Find Who Owns a Car

People Phone License Plate VIN
People Phone License Plate VIN

How to Find Who Owns a Car

To find out who owns a car there are a couple of options depending on the reasons why you want to know this information. The Drivers Privacy Protection Act only allows certain legitimate inquiries to access vehicle owner information. Then you might be able to answer the question, “ How to Find Who Owns a Car .” once you’ve determined that your vehicle record request is legitimate in your state.  There are also a multitude of other resources that the vehicle record resources that can be used to lookup a vehicle’s history, title ownership and if there have been any major recalls or safety concerns with a specific vehicle. You can search all this information with a license plate number or the 17 digit VIN of the car. With nearly 300 million vehicles on the road in the United States, license plate verification services have become more popular than ever.

How to Find Who Owns a CarHow to Find Who Owns a Car By License Plate

To find out who owns a car by license plate number you will need the complete license plate number and state of registration to begin this search. Again, depending on your reason for finding out who owns a car by license plate number you must have a legitimate reason according to the DPPA. Then once you’ve determined this is a legitimate reason you can proceed with your car owner inquiry. It is also important to note that on some car license plate numbers there are special characters and symbols that must be documented to run an accurate search to determine who the owner of that car is

How to Find Who Owns a Car By VIN

To find out who owns a car by VIN , or vehicle identification number, you will need the complete VIN. The vehicle identification number is a 17 digit alpha-numeric code that describes all the specific vehicle information and each VIN is unique to one specific car, just like the license plate number. You can go through the same channels as the license plate search as long as you have a legitimate reason to perform this car owner search.

Reasons for Finding out Who Owns a Car

There are a multitude of reasons that someone would like to know who owns a car. It might be that they’re in the market for a used car or maybe checking on the title of their own car or possibly another reason that is allowed via the DPPA. The Driver Privacy Protection Act is very serious and only those that meet the criteria and have a legitimate reason can perform this car owner search. Each state in the United States has their own DPPA that must be adhered to. To find out more about DPPA reasons and regulations in order to answer the question, “ How to Find Who Owns a Car ,” can be found here on Wikipedia. Also note that not all states allow the same reasons to find out who owns a car and some information about the car owner may be limited. Also note that you will be personally liable for information obtained in a car owner search and it’s illegal to stalk or harass anyone with any information you obtain. Please be responsible with the information you find. The FOIA, or Freedom of Information Act makes vehicle records public domain so that people can access this information as long as their in compliance with state, local and federal regulations.

What Information Is Available With a Car Plate Search?

  1. Vehicle Owner Information
  2. VIN – 17 digit vehicle identification number
  3. Vehicle specs and manufacturing details
  4. Vehicle History and Title Information
  5. Crash Test Ratings and Recalls

Many people run a car plate search for reasons of purchasing a used car and verification of the vehicle and vehicle ownership which is a key part of the transaction. It can be very helpful to know if the car title is clean or salvaged or has a lien on it, if there are any major safety concerns or if the owner is the person selling the car. There are a multitude of reasons people want to know more about vehicles and with our search tool you can run multiple searches on the cars you want to know more about.

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Responses to “Find Who Owns a Car

    1. Cindy, we will process your request ASAP. Please allow a few days for the credit to be reflected on your statement.

  1. I was on the highway with an aggressive driver riding up on people and weaving in and out of traffic. When I didn’t move out of his way he got up next me and threw a full can of soda at my car. No damage, but certainly scared the crap out of me. I wasn’t sure what happened. Got the guys license plate number and make and model of car. I should probably file a police report although I’m not sure what can be done since there was no damage.

    1. You are correct Michell, your best bet is to contact the police and let them handle the situation

    1. Sandra, you might want to document this with some pictures of the debris that the dump truck left behind and then contact your local police to follow up with the situation

  2. This vehicle ran a red light while I was making a legal u turn at the intersection. I had the Green Arrow and this vehicle did not stop at the red light and continued on thru the intersection, I had to stop so there wasn’t an accident. I would like to report this to the California Highway Patrol.

