Top 5 Sites To Lookup A California License Plate Online

Top 5 Sites To Lookup A California License Plate Online

Written by Olivia, In Automotive, Published On
December 30, 2022
Last modified on January 6th, 2023

There are a wide variety of reasons why you would want to conduct a license plate search today. Perhaps an apprehensive car has been trailing you and you want to know who it is. Alternatively, you may have noticed a suspicious vehicle in the neighborhood, or even seen one that was involved in a hit-and-run incident. Another common reason could be that you are considering purchasing a second-hand car.

Either way, an online license plate search from VinPit can help you quickly learn about the history of a vehicle without having to visit government offices and deal with tedious paperwork or long lines.

However, with so many online lookup sites to choose from, it can be difficult to tell which one is the best. So, we quickly put together a list of the top 5 license plate lookup sites that can provide you with the precise information you need on any car registered in California.

Top 5 Sites To Lookup A California License Plate Online

  1. VinPit – Provides accurate, up-to-date vehicle history reports for free.
  2. VINNumberLookup – Retrieves license plate information almost instantly
  3. VINCheckFree – Produces comprehensive vehicle reports
  4. AutoCheck – Has one of the largest vehicle search databases
  5. Bumper – Offers multiple vehicle lookup features and capabilities



VinPit is a leading online VIN number lookup platform with a reliable search database that is constantly updated to generate accurate vehicle history reports. This website also doesn’t require users to signup, make any payments, or fill out any survey questions to access the vehicle information they seek.

It is for this reason that it has built a positive reputation for itself online, with the platform now covering all states in the US, California included. Furthermore, the license plate lookup information that it compiles into reports is pulled from a wide variety of sources.

These include; public vehicle databases, insurance companies, service stations, auto repair shops and more. This information will usually cover details such as the vehicle’s specifications, ownership history, accident history, stolen/theft records, maintenance/service records, etc.

The service also makes it easy for users to download these reports to their local storage for later reference. On top of that, VinPit’s site uses high-end encryption to ensure that user privacy and confidentiality are maintained.

Plus, VinPit is mobile-optimized, and you can conduct license plate checks with VinPit no matter where you are, get it started now if you need to know a car’s history before buying.

Pros of VinPit:

  • Produces accurate and up-to-date vehicle reports
  • Offers access to an extensive search database
  • Encrypts all searches for confidentiality
  • No hidden charges or fees are necessary

Cons of VinPit:

  • Available in the US.


vinnumber lookup

VINNumberLookup is another popular license plate lookup site whose main highlight is that it facilitates extremely fast processing of lookup search queries and compiles full vehicle reports within minutes. The website has complete access to a wide variety of public and private databases, which enables it to generate useful car reports and get details that are highly reliable.

Furthermore, the license plate search process is also fairly simple and straightforward, which means that even first-time users can navigate their way through it without difficulty. You simply visit the website, input the plate number, and hit search.

In a matter of minutes, a full detailed report that includes vehicle specs, as well as information on its previous owners, any major repairs it may have previously undergone, and more.

In addition, the site is completely free to use, so you can conduct a license plate search at any time without making any long-term commitment to access its services.


  • Reliable vehicle history reports
  • Easy-to-use lookup platform
  • Instant license plate search results
  • No membership or payment required


  • May not always be able to retrieve the information you seek.


vincheck free

VINCheckFree is a great option to consider for license plate searches, especially if you need highly-comprehensive reports on a vehicle. This is because the site is well-known to generate reports pulled from credible databases such as police records, service stations, and insurance companies.

As such, you can often expect to receive extremely detailed and easy-to-read reports that cover a wide amount of information on the vehicle’s current condition, past incident reports, safety evaluations, and even sale history.

The site also allows users to easily conduct a license plate check on vehicles from every US state and it can retrieve information from almost all manufacturers worldwide. This means that no matter what the car brand is, VinCheckFree can provide you with what you need to know.


  • Retrieves data on any car brand or model.
  • Provides easy-to-read and comprehensive vehicle reports.
  • Access details on vehicles from any state in the US.


  • Not all the information will be 100% up-to-date.


AutoCheck is a premium license plate lookup platform that provides detailed reports on a car’s history at a small fee. The company also has one of the largest vehicle databases because its leverages Experian’s data, as well as numerous official sources such as the National Vehicle Database.

This makes it easy for users to collect useful details, such as a car’s rental history, photos, registration information, current market value, and more. However, what makes AutoCheck stand out is its unique rating system that allows you to compare two cars, making it the best option for those looking to purchase a used car.

Plus, the company also boasts a solid customer service team that is available 24/7, which makes them a highly-reliable site for all your vehicle search needs.


  • Extensive search database
  • The reliable customer service team
  • The unique vehicle rating system


  • No mobile app
  • Requires payment


The bumper is a multi-purpose automotive site that facilitates several different vehicle-related services. It not only allows users to sell and buy new or used cars, make vehicle comparisons and get auto insurance, but also conduct in-depth license plate searches.

With its license plate lookup tool, you can quickly review the status of any vehicle, with most of the reports typically containing useful information such as a car’s market value, current condition, as well as details on its past owners.

Also, since the site contains over 50 vehicle brands in its search database, you can easily gather data on just about any car brand or model. Plus, Bumper even comes with its own mobile app that is accessible on both iOS and Android devices.

The only downside is that unlike most of the other options on this list, you can only conduct unlimited license plate searches by paying a membership fee.


  • Has a convenient mobile app
  • Allows you to estimate any car’s true market value.
  • Allows you to buy or sell cars on its platform


  • Requires a membership fee


Each of the 5 sites we’ve listed above is more than capable of providing you with the information you need on any California-registered car. You will be able to learn more about a suspicious vehicle, uncover the identity of a hit-and-run driver or even avoid purchasing a stolen/damaged vehicle.

Either way, whatever your true reason for using these sites may be, feel free to run a license plate search at any time. However, do keep in mind that it’s illegal to use the information from these reports to harass or stalk any registered car owners.

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