How to Run a License Plate Search

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

There are over 260 million trucks and cars on the road – and with so many adults driving vehicles, license plate recognition systems have given law enforcement, investigators, legal professionals, insurance, and collections new ways to skip trace individuals or gather more information for an investigation. Vehicle sightings can tell you all sorts of information about a person, like where they frequently visit or live, as well as help you turn small amounts of information into more actionable information by allowing you to connect people to address or property records.

Whether you’re looking to find individuals associated with an address or learn more about an owner of a specific vehicle, you can utilize the more than 9 billion nationwide vehicle sightings gathered by license plate recognition data to get the information you’re looking for quickly and efficiently. Here’s the different ways you can run a license plate search using a public and private records database

License plate search by plate number

In some scenarios, you may have a license plate number and need to determine the specific location of a vehicle at a specific time or where that vehicle frequents. When you run a license plate search by plate number, you can map all the sightings of an individual vehicle, or look at sightings for a specific date. Let’s say you’re in personal injury law and need to determine if a person who was injured in a was actually where they claim to be. With a license plate number, you can view all the sightings of that vehicle on that date to verify the information provided to you about the case. You could also run that license plate number and find the most recent sightings, most popular sightings, second most population sighting locations, and sighting location maps – all of which could be useful for situations like garaging fraud, personal injury, asset recovery, repossession, and workers compensation cases. 

License plate VIN lookup 

A license plate Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) lookup is very similar to license plate search by plate number, except you can gather all the same information about location sightings of a vehicle by searching the VIN. This is useful in situations when you have a lot of information about a vehicle, but not about locations. You can see most recent sightings, first most popular sightings, and second most popular location sightings, as well as the time of day in which the vehicle was sighted or location sightings on a specific date. You can even gather information about the exact time that the vehicle sighting occurred, which can be particularly useful when you’re needing to perform in-depth investigative or legal research. And with sightings that are collected 24/7 every day of the year, you can rest assured that you’re getting the most up-to-date view of vehicle sightings available. 

There are some situations in which you may be investigating the people associated with a specific address, and a dmv license plate lookup by address search is a great way to do this. When you perform an address search in a license plate recognition system, you can review all the vehicle sightings near a given address. You can search up to 20 addresses, and even draw shapes on the map to customize the location you want to search. You can get the vehicle plates sighted in that area, and skip trace the owner of  that vehicle using a vehicle registration search. This search is incredibly useful for cases like if you need to prove or disprove an alibi, locate witnesses, or investigate arson, collusion, or connections to a criminal ring. 

License plate lookup software with picture search results

When you need to uncover information on the condition of a vehicle, such as for an accident investigation or for insurance claims management, you can perform a license plate search and gather pictures of a vehicle’s location over a specific time period. 

When you’re looking to run a license plate search to help with investigation or research, you should use a public and private records database with comprehensive vehicle sighting information like Tracers. With Tracers, not only can you gather images for vehicle sightings, you also have access to dozens of other searches and reports in one, cloud-based software. And if you’re ready to see it in action, you can get started with Tracers today