What Information Is Obtainable from a License Plate Number After a Crash?

Published on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:33 pm in Car Accidents.

Collection of license plates

After a car accident, like a hit-and-run, sometimes all you have from the driver at fault is their license plate number. You might want their name, address, and phone number so that you can hold them responsible for their actions. But can you get the driver’s personal information based on their plate?

As an average person, in short, the answer is no. You most likely don’t have direct access to the databases that hold information about drivers. Even though you can’t get anything directly, there are legal ways to find out who is responsible for a car crash based on their plate number.

Information Available in Illinois

Access to personal information linked to a plate number is not granted to the general public. Drivers’ information is safeguarded through the Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), also known as Public Law No. 103-322. The DPPA ensures that the personal information associated with a motor vehicle cannot be disclosed unless it is needed for official use, which includes civil and criminal proceedings like a hit-and-run case.

Looking up the owner of a car by their license plate is legal in Illinois, but only if you have a legitimate reason. You can submit a request form through the Secretary of State of Illinois, and there is a fee between $5 and $10, depending on what you’re requesting. Other than filling out the form, you can’t get a driver’s personal information based on their license plate number after a crash.

What to Do After Writing Down a License Plate Number

Writing down the plate number of a person who caused an accident is useful. Even though you probably can’t get other information about the driver from their plate number, you still have useful information by just having the plate. Instead of taking matters into your own hands after someone crashes into you, you should call the police and report the incident.

When the officer shows up to make a report of the scene and take witness information, that’s when telling the license plate number is helpful, especially in the event of a hit-and-run. The officer will be able to utilize that information and track down who caused the accident. That way, you can legally hold them responsible if you are planning to file a car accident claim. You can also give the plate to your insurance company to prove that the accident was not your fault.

If you’ve experienced a car accident in Marion, IL, you could use the help of a lawyer from Prince Law Firm. Whether the damages are just to your car, or are also physical and emotional injuries, you could benefit from our legal help. You deserve compensation for all that you’ve been through, and our experienced attorneys will fight to make sure you get that. Contact us today so that we can discuss your case.



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