Pennsylvania License Plate Search: Navigating Car History

Published by

When purchasing a pre-owned vehicle in Pennsylvania, conducting a thorough license plate search is a prudent step to gain valuable insights into the car’s history. 

Through the use of the power of license plate lookup tools, car buyers can access a wealth of information, including previous ownership records, accident history, and potential issues that may impact the vehicle’s value and reliability.


Through a license plate search, you can make informed decisions and avoid potential pitfalls when investing in a used car.

Legal Framework for License Plate Lookups in Pennsylvania

In October 2022, Pennsylvania amended Section 1332 of the Vehicle Code to clarify when a license plate is considered obscured or obstructed. The new law states that a plate must be “illegible, obscured, covered or otherwise obstructed in any manner at a reasonable distance” for a violation to occur. 

These changes protect motorists from unwarranted vehicle stops and potential searches by law enforcement. Officers must have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to conduct a stop, and stops without justification can lead to suppression of evidence in court.

License Plate Readers (LPRs) are used by Pennsylvania law enforcement to automatically capture and analyze license plate numbers in real-time. This data can be used to locate stolen vehicles, track suspects, and enforce traffic laws. LPR evidence can be used in traffic court proceedings.

Nevertheless, there have been concerns raised about LPR accuracy, racial profiling, and costs/resource allocation. Motorists facing LPR-issued tickets can challenge them in court by questioning the technology’s accuracy or legality in their specific case.

Accessing Vehicle Records In Pennsylvania Using PennDOT

To access vehicle records individuals can request copies of their own driver history or vehicle records from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT). 

However, PennDOT will not provide vehicle ownership information based solely on a license plate number – a title number or VIN is also required to protect privacy.

Certain entities like employers, insurance companies, attorneys, and law enforcement can request and receive copies of driving records for authorized purposes.

How to Search Car History in Pennsylvania? – Guidelines

To search for car history in Pennsylvania, follow these guidelines based on the information provided in the sources:

Driver’s History Request

  1. To obtain a copy of your driver’s history, you can request a three-year, ten-year, or full driver’s history online through PennDOT’s Online Services or by completing a “Request for Driver Information” form (Form DL-503) and submitting it to PennDOT.
  1. Certified histories are available by completing Form DL-503, which includes detailed instructions and fees for different types of driving records.

Vehicle Record Request

  1. To request a copy of a vehicle record for a vehicle titled in Pennsylvania, you need to fill out Form DL-135, “Request for Vehicle Information”.
  1. The record will include the current owner’s name and address, vehicle identification number (VIN), title, license plate number, make, model, year, and additional information upon specific request.

Privacy Protection

  1. Pennsylvania protects citizens’ privacy by not processing requests for vehicle ownership information based solely on a license plate number.
  1. Legitimate requests must include the vehicle’s title number or VIN to access paid information from PennDOT.

Authorized Requests

  1. Employers, insurance companies, attorneys, courts, and law enforcement can request and receive copies of driving records for authorized purposes.

By adhering to these guidelines, individuals in Pennsylvania can effectively search for car history, ensuring compliance with legal requirements and privacy protections while accessing relevant information about drivers and vehicles.

You can use these other tools to help you find vehicle details by license plate in Pennsylvania:


  1. Visit the SearchQuarry website for a free Pennsylvania License Plate Lookup.
  2. Enter the full license plate number into the search fields.
  3. Verify and select a valid reason for the search as per the conditions.
  4. View the results which may include vehicle owner information, vehicle history, specs, and more.


  1. Open a web browser and go to the FindByPlate website.
  2. Enter the license plate number and select Pennsylvania as the state.
  3. View the report that provides information related to the license plate.


  1. Access the FAXVIN website for a Pennsylvania License Plate Lookup.
  2. Use the license plate search form to enter the plate number.
  3. The search will take approximately 2 to 3 minutes, and the results will be displayed on your device.
  4. Obtain information such as property records, accident history, odometer readings, theft reports, and more.


  1. Visit the LookupAplate website for a free Pennsylvania License Plate Lookup.
  2. Utilize the free search option to access records on vehicle specs, recall history, service history, and sale history.
  3. Report concerning behavior on the road using the community platform.
  4. Request a comprehensive report from one of their data vendors for more detailed information.

License Plate Search: Navigating Car History in Pennsylvania – Conclusion

In conclusion, searching car history by license plate in Pennsylvania involves navigating a complex legal framework and understanding the various tools and resources available.

From License Plate Readers used by law enforcement to track stolen vehicles and enforce traffic laws, to the privacy protections in place for vehicle ownership information, it is essential to approach car history searches in a legal and informed manner.

Through following the guidelines outlined by PennDOT and being aware of the legal landscape, individuals can effectively search for car data while respecting the privacy of vehicle owners.

Like this article? Add the Insiderbits blog to your favorites and visit us whenever you want to learn new and exciting information about technology and much more!


Read More in Tips

Second Life For Deleted iPhone Games And Apps

Second Life For Deleted iPhone Games And Apps

Most of us have wondered how to recover deleted iPhone games, which is beneficial. Today,...

Read More →
How To Recover Deleted Games And Apps From Android

How To Recover Deleted Games And Apps From Android

In the fast-moving digital world, unintentionally erasing a program on your Android device is easy....

Read More →
How to use Steps Counting on iPhone and Android

How to use Steps Counting on iPhone and Android

Undoubtedly, the convenience of automatic steps counting is a boon, making it a simple, safe,...

Read More →
iMessage Block: Signs that someone might have blocked you

iMessage Block: Signs that someone might have blocked you

Every instant messaging app, including iMessage (iPhone), is designed to interact and connect with other...

Read More →