    1. Ron, in this type of situation, typically either the police or your auto insurance company will handle this and follow up with the person that was at fault that gave false information regarding an car accident

  3. i purchased car temp registerted it waiting on seller to get me titlt and havent heard back and its been over a year need a title how to go abouit situation

  4. This car was left in my driveway 1 1/2 years ago and the owner moved back to Bulgaria. I need to get a new title. Please advise

  5. I have a towing company and two many vehicles from Private Properties. Many of the vehicles have either no license plate or misuse of plate, making it impossible for me to send notification per the requirements by State DMV. The state makes it extremely difficult if the vehicle was registered out of state as they will not give you any information and thus the wild goose chase so to speak begins.

  6. I bought the car but I forgot to get her copy of license and can’t find the phone number ! Would like to go back and get copy of license for duplicate title since she lost it during moving !

  7. You tell us the possible reasons for an owner search, but do not provide links (clear to the eye) on where to click to go to the VIN or License Plate search area to find the information.

    Please advise.

  8. The car with the plate no 8cy0557 hit my car in a parking garage in Bethesda, md. A photo of the car and the plate no
    Is very visible

  9. I’m trying to find a previous owner of a vehicle that was used by a possible witness in a possible crime deemed a suicide from 10 years ago in a case where the LE have closed the case and won’t disclose any records to the family. We don’t have any beef with law enforcement as a whole, but this particular agency has been almost willfully unhelpful with the family. It appears that the car has been sold and we don’t need to know the current owner unless the information that the previous owner sold it is incorrect. Would you be able to help with this? I have the vin number, and specifically need to know who owned the car in 2012. I hope you can help.

    1. Kate, if this was a hit and run scenario then you may want to reach out to your local police or highway patrol to have them follow up on this for you. By getting a police report and filing a hit and run you can inform your auto insurance company and get your car repaired

  10. Bought a car from this chick and can’t get title transferred over cause can read the vin on title and it’s not in Her name trying to find the other owner

  11. I am trying to find previous owner of my rv. The previous owner bought it and did not take delivery from dealer. We believe there may have been damage/structural issues that were not disclosed to us upon our purchase

    1. Tom, we do have limited information regarding mororhome RV information. If you have the 17 digit VIN available we can try running it through our vehicle database to see if we can find anything for you

    1. I Lost My Car Title

      If you’ve lost your car title it’s simple to obtain a new one. Just go online to your state motor vehicle website and make a request to obtain a duplicate car title online. You will need to download the “duplicate car title form” and fill out the required areas along with your driver’s license information and vehicle registration information. There will be a small fee for processing and a duplicate car title will be mailed to you within a few weeks.

  12. I sold a 1968 red firebird in 1968 to a man in Alexandria, virginia. I would like to find the car again for possible purchase to own again.

  13. I sold my 2007 vette to a naples florida dealer…5 times ive asked him to come get the second set of keys to give to the new owner but he refuses. Since they are expensive i would prefer to give them to the owner rather than throw them away

  14. I sold my car to a man who test-drove it and paid me via PayPal on March 15, 2022. This was via Facebook Marketplace. His profile picture on Facebook and Pinterest is the same man I sold the car to. On April 1, 2022, he filed a dispute with PayPal saying he did not make the transaction.

    1. Garland, you may want to file a police report or seek legal counsel to help you resolve this situation if you cannot resolve this through PayPal directly. You should also take note that there are a lot of scams out there that use Craigs List, eBay, FB Marketplace and Paypal, to name a few.

    1. Alpha, before obtaining an vehicle related information about a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle must read through our terms of service and make sure that you select a reason why you are performing this car ownership search, according to your state’s privacy laws

  15. How to get a copy of an old registration of a vehicle sold. It’s needed for an insurance claim. They won\’t accept my old insurance card. In the state of NJ

    1. Diane, this not a typical request and it’s something that you will want to take up with the DMV directly

  16. I’m getting receiving parking citations for a car that doesn’t belong to me. I have the license plate info, how do I find out who the car actually belong to?

