Can Someone Really Steal Your Info From Your License Plate?by Gabrielle DeSantis facebook linkedin | More Articles: Tips, Tricks & TrendsPublished onAugust 27, 2020
We drive around with our license plates displayed every day after all, it is illegal not to. Many of us dont think twice about our plate or what information can be obtained using it when we make our daily commute. When we post pictures online of our cars, we tend to think twice when it comes to leaving our plate exposed. Of course, there is some information you can get from your license plate, but what is it, and how concerned should you be about your personal safety?
Hiding your license plate
It isnt uncommon to see pictures of cars with the license plate completely covered, or scratched out in the image. Many people dont realize exactly why they do this besides rumors, and yet it has become a relatively common practice. If your license plate risked your personal identity, wouldnt having it on your car as you drive around put your information at risk, too?
An old Ford truck with a 1951 Louisiana license plate Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor
Most people cant access the information
With just someones license plate number you can typically find the make, model, and year of their car, most of which you could probably find just by looking at the car in the first place. There are some online databases that claim they will provide more information if you submit a form of payment. They typically dont work and are sometimes even illegal, but even if you do pay you dont really find more information. Unless you are a police officer or government official you really cant get any personal information from someones license plate so you can sleep easily.
Vanity License Plate California | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group
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Why you might want someones information
So youre obviously not going to be stealing anyones banking information from their plate, so what would you even want from it. The obvious answer is to identify a driver that has done something wrong. Whether it is a hit and run or some other problem, having a license plate can help to identify a driver after an accident or other situation in which they did not stop to give their personal contact information or license.
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There are also less involved options, like you just want to get the persons contact information for something as simple as buying their car. This is more common in rare cars, collectables, or exotic cars, but there are also options such as VINWiki that allow you to track cars based on the VIN rather than the license plate number, but it isnt a national database so it doesnt always provide the information you are looking for.Tags:Car Safety Safety