California License Plate Lookup

Check any California License Plate for vehicle history records

One of the most crucial steps before buying a second-hand car in California, is conducting a thorough background research on the vehicle you have your eyes on.

In California, all vehicles must display appropriate license plates, and the rear plates must have current validation stickers. Non-compliance with these regulations can result in additional fees when renewing the vehicle registration.

Because of these requirements, obtaining information about a used vehicle in California is relatively straightforward. You can easily access this information by performing a free license plate check online.

You could get all the vital details about a used vehicle, helping you make an informed decision prior to your purchase. Get the full vehicle history, odometer readings, accident records, and title status, ensuring that you select the best second-hand car for your needs.

Leverage this service and confidently proceed with your vehicle purchase, knowing that you have all the necessary information to avoid potential issues such as scam and fraud, and make a smart investment.

Whale of a Time! 🐋

California has several specialty plates that support environmental causes. For instance, the "Whale Tail" plate, which features a blue background with a breaching whale, supports the California Coastal Commission. The funds from these plates go toward environmental education and coastal preservation projects.

Where is the Californian Car License Plate Number?

Just like any other car, in any other states, you can easily find your plate number mounted on your vehicle. It is also on the state of California's certificate of the title.

You can lookup your license plate in your California Certificate of Title

What to Expect From an Online License Plate Lookup?

Salvage Title Report

Performing an online license plate lookup can reveal if the vehicle you’re interested in has been involved in a severe accident, fire, or flood, which could result in it being deemed a total loss by insurance providers. If so, a salvage report is issued for the vehicle. This serves as a warning to potential buyers that the car has been significantly damaged and subsequently repaired. Vehicles with salvage reports are often best avoided, as they can become money pits due to ongoing repairs and part replacements, and their resale value is typically very low.

Use and Previous Owners’ Report

One of the key benefits of online license plate searches is that they help prevent you from being deceived by the seller. A simple online search will provide details about the vehicle’s previous uses and the number of past owners. Each change in ownership is recorded in the vehicle’s history, allowing you to see if it was a family car, a taxi, or a lease vehicle. This transparency ensures you have a clear understanding of the vehicle’s history before making a purchase.

Accident Reports

In California, vehicle owners must report serious accidents to their insurers, and this information is made available online for anyone conducting a license plate lookup. While major accidents are typically reported, minor accidents may not be, as owners might choose to pay for repairs out of pocket. Too many accident reports can increase future insurance costs. Therefore, if a vehicle has been involved in a significant accident, it’s crucial to review the report thoroughly to determine if the car is right for you.

When buying a used car in California, always run a background check to ensure you are getting a good deal and to understand how to best care for your new vehicle.

Where Does the Data Come From?

We source our data from governmental entities such as the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). We also regularly check the car auction inventories to track various vehicle's condition.

Is This Even Legal?

Rest assured, it is! We are in compliant with the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), as we do not disclose information about the vehicle's owner personal details. Our license plate lookup does a reverse lookup to obtain the VIN number and query the vehicle history reports for it. Nothing in our report is personably identifiable to a particular individual.

Additionally, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows any individual the right to access to information collected by the government. There's no reason for you not to give our auto license plate lookup tool a try. So it is totally legal and best of all, FREE!

State Based Informational Guides

We have compiled a list of state specific guides for you. Feel free to check them out.

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