    1. Antrila, you can contact the issuing agency to let them know you are receiving these citations for a car that doesn’t belong to you. Unfortunately we cannot assist you directly for the reasons outlined in our terms of search for vehicle related information

  17. I bought a car from a friend who had a open title on it. He lost the title prior to me buying it and can’t remember the lady’s info. Can I get the name so I can get a new title made.

    1. Verity, you can visit a DMV office and make your request to transfer the title to you. You will need some documentation such as a bill of sale or a signed title from the seller. Every state’s requirements for a vehicle title transfer are somewhat similar but it’s best to discuss this directly with the motor vehicle department in your state of residence

  18. I was hit by a guy in a crosswalk who tried to drive off but stopped when I pulled out my camera and had it directly on his plates and he turned back to look at me. I told him I wasn’t the suing type, but he did smell like alcohol and he was also old so I didn’t feel like ruining his life, but not this is the third day and I went to a chiropractor (hoping to get an x-ray) and he said there’s definite damage, but I don’t have his name or insurance information because I was still in shock and it took time to feel the chunks of cartilage moving around inside my elbow and possibly and fracture or split tendon, Im not going near a hospital right now with all this coiid stuff, cant someone just prescribe and x-ray and I can go some where besides a hospital? And the police report allows the dmv to get his name address and insurance information.

  19. There’s a car that’s been abandoned and has been there for about 3 months. It’s on a residential street and has 4 flat tires, is there anyway I can fine out who the owner is?

  20. This truck ran into my house on January 3, 2022 causing major damage to the iron hand rail and bricks. Some kind of oily fluid was on the walkway which was tracked into my house. I just want their insurance to repair the damage.

    1. Bettye, you should report this to the police and document all the damage to your property. This is the best practice to move forward to getting compensated and your property fixed. Then you can give the police report to your auto insurance company and let them know what happened. Both the auto insurance company and the police will be able to help you navigate this situation

  21. Some one recently got a collateral loan in my name. They used a vehicle that I do not own or have the title to. I’m trying to find out who this person is and how they were able to this if I don’t own the vehicle. The Vin number is on the loan.

    1. Franklin, you can visit the DMV in person to request this information. Our Car Owner search is performed by the car’s vehicle identification number or the car’s license plate number

  22. I only want to know if the 2016 Dodge Caravan RT That was hit in the side and was totaled I was told as it wouldn’t be safe if fixed, is on the road.. if so, I think that’s a racket by body shops and auction houses to fix and resell vehicles and tell owners it cost too much to fix and not safe to do so, it had less than 20,000 miles and I wanted it fixed and I was out $5000 to buy a replacement over my insurance payout. Just curious. I only care if it’s on the road.

  23. My mother and brother took my car i did not give my car to them also brother was hiding the vin number so now I want to find out if name was changed.

    1. Norma, this sounds like a situation for the police to follow up with. If your vehicle was stolen then you should report this to your local law enforcement authorities and let them locate the vehicle

  24. I own a 1959 chevrolet sedan delivery that I suspect is a car that my now late father sold back in the early 1970s in Kansas. I believe the car was sold to a person in Oklahoma back then. I bought my car from a person that said it spent many years in Oklahoma before being bought and brought back to kansas. Is there any way to search a vehicle history this far back?

  25. My father-in-law has Alzheimer’s and lives with us in Missouri since May of 2021. His vehicle is still in California and is currently registered as non-operational. We have a buyer for the 28-year old vehicle but cannot find the title. I completed an on line DMV inquiry and they said there is a lien on the vehicle, which is hard to imagine since we believe the small loan was paid off long ago. I feel like we’re caught between a rock and a hard place. I need to find out who the lienholder is so we can contact him. I have power of attorney and am his authorized representative and care-giver.

    1. Pam, if you want to run a vehicle title search with our public record resources you will need to have the 17 digit VIN. There will be a small fee for a vehicle history report, which includes vehicle title information. Another option is to contact the DMV directly and inquire who is listed as the lien holder on the vehicle. If this loan was paid off and the lien is no longer valid then you will need to send the DMV some information regarding the loan payoff from the lender.

