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Whose Number Plate Is This?

September, 19 2022 | James Russell

With the internet dominating everyday life, it is fair to say that in the UK, most of us live in an information world.


Whose Number Plate Is This?

A world where Google can serve up answers to almost any question, and a world where there are few mysteries left to uncover.

So, in this world of information, you’d think it’d be simple to find a number plate and who it belongs to. Well, this isn’t quite the case, but there are lots of pieces of information you can find out about a number plate if you know where to look. From the style and size of the vehicle the number plate is on, to where in the UK it was initially registered, and when.

Whose Number Plate Is This? In large red text over a semi-transparent background of a group of random UK number plates

In today’s blog, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about this topic, and give you a full rundown of the possibilities of finding a number plate online.

Whose plate is this? Finding information about number plates in a data protected world.

Data protection is a hot topic, and has been for a few years in the UK and EU. In place to safeguard people’s personal information, it’s understandable that there are guidelines in place that protect privacy of UK residents.

This makes it difficult to find information about specific people from their number plate alone, however, there’s still plenty of information you can find out, such as the age of the vehicle the registration plate is on.

Whose number plate is this? Discovering the age and location of a vehicle.

You don’t even need to use an online search function, such as Google or the DVLA, to find out the age of most cars on the road.

That’s because if a car has a millennium style number plate (or new style number plate), you can work out the age of it using the “age identifier” tag. This is the first two numbers on the plate, just after the first two letters. An example of this tag can be found in “AB11 ABC”, with the 11 indicating the vehicle’s age as being 2011, which is when the car was released.

It’s a known fact among number plate and vehicle enthusiasts that you can’t make a car look newer than it is with a registration, so this is a sure-fire way of recognising the age of a vehicle you see on or off the road. This form of identification also applies to suffix and prefix number plates, with the letter giving away the year the vehicle was first registered.

For more information on age identifiers, and how to identify vehicles based on number plates of all kinds, visit National Numbers’ age identifier page.

Where’s my number plate from?

As well as age, you can also find the general region in which the vehicle was produced by using the local memory tag on the number plate. To make this even easier, we’ve created a brand new interactive tool to tell you where your number plate is from.

So, to find out where your number plate is from, visit our "where's my number plate from?" tool here.

Screenshot of National Numbers where's my number plate from online search tool

Whose number plate is this? Finding out tax information using the DVLA search function.

Sometimes, you want to know more than just the age or manufacturing location of the vehicle when you’re having a nosy at a number plate, sometimes you want tax info. To find this out, you can visit the this link, which will tell you whether or not a vehicle is taxed, when that tax is due to expire, and the current tax rate that applies to the vehicle.

This link will also divulge handy information such as whether or not the vehicle has a valid MOT, when it’s due to run out, and the exact date the vehicle was registered. This is in addition to information about whether the vehicle is officially registered as off road, also known as SORN or Statutory Off Road Notification, as well as when the last V5 registration was issued.

Then there’s information about the vehicle itself, from the weight to the engine size, the kind of fuel it uses and CO2 emissions it emits, all of which is available at the DVLA number plate search page, at this link.

However, while you can find all this information, which is a substantial amount, it’s pretty difficult to find the name of the owner of the vehicle, AKA the registered keeper.

Whose plate is this? Finding a car owner by the number plate.

While it is very difficult, sometimes it’s possible to find out who owns a vehicle based on its number plate, as well as the vehicles previous owners.

However, to do so, you must have something known as “reasonable cause”, which can include locating a driver who’s abandoned a car or caused an accident. If you find a car abandoned or parked on your private land illegally, you can also try and trace the vehicle keeper through a DVLA request at this link.

Employees of parking enforcement organisations or those who dish out tickets for trespassing are also able to trace the owner of the plate to issue fines or warnings. Drivers suspected of insurance fraud can be located by these kinds of firms through the DVLA, too.

The police are also able to help with this kind of information if you’ve reported a theft of your vehicle, but they don’t hand it out willingly and will often deal with it themselves.

Can I trace the address of a driver from a car’s number plate?

So, for most people in the UK, the answer to this question is no. The Data Protection Act prohibits this information being shared with just about anyone, which is pretty understandable.

Buy a private number plate with National Numbers.

Are you in the market for a private registration? Maybe you’ve seen one on the road and want something close to it, or even that specific plate. If so, look no further than National Numbers.

Screenshot of National Numbers search for a number plate section of website

With over 40 years in the number plate industry and sales staff with incredible number plate knowledge, we can use our extensive network to locate number plates available for sale, including those you may spot on the roads. And if we can’t find an exact match for a number plate you’ve spotted, we’ll find you an alternative that’s as close as possible to the original.

Give our friendly and knowledgeable sales team a call on 01642 363738 or visit our private number plate search page at this link.

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