How To Lookup Oregon License Plates
Online you can find many different public records databases where you can search for an Oregon license plate for free. However, you may only get to see basic information like the vehicle's year, make, model, color, and other small details. If you require further details like the person's name, address, phone number, driver's license number, social security number, photos, medical information, or disability details, you must qualify under Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). Personal information contained within motor vehicle records is guarded by strict federal and state laws in Oregon. If you violate these laws, you may face hefty fines and other severe punishments.
Oregon Vehicle Regulations
According to Oregon Revised Statute 803.525, all passenger vehicles must display two license plates (one in the rear and one in the front) at all times. The only exceptions to this are mopeds, motorcycles, trailers, campers, antique vehicles, and vehicles of special interest. After requesting new license plates, they usually arrive within 2-3 weeks.
Before you can register your vehicle in Oregon, it must be titled in the state. When punching a new vehicle, you must have it registered within 30 days in the state of Oregon. Oregon offers two options for registering your vehicle. You can visit the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office or use their online system called DMV2U.
You must renew your Oregon registration every year. You can still renew it even up to 75 days after the expiration date. However, you will have to pay late fees. Your vehicle must pass an emissions test before you can register it. This rule applies to new and used vehicles.
Oregon License Plate Choices
Oregon provides its residents with more than 20 standard license plate designs to choose from. You can purchase them either in person at the local DVM office or online through their system. Oregon also offers some specialty plates such as:
- Amateur (HAM) Radio Operator
- Disabled Veteran
- Fleet Vehicles
- For-Rent Trailers
- Heavy Fixed Load
- Heavy Trailer
- Light Fixed Load
- Low-Speed Vehicles
- Medium-Speed Vehicles
- Motor Home
- National Guard - Motor Home
- School Bus
- Special Interest
- Special Use Trailer
- Tow/Recovery Vehicle
- Travel Trailer
- Utility/Light Trailer
The state also offers veteran license plates for all branches of the military. Additionally, you can have one of nine designs personalized with your own message.
What Does the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) in Oregon Say?
Oregon honors the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) as well as having their own privacy laws. In their "How to Request Records" brochure, they say this about privacy in motor vehicle records:
"DMV is required by Oregon law to maintain vehicle and driver records. These records are public records and are available by making a request and paying a fee. However, there are circumstances when certain information contained in DMV records cannot be disclosed. Personal information contained in motor vehicle records is protected, and all requesters must qualify under Oregon law to receive it. Personal information is: Driver License, Driver Permit, or Identification Card Number; Name; Address; and Telephone Number. Customers can still obtain records if they don't qualify to receive personal information, but the records they receive will be "sanitized". Sanitized records contain only the personal information of the person receiving the record. Oregon's Record Privacy Law makes personal information contained in motor vehicle records private. This protects Oregon citizens from having personal information in their motor vehicle records given out to individuals not qualified to receive it".
Oregon License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Legitimate to Lookup License Plate Numbers in Oregon?
It is legal to look up a license plate number in Oregon if you want only basic information like details about the car or truck (make, model, year, etc.). However, if you are trying to get information about the owner, then it is not legal to obtain that information through motor vehicle records. Strict DPPA laws govern the access and use of personal information gained through license plate records.
What Information Will I Need to Request Records?
When you request information about a vehicle or driver in Oregon, you must fill out a form called a "Record Inquiry Account Application". Then you must supply your business name, your name, address, phone number, and either your federal ID number, or driver's license number, or social security number. The annual fee is $70 to access records, and you must designate yourself into one of the allowable categories and provide proof (like a private investigator's license).
How to Look Up an Oregon License Plate Using the VIN?
Once you establish an account with the state of Oregon, you can search for records using the license plate or VIN. However, you must qualify and comply with all DPPA laws when using the data. You may also use the NHTSA VIN lookup tool or national title registry lookup to find information on vehicles using their VINs.
How to Find the Owner of a License Plate in Oregon?
You cannot just go online and plug in the license plate number and find the owner of a vehicle in Oregon unless you have a valid reason for doing so. Due to strict state and federal DPPA laws, this would be unlawful. If you have a valid reason for finding the owner of a vehicle (such as towing company or impound lot), you can search for and find that information. Otherwise, it might be best to contact the local police and let them help you.
What are Some a Legal Uses of License Plate Information?
Oregon has strict privacy laws that protect their residents' information. However, they do allow certain people who qualify the right to obtain license plate information from motor vehicle records. As listed on their application, the following are the only types of people who can access files:
- An attorney
- A collection agency
- A financial institution
- Government agency
- Private investigator
- Process server
- Insurance company
- A legitimate business
- Towing company
- Private security company or individual
- News media outlet
How Do I Look Up Oregon License Plates for Free?
Online you can find many different public records databases where you can search for an Oregon license plate for free. However, you may only get to see basic information like the vehicle's year, make, model, color, and other small mechanical details.