  26. My son has a missing persons on him. We were told car was towed with no trace. I have the cars vin number to see if it was stolen. The car had no liens on it. Please help this desperate mom. Thank you

    1. Karen, unfortunately our resources do not list stolen vehicles. That said, you can contact the police to file a report of a stolen vehicle as well as a missing person report. Best of luck, we hope you can resolve this situation

  27. Who ever it is he only has only has one Washington state auto license plate for his 1932 automobile with license plate (34-031) and I have the other one in my possession, Want to get a hold of him and get it to him.

  28. Im trying to file a lien on a vehicle for work done and storage the guy that left it here wont tell me the owners nane ive had it over a year and ahalf already

    1. Chester, if there is a lien on a vehicle because it was financed, it will most likely be titled under the name of the finance company. If the loan has been paid off then the lien should be released automatically. If this is not the case then you may want tot contact the finance company directly

    1. Darwin, we cannot help you out for the reasons you specified. Please go through our license plate lookup and read the terms and conditions and the acceptable reasons to find out who owns a car in your state of residence

  29. There has been a mysterious SUV parked outside my house for a few hours every night. Not there when I go to, or come home from work, but it’s there when I come on lunch. It’s been there every single night for last 8 days. This is getting creepy and I want to know who it is.

    1. Jon, if you suspect someone is presenting a danger you should contact the police and let them deal with the situation of this ominous SUV

  30. I sold a car a few years ago in a private transaction. It was in another state from where I am living and while I signed the title for transfer, I did not actually do that at the DMV. My concern is less to know who actually owns it now, but more to confirm that it is not still titled in my name. So it’s less about who owns it now and more making sure it’s not still titled in my name. Is there a way to confirm that?

    1. Robert C., you can submit a “Release of Liability” for the ownership liability of the vehicle that you sold. You can visit your state’s DMV website and file this document online. Then you will be able to pass on the liability of the car that you sold

    1. Peggy, you might consider running a vehicle history report to find out what you’d like to know about this vehicle.

  31. Hi, I bought 1997 Mercedes SL 500 couple years ago. Story of the vehicle is first owner was Michael Jordan (NBA Player) is there any way how i can proof it?
    The point is if he was owner this car have interesting history.
    Thank you

    1. Flip, unfortunately we cannot assist you with the owner history of this vehicle. You can try and contact the DMV about your inquiry but this is typically not allowed

  32. Trying to find the builder of my son’s ‘66 Chevy Chevelle SS 396. The car was sold at Canon Classics in Utah in sometime in 2019 to a guy in Kailua, Hawaii.
    The owner in Hawaii didn’t get the builders name, it was a consignment car thru Canon. Ive contacted Canon several times after my son bought the car from the guy in Hawaii, my sons a Submarine Officer at Pearl Harbor ( Dec. ‘20), they said they couldn’t help me.
    This SS is a really nice new looking car, no issues. My son just want to find out some history of the car and it’s build. We’re not searching for the builder, we understand the privacy thing but would like our contact info to get to him.
    The plate that was on the car when advertised was a1966 Utah EF 6813. I have a photo of the car from Canon when it was advertised prior to sale in Hawaii.
    I know this is a long shot, but worth a try, such a beautiful car needs to have some history with it.
    Thanks, any questions please call me, Jon

    1. Jon, unfortunately that is not information that we can assist you with. Service and rebuild records are not typically associated with a Chevy vehicle history report.

  33. I was rear ended and didn\’t get the license plate number and he didn\’t have his drivers license. I took a picture of the insurance card. The company is now saying no one is claiming a accident happened because they have multiple vehicles and drivers on their insurance. But there is only on one the insurance card. What should I do?

  34. I am trying to find out who bought my car, I sold my 2008 BMW 528i to (?) I’m not a car dealer, I didn’t check his credentials at the time. The buyer was a young man, an older man and a girl were with him, they took it for a test drive. They paid $7k in cash. They asked me if they could use my plates to take the car to a place to store until they registered the car. Later that day, I called them and said we needed receipt(s) for the sale of the car, the girl said “we’ll bring the plates later today and we will exchange receipt(s),” one for the buyer and one for me. I didn’t get the plates until the next day. She did not ring the doorbell, so we exchanged no receipts. A week later, I get a violation ticket from the NJ Parkway, showing “I” didn’t pay the toll. THEY didn’t pay the toll! the fine was about $51. dollars. I need the name and address to retrieve my cost for the ticket. At the time of sale, they said not to put the date, nor the actual sale price. I stupidly complied.

