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In this day and age, you can almost find out anything and everything simply by doing a search on the internet. The same goes if you are looking for information about a certain vehicle, however you will need special permission if you want to find the details of the registered owner of a certain number plate.

Photo by Paweł Puszkarski on Unsplash

Businesses such as parking management companies often need to find this kind of information to issue a parking charge or notice if someone has parked illegally on council or private land. Likewise, if a vehicle has been abandoned by the side of a road, the police may need to find out who owns the vehicle and question why it has been put there.

What can I find out online?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to simply ‘Google’ information about who owns a vehicle online. This is because it is against people’s privacy and you could potentially commit a crime with this information.

If, however you want to know what vehicle a certain number plate is then it is possible to do so online via the DVLA website. You can simply enter the number plate and the website will be able to show you the make, model and colour of the vehicle.

In-order to obtain more information about the number plate, and in-particular the registered keeper, you will need to put in an application with the DVLA, and you can only do so if you have ‘reasonable cause’.

What if I have a ‘reasonable cause’?

The only way to find out who is the registered owner of a number plate is if you have ‘reasonable cause’, DVLA examples of this include:

-Giving out a parking fine

-Tracing the owner of an abandoned vehicle

-Finding the driver responsible for a road incident

-Finding someone suspected on insurance fraud

-Finding the owner of a vehicle that is trespassing
-Tracking someone that has not paid for goods (i.e. at a petrol station)

More often than not, it is companies that are looking for this information, such as car parking management, businesses or the police, however you can request this information if you are an individual and you fit the criteria.

In order to make a request for the information, you will need to apply via post and using a V888 form if you are an individual, or a V888/3 if you are a business issuing a charge. There will be a charge for requesting this information which can be found on the application.

How do I find out about my own vehicle?

If you want to find out more about your license, you can do so free via the DVLA website by providing your license number, national insurance number and address. From this, you will discover which class of vehicles you are able to drive, as well as any points or penalties that are attached to your license.

Digging a little deeper, if you want to discover the history of your vehicle, or one that used to be in your name you will need to email or write to the DVLA and include:

-Your name

-Registration number of the vehicle

-The address on the logbook and your current address

-Give information on what you want the DVLA to provide you with, for example the date you bought the vehicle.

Knowing all of this, you can now take the correct steps you need to proceed in finding out information on a particular number plate.


  1. This is useful – I’ve never had to find out who owned a car but I’ve had to look up a car before and then report it as I witnessed a drug deal taking place. You can find out whether cars are insured on DVLA too and, unsurprisingly, it wasn’t!

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