Illinois License Plate Lookup 

Are you buying a second-hand vehicle in Illinois? Do you want to know more about its history before deciding? It is one of the many instances when Illinois license plate lookup comes in handy. 

The best way to look up a license plate number in Illinois is through third-party websites, such as VIN Check, FAXVIN, VIN Free Check, Search Quarry, and License Plate Data. Alternatively, you can also visit the DMV office or request information from the Secretary of State in Illinois. You will learn important information about a vehicle through license plate lookup, including make, model, year, odometer reading, and accident reports. 

Read on to learn about Illinois license plate lookup, including some of the best methods. 

State of Illinois License Plate Lookup

Illinois License Plate Lookup

Like in other states, a license plate is a legal requirement for vehicles in Illinois. Upon registration, you will be given a unique plate with a string of numbers and letters, an individual identifier. It will be used for individual identification purposes. 

The license plate can reveal several details. Among others, it will show you the make, model, and year of a specific car. It is also possible to reveal the vehicle identification number. 

You can use various providers. Depending on their service, they can reveal more information about a vehicle through license plate lookup. For instance, it can show vehicle title information, odometer readings, vehicle description, and vehicle history. 

A common misconception is that you will know the vehicle owner through an online license plate lookup. Nonetheless, no reason to worry as such information is protected.

It cannot be revealed unless the person searching works with the authorities, such as the police. The latter is possible only during extreme circumstances, such as criminal investigations. 

What Is the Best Way to Do A license Plate Lookup in Illinois?

So, what is the best way to do a license plate lookup in Illinois? We’ll talk about some of the best options below:

1. Use Websites Offering License Plate Lookup 

One of the best ways to check a license plate in Illinois is through many websites offering such a service for free or a fee. Below are some of the websites to check out.

Take note, however, that we are not affiliated with these websites. Exercise caution when using these websites. Some will require a payment, so read reviews and be careful to prevent being scammed: 

VIN Check 

At, you can do an Illinois license plate lookup for free. The website guarantees that you can get a report within seconds. You must input the license plate number on the website, choose Illinois as the state, and hit Search License Plate. 

This is one of the most comprehensive reports we have seen. After searching, you will find a summary showing the VIN and report date, theft records, accident records, salvage auction records, and vehicle age. 

On the left side, click a tab to see more details. For instance, you will find city mileage, highway mileage, fuel type, and fuel capacity under fuel efficiency.

There is also a section for safety ratings. We assume that such information is based on the actual model and make and not specific to the car with a plate you are searching for. 


Another website worth checking out for a state of Illinois license plate lookup is You can save time since you no longer need to visit a local DMV office to get the necessary information.

Just enter the license plate, choose Illinois, then click Check Plate. Plus, the service is also free, so there is no harm in giving it a shot. 

Once you input the required details, you will get a report in seconds. The report shows the vehicle identification number, make, model, year, trim, style/body, engine, manufacturing location, and age. 

Meanwhile, the next page will show more information. You will find details about the transmission, driveline, anti-brake system, and standard seating. If you want to know more, you can order a more comprehensive report at a fee. 


Discover more information through a license plate number by using While it was designed primarily for vehicle identification numbers (VIN), you can also use it for license plates. On the website, type the plate number, choose a state, and click Check Plate. 

The basic information you can retrieve through the website includes the year, make, model, trim level, style, and manufacturing place. You can also see accident records, flood records, odometer records, number of previous owners, and lien/loan records, among others. 

Search Quarry is another website that should be on your radar for license plate lookup in Chicago or any other city in Illinois. The process is almost the same as the other websites on his list – enter the plate number, pick Illinois as the state, and click Search.

We tried Search Quarry and found it to be very basic in terms of what you can do for free. You will find the year, make, and model. Other than that, however, you must request a report and pay.

You can choose a single report or avail of a one-year unlimited package. There is also an option for a seven-day trial. 

With the paid reports from Search Quarry, you will discover more information about a specific vehicle. You will find traffic citations, accident reports, vehicle history reports, and registration details.

The website also claims that you will see the name of the owner. However, such is protected under privacy laws, so we are unsure how accurate the website claims are. 

License Plate Data 

With more than 11 million searches completed, is another free service that should be on your radar. Like the options above, the process is as simple as inputting the plate number, choosing Illinois as the state, and clicking the search button.

Within seconds, you will see a basic report, and when you click on View Full Report, you will see more information.

After searching for a plate number, the first details you will see are the Vehicle Information Number, style, year, make, model, drive type, fuel, and engine type. On the other hand, by going to the full report, you will also see sales history, recalls and defects, and other important specs.

However, such details are also available if you dig deeper and search more about a specific vehicle model, even without the plate number. 

2. Reach Out to DMV 

Another effective method for Illinois license search is to approach the DMV. The latter is the organization responsible for regulating motor vehicles in the country; hence, they have the authority to release plate numbers at their discretion.

You must meet certain criteria before you can know the plate number. 

Call the DMV or visit their office. You can ask one of their employees to request a license plate lookup. However, this is not going to be easy. You must prove that you have a valid reason for asking for such information. You can also try it through their website. 

3. Secretary of State 

The Secretary of State handles license plate registration in Illinois. Meanwhile, it is the Vehicle Services Department that administers the registration.

Hence, you can reach the Secretary of State and file a request to look up a specific plate number. You can file an information request online. 

However, you will be given limited information, and you need to pay a fixed fee depending on the information you request. For instance, a title search or registration search will cost $5. Meanwhile, Certification for Court is $10. 

