How To Lookup Nevada License Plates for Free
Using a public records search portal, you can easily look up a Nevada license plate for free. However, you may only see basic information about the vehicle (year, make, and model of the car). You can also purchase a Nevada license plate report that may have a lot more information like personal details about the owner, such as name, address, phone number, email address, social security number, driver's license number, VIN, birth date and even photographs. Nevada has very strict privacy laws; however, so whenever you request records, you must comply with those regulations.
Nevada Vehicle License Plate Regulations
Nevada requires motorists to have two license plates on their vehicles. One goes on the front and one on the rear. However, there are exceptions to this rule for motorcycles and trailers. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues all plates to drivers in the state. All license plates must be readable from a distance of 100-110 feet away.
Nevada license plates are linked to individuals and businesses, not vehicles. Therefore, you can transfer them from vehicle to vehicle as you buy and sell new ones. License plates must be replaced every eight years.
Nevada charges a steep fine of $1,000 if you fail to register your vehicle on time. When buying a new vehicle or moving to the state of Nevada, in both cases, you have only 30 days to register your vehicle. Even non-residents whose vehicle "operates in the state for 30 days in a calendar year" must also register in Nevada.
You can renew your vehicle registration online through the Nevada DMV portal, but you must have a current odometer reading beforehand. You also need to have a clean emissions report when renewing.
Nevada License Plate Options
Nevada offers its residents standard plates. They explain about the fees: "When you obtain new standard plates, the DMV charges a Plate Cost Recovery Fee of $2.25 per plate, a Prison Industry fee of 50 cents per plate and a Technology Fee of $1 in addition to any registration fees due. Personalized and specialty plates carry additional fees."
Along with the standard plates, others may include dealer, loan, exempt, apportioned, and discontinued plates. The state also offers specialty license plates such as:
- Firefighters & Peace Officers.
- Veterans & Military.
- Classic Vehicles.
- Electric Vehicles.
A small sampling of what is available includes:
- Henderson Historical Society.
- Organ Donor.
- UNLV Collegiate.
- Eagle Scout.
- Masonic Lodge.
- Professional Firefighters.
- Street Rod.
- Old Timer.
- Electric Vehicle.
What is the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in Nevada?
Nevada has extremely strict privacy polices strict privacy policies covered by the following statues:
- Nevada Revised Statutes 481.063.
- Nevada Administrative Code 481.500-481.600.
- The National Driver Privacy Protection Act (18 U.S.C. §§ 2721-2725).
The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles has this statement on their Driver and Vehicle Records page:
"Generally, a third party cannot get any information on a specific driver's license or registration without a notarized release from the person about whom the information is requested. There are exceptions for law enforcement, of course, and other parties such as insurance companies, towing services, and government agencies."
Anyone who requests records must fill out a very long form (Application for Individual Record Information (IR 002) and provide a signed consent form and affidavit.
Additionally, they remind requestors that: "Social Security Numbers are not released. License plate numbers are not released, nor can information be obtained by the presentation of a license plate number, except to law enforcement agencies, governmental agencies processing parking violations, vehicle insurance companies, public administrators, public guardians, public defenders, and private investigators. No information will be released when multiple listings are found on a search by name only where no positive match can be established."
Nevada License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Lookup License Plate Numbers in Nevada Legally?
It is only legal to look up very basic information using a license plate in Nevada. Only public records like the vehicle's make, model, and year are allowable. Personal details like the person's social security number, photographs, driver's license number, and even the license plate number are heavily guarded. They will only be given out to a select few who qualify.
Do I Have to Supply Anything When I Search License Plate Records?
If you qualify and fill out the form to request records, you must supply your name, business name, address, phone number, and fax. You must also supply a qualified reason for the request. Then you must provide the person's name, address, year, make and VIN along with their date of birth, and social security number. You must, in most cases (except for a few), have a signed consent form from the vehicle owner.
How to Look Up a Nevada License Plate Using the VIN?
Nevada does not allow lookups using a license plate number, but they do allow it using a VIN. You have to use the proper form, and you must follow the strict DPPA laws when requesting and using the information, but you can do it. You can also use the national title registry service to look up a vehicle by its VIN and see the crash history, recalls, and other details.
How Can I Find an Owner of a License Plate in Nevada?
Due to Nevada's strict privacy laws, it is not possible to locate an owner of a vehicle using the license plate unless you are a private investigator, towing company, or another authorized individual. The best way to find an owner (for legal reasons) is through the local police or the Sheriff's Office.
What is Considered the Legal Use of License Plate Information?
Nevada only allows a few select purposes when requesting personal records and they pare them down even further so that most people will never see the person's social security number, birth date or driver's license number. The few acceptable purposes for requesting records are:
- For government or law enforcement use.
- For the purpose of vehicle safety, recalls, and emissions.
- In conjunction with a civil or criminal trial.
- Insurance companies.
- Towing companies.
- Private investigator.
- The vehicle owner.
How to Lookup Nevada License Plates for Free?
It is very easy to look up a Nevada license plate for free. There are many online public records websites where you can do this. However, you may only see basic information about the vehicle (year, make, and model of the car).