How to Search Connecticut License Plates
Connecticut allows the public to use a tool on its government website to search for license plate numbers for free. However, you will only see verification that it is registered within the state. You can also enter a license plate number in a free online public records database to see vehicle information like make, model, trim level and year. When requesting more detailed records via official channels, you will need to supply your name, address, phone number and an acceptable reason for the request. You must also provide information about the driver and their consent. You can then see a full report with their name, address, phone number, social security number, driver's license number, photographs, and other personal details. The state maintains strict regulations concerning how private vehicle owner information can be shared and used, so only specific people can get access to the whole report.
Connecticut Vehicle License Plate Laws
When you move to Connecticut, you have 60 days to register your vehicle. Connecticut requires two license plates on vehicles,but registration stickers are not required. When you sell a vehicle, you must return the plates to the DVM within ten days of the sale. Title applications must have on them the description of the vehicle, including make, model, vehicle information number (VIN), number of cylinders, type of body, and odometer statement.
The state of Connecticut also requires all drivers to carry insurance on their vehicles. It is illegal to drive an uninsured vehicle on the streets. Vehicles must be renewed bi-annually. When registering, you need to produce an odometer statement. There is no grace period in Connecticut for late registrations. Certificates of registration must be kept in the vehicle at all times and produced for any law enforcement agent who requests it. Registration fees are generally $80 but may vary depending on the county office. Duplicates are $20 each. To register a motorcycle, it costs only $42.
If you move out of state or get rid of your vehicle, you must contact the Connecticut DMV and cancel your registration, or you may be liable for property taxes on the vehicle. You can cancel in person, by mail or online.
Specialty License Plates in Connecticut
Along with standard license plates, Connecticut also offers residents some "special plates". The categories include animals, cities and towns, colleges, environment, military, organizations, police and fire, recreation, vanity, and variety plates.
Some of the plates represent organizations like the Knights of Columbus and the Red Sox Foundation. Others support wildlife conservation initiatives. They have one for each of the main universities in the state also. Each type of plate carries a different design styled around the subject.
Residents can also order vanity plates meaning they can choose the letters and numbers on the plate if they are available. These must be approved by the DMV and can take a bit longer to create.
Special plates cost an additional $15, some of that fee may go towards the organization or school it represents. Special orders may cost more in the range of $70 and vanity plates even more. All the designs sit on a light blue and white background signifying a Connecticut license plate.
What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in Connecticut?
Connecticut has strict laws regarding privacy from both the Federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) of 1994 and Connecticut State Law (Title 14 Sec. 14-10). These laws combined, govern how private information contained in DMV records may be accessed and by whom. They also stipulate the fees for obtaining records. The information deemed "private" includes:
- Such individual's photograph or image
- Social Security number
- Driver's license number
- Name, Address (but not the 5-digit zip code), telephone number
- Electronic mail address
- Medical or disability information
Connecticut states that the following information is not considered private in license plate records: vehicular accidents, driving or equipment-related violations, and driver's license, registration, or insurance status.
Connecticut License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Lookup License Plate Numbers in Connecticut?
According to the Connecticut DMV, "By law, disclosure of personal information contained within a Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) record is prohibited except as prescribed by federal and state privacy laws". It is legal for someone to obtain their own records and certain companies or representatives to request copies of your record.
What Information Do I Need When Requesting Records?
To request records, you need to use a special form (J-23 REV. 9-2015) and provide a bunch of information along with a $20 fee. The person requesting needs to provide their name, address, telephone number, and other details. They must also provide some information about the driver and prove they have an allowable reason to look up the information. The requestor must also select the types of records they want (there are a few, including license and vehicle registrations).
How to Locate a Connecticut License Plate Using the VIN?
The form mentioned above for records requests allows someone to look up records by a license plate number, VIN, vehicle make, model, and other details. If you have it, the driver's license number and date of birth are requested as well. If filled out by law enforcement, they will most likely have this information.
How to Find the Owner of a License Plate in Connecticut?
Individuals are not at liberty to request owner information of a vehicle registered in Connecticut. However, you can always contact the local law enforcement and have them look it up to contact the person. Towing companies and impound lots do have a valid reason for obtaining that information.
For What Purposes May I Request License Plate Information?
Due to strict DPPA laws, Connecticut allows only specific people, organizations, and agencies to request license plate lookups. Some of the reasons they consider allowable are:
- State and government agencies, all forms of law enforcement
- Manufacturers for recalls, vehicle safety, emissions, or motor vehicle theft
- Businesses who need to verify the accuracy of information provided by the owner
- Civil and criminal law proceedings and court cases
- Insurance companies have the right to request records
- Anyone else with a signed consent form from the vehicle owner
How to Search for a Connecticut License Plates for Free
Connecticut has a tool on its government website that allows users to search by license plate number and plate class (such as passenger vehicle). The information you will see simply verifies that it is a registered vehicle and the state of the registration and when it expires. You can also look online for other portals that allow a basic license plate lookup for free. You may only see the make, model, or year though.