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License Plate Numbers – What They Mean

A license plate is a vehicle registration plate attaches a vehicle to it’s owner.  It consist of a series of numbers and letters that are unique to each vehicle. The vehicle plate is issued by the state and is recorded and controlled on the state level. Each plate number is unique for each state. This means that there are no duplicate plate numbers within a state. There might be duplicate license plate numbers in different states but since vehicle registration plates are controlled on a state level, there are no conflicts of registration.

History of License Plates

A vehicle registration plate is not unique to the United States. France was the first county to introduce the vehicle registration plate in 1893. Other European countries followed. In the United States, New York was the first state to introduce the vehicle registration plate in 1903. At this time there were no plates issued by the state. Owners were required to make their own plates. Massachusetts was the first state to issue vehicle plates to it’s drivers.

License Plate Requirements

The U.S government, in every state, requires that the vehicle license plate be placed in the front and the rear of the vehicle. The vehicle plate must be visible, especially to law enforcement so they can lookup a person’s plate number to find out who the vehicle is registered to. The vehicle plate number corresponds to a national database where the vehicle details are recorded. These details include the make,and model, color, year of manufacture and engine size as well as registration information. A fine can be issued if a vehicle plate is not visible on the front or back of the vehicle.

License Plate Lookup

License plate information is mostly public information. You can lookup a a vehicle plate online and find out information about the vehicle that is recorded in national databases. This information might include the make and model of the vehicle, engine size, safety and recall information, color and possibly the owner’s information. Complete registration information is not available unless you visit the motor vehicle department and have a valid reason to procure this.

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