    1. Mike, you should reach out to the police and file a hit and run with the description of the Chevy cavalier. Then contact your auto insurance company and do the same. They will guide you though getting your car repaired so it’s safe to get back on the road

  35. Hi. I purchased a classic car and the engine is missing. Would like to contact previous owners to see if they know what happen to it. Thanks

  36. Trying to find Grandfathers old truck it was somewhere between 1968 through 1970 Ford F100 two tone red and white long bed with bucket seat which is rare on a truck last known address it was registered to was 725 Neely’s Bend Rd , Madison Tn . Wife Sadie Jeanette, children Wayne Barbara and Diane Sykes . Owner Alton B Sykes

  37. I purchased a car about 23 years ago to restore it. I’m almost finished with the restoration and can’t find the title and can’t remember the person I purchased it from. I know it was thru a dealer I believe. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance

  38. The vehicle has been stored in a garage on my property for 20 years, and now abandoned. I have the person’s name who left it on my property. I am trying to ensure that he is the legal owner of the car. I need to find owner of the car.

  39. Hello – Got a parking ticket which quotes my plate number but not my car model. I wasn’t in that city at that time on that date. What gives? Thanks.

  40. Howdy– I’ve located one particular car for sale that I really like. I want to touch base with the owner (if at all possible). On line sales sites that host this car for the past 6-8 months or so, don’t seem to work at all. Any ideas? Thanks a million!

  41. Veh hit my veh at store and left someone left me a note with luc plate number so I need to reach them to find out why the left

  42. My father-in-law is trying to track down a car that he once owned that his brother sold without permission years ago. To see if he could possibly buy the car back.

  43. They hit my car and left. I don’t want to claim on insurance so I want to know who did it so I can ask them if they want to fix it or go to jail.

    1. Heather, in this situation you will want to contact your local police and file a hit and run report and have them follow up with the person that fled the scene

  44. I bought a 2019 jeep and I want to Know if license # DP634SP is the right plate for the jeep.

    Mr. Angel Salazar

    1. Angel, you can contact your local DMV directly to inquire about the previous owner and if it matches your license plate number. You can use our Free DMV Finder to locate a DMV office near you

  45. car that I sold 2 wks ago, has the title of my other 2 vehicles in the car. Was hoping to contact the new owner, thanks for considering

  46. I WANT TO TALK TO THE PREVIOUS OWNER TO SEE IF THERE WERE ANY DEFECTS THAT WOULD STOP ME FROM BUYING THE CAR. IT IS LISTED WITH VROOM RIGHT NOW BUT SHOWS IT AS A USED CAR. THE PRICE IS $52,999 SO I WANT TO MAKE SURE I AM BUYING A GOOD CAR.

    1. Janis, unfortunately that is not an acceptable reason to run a car owner search. You must first read through our terms of search and read your state’s privacy laws before obtaining any vehicle informaiton

  47. Trying to track down my late fathers old 1969 Camaro, I have it narrowed down to Grand island Nebraska but need to get owners name in order to locate it. Assist?

  48. His 2 Great Danes knocked me down in the park and fractured my fibula and injured my back. I have his license plate and vin number. How can I find out who owns the car

    1. Waltuch, you might want to consider filing a police report for the incident you mentioned to protect your rights. Unfortunately we can only give our car owner information for specific circumstances as outlined in our member’s area. You must follow your state’s privacy laws to obtain any information from a license plate or VIN

  49. I bought a car from a guy but it had no title only bill of sale and application for duplicate transfer of title but I just found out he never registered it in his name so now I dont know the registered owner is to transfer it in my name can you please help??

