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To look up an Indiana license plate, you can use a free option that will yield you only vehicle information. Otherwise, you can purchase vehicle records online or get them through the state, but you must comply with all DPPA laws when determining how to use the information. You must supply your contact details and the license plate number to request records. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is the government agency in charge of records, and they do provide them to individuals and businesses with approval. The information contained within will include:
When registering a vehicle, Indiana residents must pay an excise tax and a registration fee. In some municipalities, you may also have to pay a county and municipal vehicle excise tax or wheel tax. Registrations are based on vehicle weight and make of the car or truck. Fees vary based on the county where you register.
When you get a new vehicle, you have 31 days to register it and get plates for it. If you move to Indiana from another state, you have 60 days to get your vehicle licensed and registered. You must get the vehicle inspected before registering it. This is the opposite of some other states. When registering or renewing, you need to bring proof of your social security number. A title application fee costs $15—plates, and the actual registration costs extra.
The state of Indiana has many options for license plates. Not only do they offer a standard plate style for passenger vehicles, but they also have specialty plates and personalized options. Some of the specialty plates support groups, organizations, and foundations. Some of the extra costs for these plates go to fund these groups. Some examples are:
Some plates honor universities and even sports teams. They have them for military personnel, disabled Americans, and even veterans.
The Indiana driver privacy protection policy, Ind. Code Ann. § 9-14-13-2, acts much like the Federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act of 1994, 18 U.S.C. § 2721-2725 in that it restricts access to personal information contained in driving and motor vehicle records. Anyone who violates these laws will be subject to steep fines and possibly even jail time. The only people allowed to access these records in Indiana are:
Anyone approved for an application must agree to use the information obtained through searches for legal and permissible purposes.
It is legal to lookup license plate numbers in Indiana, but it must be within the scope of their DPPA laws. They require an application process before setting anyone up with an account to perform searches. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is the agency in charge of them. Once approved, the business or individual may search for any records at any time.
To obtain access to records, you must fill out Indiana's application for online access and provide them with proof of your ability to satisfy the legal requirement. You must also give them your name, license number (if applicable), billing, and physical address of the business or entity. You must also provide your name, the type of business you are in, how you will use the information, and you must sign it, date it, and have it authorized.
Part of the process for looking up records with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Motor Vehicle Records includes the ability to do so via VIN. Records include title information, registration records, and also vehicle details. The full record will be a complete accounting of the owner, their personal history, the vehicle's history, and other details. You can also try the national title registry online to look up a license plate record using the VIN to see a full crash history report, and any recalls. This is great to use when buying a used vehicle.
It is not possible to legally locate the owner of a license plate in Indiana using the online Bureau of Motor Vehicle's system. That is only for professional use for one of the specified purposes. If, however, you have a personal reason for needing to contact the owner of an abandoned or vehicle that you injured, you could contact the local police and ask them to help you find the person. If you do go online and search yourself, be careful to comply with all DPPA laws, or you could be in hot water with huge fines and possible prison time.
The state of Indiana has strict codes regarding how vehicle and license plate information may be used. They have a list of specific industries that may apply to get unrestricted access to records. Those are:
Anyone can look up an Indiana license plate for free online, but the information will be scarce (usually just the year, make, and model of the car). Various public records websites allow you to search for free.