All vehicles driven in Pennsylvania must be registered under the Department of Transportation of Pennsylvania (PennDOT). Every vehicle operating on the highways in Pennsylvania must have a valid license plate.
If you just moved to Pennsylvania, all out-of-state vehicles are required to be registered in Pennsylvania and display Pennsylvania license plates. Due to the increased cases of fraud, anyone buying a vehicle from an out-of-state seller should run the plates on VinFreeCheck. A simple license plate search will give you the vehicle's history report. You can get information about previous owners, car usage, actual mileage, and accidents. This is also the best way to know whether the seller is the actual owner.
Registering a vehicle in Pennsylvania
The law requires vehicle owners in Pennsylvania to register any new vehicles with PennDOT within 20 days of buying the vehicle or moving to Pennsylvania. Any out of state vehicle owners will be required to produce their VIN verification when registering the vehicle.
Once the registration process completes, license plates will be issued. These license plates are to be displayed on the front and rear parts of the vehicle. Unlike in most other states, the state of Pennsylvania no longer issues validation stickers since December 2016. Therefore, you do not need to display the validity sticker on your rear plates.
In the event that you lose or damage your license plates, the department of transportation can issue new plates. However, you will need to file a police report within 48hours for stolen plates.
Where to find my Pennsylvania plate number?
Generally, you can easily your plate number easily by looking at the issued license plate attached to your car. However, there are instances you need to lookup car license plates without having access to the car physically, you can look it up at you car's Pennsylvania registration card.
License plate types available in Pennsylvania
There are four main license plates categories in Pennsylvania:
- State issued (standard) license plates
- Personalized license plates
- Specialty license plates
- Disability license plates
A state-issued license plate is made up of blue, white, and yellow colors. These standard license plates are issued upon registration of vehicles in Pennsylvania.
You can apply for any of the special category license plates. For you to be eligible, you need to follow the standard application guidelines and meet the minimum eligibility requirements for special license plates. Please note that application for special license plates attracts additional fees.
Transfer of license plates in Pennsylvania
The Law in Pennsylvania allows license plate owners to transfer their registration plates to other cars they own. You can also transfer license plates to your spouse, child, or parent.
Specialty license plates in Pennsylvania
These are license plates that are available in different designs in relation to different organizations, universities, occupations, and more. Some include:
Special fund plates –part of the fees paid to get these license plates goes towards supporting a cause. The most common special fund plates are those that honor veterans and also those issued in support of the River Otter Wild Resources Conservation Fund.
Special service plates – these are license plates that show support for local clubs or organizations like Lion Club or Shriners Society license plates.
Collegiate/University license plates – these are types of license plates that show support for local universities and colleges, charities, or fraternities.
Military plates – these are issued in honor of military personnel based on their experience and awards won.
To be able to apply for any of these special category plates, you will need to submit documentation to prove that you are eligible for any of the specialty licenses. How much you pay in additional fees varies from one specialty category to the other. These extra fees are in addition to standard license application fees.
Disability license plates
You are required to have the relevant medical documents as proof to be able to apply for this type of license plate. You can choose to apply for either disability placards or license. Disability plates are issued to people living with a permanent disability or army veterans with disability.
Placards are issued as alternatives to license plates for people with temporary or permanent disabilities. The law requires that you display these placards on the rearview mirror.
Where Does This Data Come From?
We rely on multiple sources to compile our license plate report. Many of our sources come 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 it Legal to Perform a Reverse License Plate Search?
Yes, 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. It's totally legal and FREE!
State Based Informational Guides
We have compiled a list of state specific guides for you. Feel free to check them out.