Any free Vehicle license plate lookup ?

Any free Vehicle license plate lookup ?

This is a discussion on Any free Vehicle license plate lookup ? within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; For Pennsylvania? I'm finding paid for look ups only. Anyone have experiance trying to identify plate #'s with either? I have had a couple of ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array 1911srule's Avatar
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    Any free Vehicle license plate lookup ?

    For Pennsylvania? I'm finding paid for look ups only. Anyone have experiance trying to identify plate #'s with either? I have had a couple of suspicious vehicles come by my house and one encounter at work. If I can ID the person, I may be able to find out intentions. Its a rural area , everyone seems to know everyone. I want to know if I'm dealing with someone with a burglary background or other. Advise much appreciated. Our police are not very cooperative here with citizens, so we no longer bother trying..


  2. #2
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    In most places it is against the law for anyone other than an on duty Police Officer to dispatch or receive information about License Plates or Drivers Licenses. Doing so can be punished by fines and even jail time.

    I've even known of cases where on duty officers used that info for unofficial purposes and when found out were severely reprimanded or even fired.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I've even known of cases where on duty officers used that info for unofficial purposes and when found out were severely reprimanded or even fired.
    Its actually a felony here in Ohio.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    ___^^^^^__

    What they said.
    In addition, you are talking about two different things. One is a registration check to see who is the registered owner. Two is a record check on the person to see if they have a record and for what.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  5. #5
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    Yup, I agree. Same in Missouri too. Not sure if it's a felony or not, but it is unlawful and punishable by fine and jail time.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    My brothers ex worked for the SO in a fairly small county in Kansas,when they were going thru the divorce she accessed records trying to get something to use against him in custody proceedings,she was fired as soon as it came out
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  7. #7
    Member Array 1911srule's Avatar
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    I don't think its illegal if one can pay for that info on sites that include PA's plates. How can a PI do it legally then? Gees, Now I'll have to find out, would'nt want to break the law...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1911srule View Post
    I don't think its illegal if one can pay for that info on sites that include PA's plates. How can a PI do it legally then? Gees, Now I'll have to find out, would'nt want to break the law...
    Those websites use a private LExis NExis type of system. It's not the same system that LE uses, its all privately collected information from business transactions and such which is perfectly legal. But it can be hit or miss. Systems like that can be an absolute gold mine of information, or it can be a total waste of time and money.
    Anyone can pay a subscription fee and have access to the service, these websites use the publics ignorance to make a buck. They charge twice to give you limited access than it would cost you to subcribe and have full access. Not many people know such a things exists, but it does and its big business.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  9. #9
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    IIRC it's a Class A Misdemeanor to access said information for reasons other than investigation (with cause) or for a traffic stop (in Utah). I know of more than one Officer that has been fired for an unlawful records check.
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  10. #10
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    The services you are talking about collecting information from public records, and there is no guarantee they will come back with a hit. If the vehicle has been involved in an accident or traffic violation, this is now an open record and anyone can get access to it. This is how the paid services work. You can find this information yourself by searching the records of the courts in your town/state, but it may take some time. If the vehicle has not been involved in anything that would produce an open record, you/they won't get anything since you won't have access to the registration information.

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    It's scary what's available to "businesses" thru these services. My insurance agent knew more about my house than I did. I'm sure she has access to tags, driving records, etc. thru these paid services. Guy who came out to give estimate on replacing A/C system had my complete floorplan and square footage. I wonder how many professional burglers use that service.

    I'd suggest keeping a log of date, time, and circumstances of these suspicious vehicles and tag #s in the event something happens.
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  12. #12
    Member Array mandalitten's Avatar
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    You should have asked where they got that information. Basic information is often available online at places like this http://data.visionappraisal.com/NewportRI/DEFAULT.asp
    The detailed floor plan might come from city hall (planning/zoning dept) who should have plans of your house, at least if it's a newer house, since they gave you a building permit. These records are probably public records (check with your state), but the person requesting the plans will have to fill out a form and I doubt a burglar would do it although I have heard of some pretty dumb burglars....

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    Varies by state law. When I worked for my local PD it would have been illegal for me to run a tag for anything other than legitimate law enforcement purposes. However, as John Q Public I could walk into the Motor Vehicle Administration office, plunk three dollars on the counter and walk out with a listing. I could then do anything I wanted with that listing.

    Back in the mid 1990's or so they started giving people the option of restricting access to their information to law enforcement only. A lot of people I know didn't even think to check that little box on the forms until I told them about how easy it was for anyone to get their into.

    Call your department of motor vehicles and check, you might be able to get what you want at the local office.
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  14. #14
    Member Array 1911srule's Avatar
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    I'm at a disadvantage were I live. Been here since retiring from the service in 04, we don't know anyone. We've had numerous incidents with lowlifes here. The main offenders have been in and out of prison. They steal for a living. Strangely they switch vehicles almost daily. The old man has an unofficial junk yard. Maybe because LE have been keeping an eye on them or so there not recognized when they drive by places.For quite awhile I'd drive past there home on way to work and immediately one of them would make a bee line to my place driving by slow looking hard. My wife would call me upset. Cops said nothing illegal , but they know. 1/4 mile up the road theres another career thief who has nailed me once. My kids watched as he stole parts off one of my cars. Three months later we ID'd him. Too late for charges. My garage has had several attempts. Stopped with an obvious camera and motion sensor. Gotta put in a good enough camera to log vehicles from about 50-60 yds.though to cover ones who slink by from time to time..

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    If you live in the country, put a gun range in at your place. Doze a couple berms and presto, you have a new gun range.

    I lived in the country for 12 years and I shot a lot.

    See, in the country, while gunshots is not uncommon every now and then, none of my neighbors had heard any kind of shooting like what I did, before we moved in.

    When I pulled the trigger, I usually pulled it 300 times. Not to mention the friends who were shooting with me. With long guns, pistols, shotguns along with other shooters as well.

    So it was quite obvious, I wasn't just sighting in a deer rifle and doing the occasional plinking. They knew I trained seriously. No one ever really bothered us.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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