How To Lookup Delaware License Plates
To look up a license plate in Delaware, you can use a free method which will give you only vehicle details or contact the Delaware Department of Motor Vehiclesand use a form to get a full motor vehicle report. With a complete report, you will see the owner's name, address, phone number, possibly email address, medical information, and any driving infractions on their record. When requesting records through the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles you will have to provide your name, address, and phone number and also a VIN or license plate number for the vehicle you are looking up. You also have to provide proof that you are legally eligible to receive these records.
However, Delaware warns that violation of privacy laws concerning vehicle owner information may be subject to steep fines and even jail time.
Delaware Vehicle License Plate Laws
Delaware residents must renew their vehicle registrations every two years. Renewal notices go out 90, 60, and 30 days before they are due via either phone or email. When renewing, you must provide proof of insurance and an odometer reading. They charge a late fee of $20 if not renewed on time. They do offer a drive-thru window at the DMV to renew your vehicle registration easily. You can pay via credit/debit card or cash.
Delaware vehicles within the six newest model years, weighing less than 10,000 pounds do not need to be inspected.
Delaware drivers need only one license plate per vehicle, but it must stay visible, and they must keep their vehicle registration in the car at all times.
Vehicle owners are required to carry vehicle liability insurance of $25,000/$50,000/$10,000, and if they do not, they will pay a fine of $1,500 for the first offense and $3,000 for every infraction afterward.
Delaware Specialty License Plates
The state of Delaware offers a few options for license plates. They have their standard plate that most people use. They also have plates for disabled residents. Some plates support local universities, and they also have military plates for veterans or active service members. Then they have vanity plates where the person can request a specific message or lettering. These are approved on a case-by-case basis.
They also have a wide variety of special plates you can order. Some are only eligible with specific types of vehicles. A sampling of what they offer is:
- Stop Child Abuse Plates
- Animal Welfare Plates
- Environmental Plates
- Agricultural Farmland Preservation License Plate
- Delaware Equine Council License Plate
- Keep Delaware Beautiful License Plate
- Organizational plates sponsoring different companies or foundations
- Other plates
Each specialty plate costs an additional $10 on top of the regular plate charge.
What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in Delaware?
Delaware has restricted the federal DPPA even further with their own state DPPA laws. The opening line of their code reads: "In General — Except as provided in subsection (13), (D). (E), and (1) the Division of Motor Vehicles, and any officer, employee, or contractor, thereof, any other person shall not knowingly disclose or otherwise make available to any person or entity personal information about any individual obtained by the Division in connection with a motor vehicle record".
They limit the usage of personal driver records to driver safety, insurance, government and law enforcement use, civil and criminal lawsuits, investigations, and business use for verification of accuracy. Lienholders and towing companies can also use them to locate the vehicle owner.
Delaware License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Lookup License Plate Numbers in Delaware?
It is legal to look up a license plate number in Delaware but only for specific purposes. You must provide proper documentation when requesting from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. It is illegal to use license plates to locate someone's home address for personal reasons. Violations of this law may lead to fines or jail time.
What Information Do I Need When Requesting Records?
When you request license plate records, you will need your name, address, phone number, and driver's license number. Optionally, you must supply a company name, DL state, and the license plate number or VIN you want to look up. You will also need to prove your reason for requesting it. You must also have the form notarized before submitting it. You may request either driving records or vehicle records; both are available using the same form.
How to Look Up a Delaware License Plate Using the VIN?
The form used by the Delaware DMV has a spot on it where you can use the VIN in place of the license plate number to obtain records. However, you are still subject to the same strict DPPA laws for the use of the information. You can also use third party options for a full vehicle history report.
Is it Legal to Locate the Owner of a License Plate in Delaware?
If you are an insurance company, business, or private investigator, you can use the form on the Delaware DMV website to locate the owner of a license plate. If, however, you are just a private citizen who wants to find out who owns a specific vehicle, you cannot use license plate lookups for that.
What Can I Use License Plate Information For?
Delaware has outlined the only legal purposes of using a license plate records request, and they are:
- Government agencies and law enforcement representatives can request them
- As part of a normal course of business to verify the accuracy of information
- For use in a civil or criminal court case
- Towing companies to inform someone of where their vehicle is
- Licensed private investigators can pull them as part of an investigation
- Insurance companies can request them
- Toll companies can get a copy
- You can order a copy of your own records at any time, but you must prove vehicle ownership
- Any person can get a legal copy if they have a signed consent form from the vehicle owner
- Employers can obtain your records if you sign a form allowing them access
Delaware does not allow these records to be used for marketing purposes.
How to Lookup Delaware License Plates for Free?
You can look up a Delaware license plate for free online using public database search portals, but you will only see basic information like the year, make, and model of the car. You may also see the engine type, trim level, manufacturer, and other car-related details.