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, Updated On
May 23rd, 2024

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 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 a vehicle’s history without having to visit government offices, deal with tedious paperwork, or wait in long lines.

However, with so many online lookup sites, it can be difficult to tell which is best. So, we quickly compiled 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 lookup platform with a reliable search database constantly updated to generate accurate vehicle history reports. This website also doesn’t require users to sign up, make any payments, or fill out any survey questions to access the vehicle information they seek.

For this reason, it has built a positive reputation for itself online. The platform now covers all states in the US, including California. Furthermore, the license plate lookup information it compiles into reports is pulled from various sources.

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These include public vehicle databases, insurance companies, service stations, auto repair shops, and more. This information will usually cover 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. VinPit’s site uses high-end encryption to ensure that user privacy and confidentiality are maintained.

Plus, VinPit is mobile-optimized, so 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 high-speed processing of lookup search queries and compiles complete vehicle reports within minutes. The website can access various public and private databases, generating helpful car reports and getting highly reliable details.

Furthermore, the license plate search process is also relatively simple, meaning that even first-time users can easily navigate it. You visit the website, input the plate number, and hit search.

In minutes, a detailed report includes vehicle specs, information on its previous owners, any significant repairs it may have undergone, and more.

In addition, the site is entirely 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 is required


  • You may not always be able to retrieve the information you seek.
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vincheck free

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

As such, you can often expect to receive highly detailed and easy-to-read reports that cover a vast 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 check the license plates of vehicles in every US state and 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 for a small fee. The company also has one of the largest vehicle databases because it leverages Experian’s data and numerous official sources, such as the National Vehicle Database.

This makes it easy for users to collect valuable 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 purchasing a used car.

The company also boasts a solid customer service team that is available 24/7, making it a highly reliable site for all your vehicle search needs.


  • Extensive search database
  • The reliable customer service team
  • The unique vehicle rating system
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  • No mobile app
  • Requires payment


The Bumper is a multi-puBumperautomotive site that facilitates several different vehicle-related services. It allows users to sell and buy new or used cars, make vehicle comparisons, get auto insurance, and conduct in-depth license plate searches.

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

Also, since the site’s search database contains over 50 vehicle brands, you can easily gather data on just about any car brand or model. Plus, Bumper even comes wiBumper 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.


  • It has a convenient mobile app
  • It allows you to estimate any car’s actual market value.
  • Allows you to buy or sell cars on its platform


  • Requires a membership fee


Each of the five sites listed above can provide 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.

Whatever your valid reason for using these sites, feel free to run a license plate search at any time. However, remember that it’s illegal to use the information from these reports to harass or stalk registered car owners.

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