What Information Can You Get from an Illinois License Lookup?

illinois license plate lookup owner

The details you can retrieve for license plate owner lookup can vary from provider to provider. In most cases, below are the inclusions in the report: 

1. Make, Model, and Year

At the most basic, the report will show a specific vehicle’s make, model, and year. Some people can quickly tell such information by looking at an auto, but for most people, such is difficult without a report. 

2. Accident Records

This is especially important if you buy a used car. The records will show any accident that has been recorded. Hence, this will give you an idea of the vehicle’s overall condition before purchasing. 

3. Sales History

Some reports are comprehensive enough to show the previous vehicle sales. This way, you will have insights into how many owners the car has been with and an idea of its possible condition. 

4. Odometer Readings

You can ask the person selling a used car right away for the odometer readings. But if you want to confirm it or the seller is unreachable, you can do a quick license plate lookup to know the odometer readings. 

5. Recall History

The license lookup will also let you know if the specific model has been a subject of recalls in the past years. This will give you insights into a vehicle’s potential performance and quality. 

6. Vehicle Information Number

The VIN can be retrieved through a license plate lookup. You can retrieve more information about a vehicle, such as warranty claims, thefts, and insurance coverage. 

Again, can you look up an Illinois license plate? You can conduct a license plate lookup for an Illinois license plate. You can do so by contacting the Illinois Vehicle Service department or by using third-party websites.

What to Do If the License Plate Number Is Unavailable? 

We assume you have access to the plate number in our discussions above. What if the license plate is unavailable?

Can you search for the specific plate number and other information about a vehicle? Absolutely! And there are several ways by which you can find a license plate number, including the following: 

1. Vehicle Identification Number 

The best way to look for a plate number is through VIN. The latter is a unique string of 17 numbers and letters. It is a standard format, regardless of the make or model of a vehicle.

You can find it in many places, such as on the driver’s side. Alternatively, you can also go through vehicle records, such as registration and insurance. 

Once you know the VIN, you can use online tools to look for the plate number. Many websites we discussed earlier will let you input the VIN and reveal the plate number after a quick search. 

4. Car Registration 

If you have a copy of the car registration, then you have another way to access the license plate number. All vehicles in Illinois must be duly registered. And once you register, you will receive a printed document showing important information about a car, including the plate number. 

5. Car Title 

To prove the ownership of a specific vehicle, you will need a car title. Like the registration, this printed document will also contain the plate number. If the actual plate number is nowhere to be seen, you can retrieve the VIN and use it online to search for the license plate. 

6. Insurance Card 

Another printed document that can show your plate number is your insurance card. It is proof that you are a policyholder covered by insurance, so you must keep a copy of such. It can also contain VIN, which can be the basis for license plate number lookup. 

7. DMV Office

If you have tried those mentioned above and the plate number is still unavailable, the next best thing to do is to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles in Illinois. They have records of all vehicles and can provide you with the plate number.

Before they do so, however, there can be some verifications to prove that you are the owner or legally allowed to access the plate number. 

Frequently Asked Questions – License Plate Lookup in Illinois

can you look up illinois license plates

Can You Find Personal Information Through Illinois License Plate Lookup? 

In most cases, you will not find personal information through the Illinois license plate lookup owner. Privacy laws cover such information.

Nonetheless, you might be able to do so if you work with relevant authorities, such as those in law enforcement. This is possible during criminal investigations. Such will entail more than a quick online search. 

What Can You Find in a License Plate Lookup? 

The information that the license plate lookup will reveal differs from one service provider to another. In most cases, it will include the vehicle’s make, model, and year. It can also include accident, insurance, recall, and loan reports. Most will also have a detailed spec sheet of the vehicle.

Is Illinois License Lookup Free? 

Yes, it is a free online service you can enjoy through several third-party websites. Some providers may charge a fee if you want a more comprehensive report. 

What Do License Plate Codes Mean in Illinois? 

Below are some of the most popular Illinois license plate codes: 

  • AV – Antique Vehicle 
  • CV – Charity Vehicle 
  • CM – Commuter Van 
  • DV – Disabled Person (Veteran) 
  • DE – Driver Education 
  • DF – Duty Death Firefighter 
  • EL – Electric Vehicle 
  • EN – Environmental 
  • FM – Farm Machinery 
  • H – Deaf/Hard of Hearing 
  • HC – Honorary Consular 
  • MP – Municipal Police 
  • PT – Public Transportation 
  • RT – Recreational Trailer 
  • RV – Recreational Vehicle 
  • TW – Tow Truck 
  • WT – Tinted Window 

How Do You Do a Reverse License Plate Lookup? 

To conduct a reverse license plate lookup, you can utilize third-party websites providing such a service.

Most of them are free and will generate reports containing essential information based on a plate number, including the make, model, year of a specific card, and insurance, accident, and lien records. Alternatively, you can also go to DMV. 

Is License Plate Lookup Legal? 

Yes, looking up a license plate number is legal, although there are limitations to what the law allows.

One of the most important is to not look for personal information, such as the name and address of the vehicle owner. Under the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act, only authorized persons can access such details. 

In Closing – Illinois License Plate Lookup 

The best method for license plate number lookup in Illinois is through third-party websites, such as:

  • Vin Check,
  • VIN Free Check,
  • Search Quarry, and
  • License Plate Data.

You can also go to the DMV Office or send a formal request to the Secretary of State.

Meanwhile, if a car has no plate number and you want to look for it, you can use the Vehicle Identification Number as the basis and use VIN search tools online. 

You will find relevant information about a specific vehicle through license plate lookup, such as the make, model, year, accident records, lien records, insurance records, and recall history.

Nonetheless, note that you cannot legally access personal information, such as the name and address of the owner. Retrieving such data requires working with the authorities.