    1. Miesha, you will want to contact your local DMV directly about this situation. You might be able to call them to discuss your options or visit a branch in person

  50. My friend is a mechanic and one person drop the car and never come pick up since 3 years, car take a space and we trying to get rid of. We know that car is own by bank and bank have title, we want to contact a bank first do give them back this car. Can i check what bank own that car? Of course we have a vin number and name of the person, Thank you

  51. This is a car my husband owned in high school. We were just checking to see if it is still around. Thanks, S. Morgan

  52. I purchased a motor cycle, owner recently purchased from someone else but can\’t find the title from original owner to sign over to me. Currant owner never transferred title over. Can I do a search to locate original owner

    1. Harold, unfortunately we cannot assist you directly with a car owner search for those reasons. Please read through our DPPA and your state’s privacy laws to see what are acceptable reasons to run a license plate or VIN search through our system. That being said, if you have the bill of sale you should be able to apply for a duplicate motorcycle title through your local DMV.

  53. I am trying to sell my car and I lost my title. My sister in law wants to see my name on the paperwork but DMV closed due to CoVid19.

    1. Jeanette, you can use the DMV online portal to download a duplicate title form and mail it in. This is the easiest way to get a copy of your vehicle documents

  54. my grandpa died and there are over 10 cars abandoned on this property and I know they aren\’t all his. Can I search the VIN to find owners or find out whats his?

    1. Danelle, you will need to read through our terms of use and select an appropriate reason for running a VIN search or license plate number lookup. Another option is to contact the DMV in your state and make this request to find out who owns those cars

  55. Interested in Who owns a car… I was in a set up/sting if you will by a corrupt police officer In cahoots with at least a single tow man. It’s past time limitations to bring them up for charges etc.. happened during a bad time for me and feared retribution or worse… not it’s a principal of confirming what I suspect how everything played out… only for my peace of mind. Other that VIN what other ways could vehicles sequence iof owners be tracked and original vehicle be found?

    1. We apologize that you had difficulty finding what you were looking for Cheryl, we will issue you a full refund. Please allow a few business days for this refund to be reflected on your bank statement.

  56. I was rear-ended last night, 10/21/19 @ approximatley 9 pm the other party didn’t want to be late to work and did not want to wait for an officer to arrive. He stated his name is Louis Ramirez and works in Corralitos as a hay man for horses. He said he would send his information to my email address. I never received it.

    WITE PICKUP

    1. Thank you for reaching out about our ” Find Who Owns a Car ” blog Sandra. It sounds like since you have all the person’s information that you should contact the police about this matter as well as your insurance company ASAP. Time is of the essence with these matters, especially if there was any personal injury incurred. You might also want to file a Hit and Run Report with the Police and let your insurance company know. That being said, you can go through our process to find out limited owner information as well as it complies with the DPPA regulations in the state you live in.

      How to File a Hit and Run Car Accident Report

      1. Call the police as soon as possible after the car accident
      2. Collect as much information as possible including any witnesses
      3. Write down the other driver’s information and auto insurance
      4. Take pictures of the accident scene and the vehicle involved
      5. File your police report and let your insurance company know

    1. Most cars will have the VIN in multiple locations such as the dashboard, inside driver’s side door panel, on the frame of the vehicle and in the engine compartment

  57. Trying to find who owns this CanAM which is for sale on Craigslist. Price is too cheap by far. Conditions for sale are a bit unusual. Need to verify it’s a real transaction.

    1. Unfortunately we cannot run a car owner search on a recreational vehicle or offroad vehicle. You will need to contact the DMV directly about this.

      Also, you might want to proceed with caution as there are a lot of Craigslist scams for purchasing used cars, off road vehicles, apartment rentals and the list goes on. Often times if it’s too good of a deal to be true than it probably is

    1. In order to obtain vehicle information from our car owner search or license plate record search, you must first read our terms of conditions and select an appropriate reason, from our list of approved DPPA reasons, and then you can proceed. If your reason does not fit into the requirements stated by the DPPA then you won’t be able to use our car owner search resources.

Author: SQAdmin
Last Updated: June 23, 2022

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