How to Search for Arizona License Plate Records
You can order free license plate records at various locations online but will only see basic vehicle information. If you want more, contact the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Services to request copies of license plate records. You can pay for a complete report for $3 or $5 (for non-certified and certified respectively), but you must have a valid, legal reason for doing so. Alaska has strict laws governing the use of license plate records and personal information. If you do have a qualifying "permissible use," you can order a copy online or through the mail. The complete report will include additional details like driver license photograph/image, social security number, driver license number, name, address, and medical/disability information.
The most common reasons for requesting records are insurance, court cases, law enforcement, employment, and in conjunction with motor vehicle safety. In most cases, you will need signed consent from the owner and have your request form notarized.
Arizona Vehicle Regulations
In the state of Arizona, only one license plate is required for each passenger vehicle, motorcycle, or truck. It has to be attached and visible on the rear of the vehicle. Some vehicles are required to have one on the front and one on the rear. Arizona residents may visit their local Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) office to register vehicles and obtain plates. Some other important Arizona license plate regulations include:
- When you buy a new vehicle, you must register it and apply for a title within 15 days.
- Vehicle owners must provide proof of insurance when registering their vehicles.
- Residents are not allowed to have a license plate cover over their plate. If they do, the fine is $30, twice in one year, the fine is $100.
- When moving to Arizona, you must immediately register your car or truck.
You can register your vehicle for one, two, or five years at a time, and you can renew your registration on the last day of the month or the 15th, whichever is listed on your registration. You will pay an additional $8 if you renew it late and $4 each month after.
Arizona License Plate Options
Arizona offers only three types of license plates: standard, disability, and motorcycle/golf cart. In most cases, passenger vehicles require only one license plate. The state has dozens of styles to choose from, and you can personalize it with your own message (if it is available). Most license plate styles can be used with standard or disability plates. Some of the plate designs support universities, sports teams, or other local organizations. The basic fee for a license plate is $25, and some of that may go to support the sponsor. Other fees apply to specialized plates and personalization. You can order them online at the Arizona Department of Transportation's website.
What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) Like in Arizona?
Arizona's Driver's Privacy Protection Act, pursuant to Arizona code (A.R.S. 28-455--458) contains strong language protecting the privacy of its citizens. Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles may only disclose personal information in connection with a motor vehicle record in certain circumstances:
- For any use, including bulk distribution and marketing, if the state has obtained express consent from the individual to whom the record pertains.
- In connection with safety, theft, emissions, product alterations, recalls, or advisories and performance monitoring of dealers and manufacturers.
- Disclosure for use by any governmental agency, use in connection with performance monitoring or research activities, and removal of nonowners from vehicle records.
- Normal course of business use by a legitimate business to verify accuracy of information submitted, or to obtain the correct information for the purpose of preventing fraud.
- For the use by an attorney or licensed private investigator in connection with a legal proceeding.
- For use to provide notice of towing or to provide toll services.
Records may be purchased from the Arizona Motor Vehicles Office, any local branch, or a third-party office. Your form must be notarized, and you must provide proof that you have consent or the applicable rights to request records. You may also get license plate records from a third-party vendor, but you are still subject to Arizona's DPPA laws.
Arizona License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Legally Look Up a License Plate Number in Arizona?
It is legal to lookup license plate numbers in Arizona as long as you possess a "permissible use." It is not legal to look someone up just so you can locate their address and contact them. There are strict laws governing the legality, and you may suffer serious consequences if you violate these privacy laws.
What Information Do I Need When Requesting Records?
When requesting a license plate record, you will need a bunch of information, including your name, address, phone, driver's license number, and business name. You must choose the type of record you are requesting and provide information on either the vehicle or the driver. You must also prove that you have "permissible use" and have your form notarized.
How to Look Up an Arizona License Plate Using the VIN?
If you have the VIN of a vehicle, you can also look it up that way using a variety of search engines online. This method will provide detailed information about the vehicle including a history report, however, you must still follow strict Arizona privacy laws.
How to Locate the Owner of a License Plate in Arizona?
The DPPA in Arizona is relatively liberal and allows for a towing or repossession company to locate the owner of a vehicle to contact them using records obtained this way. However, an individual typically does not have the right to locate the owner of a vehicle using the license plate unless it pertains to a legal issue. You can always contact the local police and have them look it up for you also.
What are Some Legal Uses of License Plate Information?
According to Arizona's Department of Transportation, only the following uses are permitted for license plate requests:
How To Perform a Free Arizona License Plates Search
You can look up an Arizona license plate for free, but you won't see much more than the vehicle's year, make and model. You might also see the manufacturer, engine type, transmission, brakes, and steering system along with the trim level and some other minor details. Arizona's Motor Vehicle office does not allow free searches, they charge a small fee for all record copies, and you must comply with strict DPPA laws when requesting.