Who owns this number plate?

Collaborative Post¦ In today’s world, there isn’t much that the internet can’t tell you and this is true in terms of number plates. You can check a number plate online and find the make and model of the vehicle, as well as various other things. However, you cannot find out who owns the number plate quite as easily.

Personal information is extremely sensitive and therefore the DVLA cannot give out information about people so easily. This is because a number plate is registered to a person and not the vehicle. If you sell a car, the plate will go along with it. Likewise, you wouldn’t want people to find out so much about you via your number plate, would you?

What is a number plate?

First of all, we need to get to grips with what exactly a number plate is. To put it simply, a number plate is the vehicle’s identification and is what makes each vehicle unique. Without number plates, we would not be able to differentiate vehicles that are the same make, model and colour which could be a problem.

In the UK, we have been using number plates since The Motor Car Act of 1903 came into power, making it a legal requirement for all vehicles to display them. Without them, it would not be possible to track a vehicle down that had been involved in an incident or theft.

Since then, the DVLA have issued several different requirements in-regard to how a number plate should be displayed. From the layout of the plate to the type of font that has to be used. With the current system created in 2001, the first two letters represent the location that the vehicle was registered followed by to numbers that tell us the year it was manufactured. From here, the last three characters are random letters that make the plate unique.

Number plate on pink London cab
Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi on Unsplash

How do you search for a number plate?

If you’re looking to find out some information about a vehicle, you can do so online via a number plate check. With this type of check, you won’t find out the registered keeper of the vehicle as it is sensitive information, but there are several other things you can discover.

When you run a check, it can often tell you whether or not the vehicle has been taxed, and if so when the tax is due for renewal. The same goes for an MOT. If you want to find out when the MOT on a specific vehicle runs out you can use one of these checks.

Furthermore, sometimes you can also discover certain specifications about the vehicle such as the make and model, colour and engine size.

How do you find out who owns a number plate?

Trying to find out who owns a certain number plate can be slightly harder work as you require ‘reasonable cause’ to obtain this information.  Examples of a ‘reasonable cause’ are:

-Tracing the number plate of someone that has committed a crime such as theft

-Issuing a trespass or parking notice

-Locating a car involved in a road accident

-Locating the owner of an abandoned vehicle

-If a vehicle has been left on your private land.

Number plate on red car
Photo by Marco Buschini on Unsplash

If you do have a reason similar to these, you can request the information of the registered keeper by the DVLA. The application must be made in writing and you will have to fill out a V88 form if you are an individual. If you are part of a company then you will fill out a V88/3 form. When you use this service, there will be a charge, regardless of whether you are an individual or company.

 Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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