What Can Someone Do with Your License Plate Number

A license plate number also known as a vehicle registration plate or number plate is usually colored silver or white depending on the state and attached to a vehicle for the purpose of identification.

It is a number meant to be seen and shouldn’t be covered or concealed in whatever way, covering is considered illegal and can get you in trouble with the authorities.

With the visibility of a number plate to all, it is possible for some people to get worried and wonder what can possibly be done with their vehicle’s number plate. What can someone do with your license plate number?

Someone can use your license plate number to get information about you and your vehicle such as:

  • The vehicle’s manufacturing information such as the vehicle’s model, year of production, and make 
  • Access to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Information Verification
  • Other information

However, for the police and other law enforcement agents, more details about a driver and the vehicle can be accessed from a license plate number.

There have been occasions where some things or activities considered worst have been done with a vehicle’s number plate, these activities are often time illegal.

Can Someone Know Your License Plate Number?

Yes, someone can know your license plate number. Plate numbers are usually on display on a vehicle so there’s no way to hide them even if you want to, not displaying a plate number is considered illegal and can attract legal action.

For whatever reason, someone other than a car owner may be interested in knowing the license plate number, it could be a habit of theirs or for others an ulterior motive.

Whatever may be the reason, only limited details can be gotten by looking up a vehicle’s plate number except in situations where the authorities are involved.

What Can Someone Do With Your License Plate Number?

Across countries and states, drivers get worried about the visibility of their number plate to all and sundry, and rightfully so. The age we are in is one where you can get information about almost anything with a few clicks online.

Along with other lookups online, a vehicle’s license plate number can also be looked up, the question now is ‘What can someone do with your license plate number’.

What someone can do with your plate number will depend on the person or body accessing the information. Here are a few things that can be done with it;

1. Get the Vehicle’s Manufacturing Information

One basic thing that can be done with a license plate number is to get information about the vehicle’s history and manufacturing information. Information such as; the vehicle’s model, year of production, etc., can be found using the plate number.

This should be common knowledge for someone that understands how number plates are designed and the information written on them in numbers and letters.

By looking at a license plate number, you will be able to deduce the make and year of production of a vehicle without going through the stress of looking it up.

2. Access to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

In other cases, a Vehicle Identification Number can be accessed through a plate number lookup. When looking up a number plate, a VIN is not the first detail that jumps out at you but it is possible to get such information from a person with some level of authority. Just anybody may not have access to such information.

3. Information Verification

In the event that a car owner or driver gets involved in an accident or criminal activity, the license plate number can come in handy in making some verification.

The plate number coupled with other in-vehicle technology can be used to make some verifications and clarifications under certain circumstances.

4. Other Information and Car Records

Other information such as; the vehicle’s insurance record and record of theft can also be looked up with a license plate number.

However, getting this information will require that law enforcement agents are involved in the process as no ordinary person can gain access to such information.

What is the Worst Thing Someone Can Do With Your License Plate Number?

Since license plate numbers are always out in the open and concealed in whatever way is illegal, anyone can access them and do as they want.

Therefore, the worst thing someone can do with a plate number will vary based on different situations. Here, we will look at some things that are generally considered the worst

Making a Report to the Police

Using a vehicle’s number plate, the driver can be reported to the authorities. If you happen to witness an accident or any illegal activity and you believe the parties involved should face legal actions, one way to do that will be to get the vehicle’s number plate either by taking a picture of it or writing it down then reporting to the police.

After this, it will be up to the police to carry out further investigation and call the party or parties in. However, this is one scenario out of many that can warrant reporting to the police.

License Plate Number Theft

A vehicle’s plate number or car registration can be stolen, not necessarily stealing the silver plate on the vehicle just the number.

The stolen number is usually used on another vehicle (through cloning) to perform illegal activities and the original owner will be left to clean up the mess like paying for a service they know nothing about.

Plate number theft is an illegal act that is punishable by law.

The good thing is because of the level of privacy and security attached to a plate number and the restricted access to information only a few things can be done with it that will negatively affect the owner.

Send it to Robbers or Assassins to Track You

Someone who intends to harm you can get your license plate number and send it to assassins/arm robbers who may have not seen you will before but will track you with the plate number to carry out their bad activities.

Should I Be Worried About People Knowing My License Plate Number?

No, you do not have any reason to worry about people knowing your license plate number. All personal information gathered about a person by the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) cannot be shared with others because the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act prohibits it.

However, if you are someone who gets involved in reckless driving or activities that endangers the lives of other road users using your car, there is a need to be worried because someone can report you to the authorities by taking a picture of your plate number.


You have nothing to worry about as it concerns people seeing your license plate number, its visibility to all doesn’t mean they will be able to get personal information about you except if you are involved in illegal activities.