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How to Do A License Plate Lookup & Search for Free in Florida?

How to Do A License Plate Lookup & Search for Free in Florida?

If you want to learn more about a vehicle registered in Florida, but lack access to the VIN number, then conducting a reverse lookup using the car’s license plate is your best bet.

Curious about a car sale listing but want to verify the information? You can click here and find out more with VinPit before you reach out to a seller for a car. Involved in an accident and want to check if the culprit has been in similar incidents in the past? You can conduct a license plate lookup search to access past accident and servicing reports on their vehicle.

In this respect, several online sites provide such lookup services, with some even allowing you to look up a license plate without paying any fees whatsoever. All you need to get started is to input the license plate number, and the platform you use will throw out as much information on the vehicle as possible. 

For instance, if you want to check out license plate number on VinPit, you simply head over to the website, enter the license plate number into the search box and hit “Start Search.” The site will generate a detailed vehicle history report within minutes that you can review, download and share.

In most cases, the information generated will usually be pulled from a mix of state-level agencies, public databases, and trusted industry partners. These may include the NMVTIS, state DMVs, insurance companies, service stations, auto repair shops, etc. 

However, do keep in mind that the type of information you will receive will vary depending on the databases that the particular lookup site you decide to use has access to. 

What Will A License Plate Search Reveal?

Free license plate lookup

A license plate lookup usually reveals details about a vehicle’s current condition and history.

In most cases, the information you will be able to receive in a license plate lookup report will include details on the vehicle specs, such as its tech specs, ownership changes, genuine mileage, accident history, and so on. You will also be able to get mileage information, which can be helpful if you want to know if the vehicle has been driven extensively in the past.

On top of that, you can also access past accident and servicing reports detailing the times the car was involved in an accident, the extent of the damage it experienced, and the repairs that were carried out on it.

In addition, some vehicle reports may also provide information on the car’s past ownership history, indicating who previously owned it and how many times it has been sold. You may even be able to access information on any active warranties on the car that can help protect you against unexpected costs like replacement parts or repairs.

With all this information at your fingertips, this can be especially useful as you look to purchase a used vehicle. You will be left with fewer surprises, as you can instantly determine if it has any defects. Plus, it can even give you much more bargaining power when the time comes to negotiate the final price.

Is It Legal to Carry Out A License Plate Look Up?

Yes. It is completely legal to conduct a license plate search. And as mentioned before, you can even get the information you need on a vehicle online for free. This is possible because most of the data collected by lookup sites like VinPit is public records. 

This means that you are not breaking into any private databases but only using publicly available information to learn more about a vehicle. This makes it completely within the bounds of the law, even though the entire process can seem intrusive. 

The Freedom of Information Act also makes it possible to access this information. According to this statute, it is within your legal rights as a US citizen to access recorded information held by a public authority. In short, you do not have to worry about facing any legal repercussions for conducting a license plate search online. 

However, it is important to remember that you are not allowed to misuse the vehicle information you obtain to conduct any illegal activity. This would still be considered a criminal act and is punishable by law.

Can I Conduct A License Plate Search On My Own?

In theory, you can do so. However, the entire lookup process would become significantly more tedious in practice. Each state’s DMV will usually handle license plates and car registration. And while most state DMVs come with an online method to lookup license plate numbers, there is a high chance that you will need to sign a record request form and pay a fee. 

Furthermore, to obtain personal information on the vehicle owner, you must also satisfy one of 16 exemptions dictated by the Driver Privacy Protection Act. These exemptions will usually be made available to review in the request form. For instance, personal information concerning vehicle/driver safety and theft or administrative, civil, criminal, or arbitration proceedings may only be disclosed.

However, this process has become an antiquated means of accessing license plate number information. With online lookup sites like VinPit, you would not have to pay any fees at all, and you would be able to get the information you need within a matter of minutes. 

Based on this, it is safe to say that online lookup searches are the more practical option.

Are There Alternative Ways To Get License Plate Information?

Aside from using online lookup services or reaching out to the DMV, another viable option that you can consider is to get help from private investigators. The main benefit is that they typically incorporate third-party sources, social media, and professional relationships to provide more accurate and reliable information. 

However, this is a rather expensive option, as most tend to charge more than information brokers. Plus, it will often take too much time, which can be inconvenient, especially if you simply want to gather basic information on a vehicle.


Whether you’re shopping for a car or simply want to keep abreast of your vehicle’s maintenance and safety recalls, conducting a license plate search can be extremely informative. 

Hopefully, this article helped to illustrate effectively how you can carry out a license plate lookup in Florida and provide you with some useful information about the process.

However, it is important to remember that if you intend to look up a license plate online, you should try to find a reliable service provider like VinPit. This will ensure that you don’t end up paying a premium fee for information on a Florida vehicle that may be outdated and irrelevant.