is very important to look up a vehicle license plate, especially when purchasing a second-hand vehicle. 


A license plate lookup can reveal a lot of information about the car, thereby helping you to make relevant purchase decisions. 

a sign on the building that reads DMV


Prevention of accidents and casualties is also another reason why this is essential. 

When you look up a license plate, you get full details about the specifications and market value of the car. 


You can also see the safety ratings given to the car after it had been assessed by the relevant authorities. 

Details of all the accidents the vehicle has been involved in, and the equipment details of all the parts that make up the vehicle can be obtained. 


When you look up a license plate, the insurance policy and the warranty period provided by the vehicle manufacturer can also be seen.

For example, looking up a vehicle’s license plate also ensures security by revealing details of drivers who flee an accident scene. 


With this process, you can track down vehicles involved in criminal or illegal activities.  

Final Thoughts

Knowing about the vehicle you are about to purchase is essential. 


This is why you can easily look up the vehicle’s license plate and get details such as its maintenance history, engine capacity, damage caused by water or fire, and others. This also helps to ensure security in different aspects.  

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