Nevada License Plate Lookup

License Plate Lookup in Nevada

A Nevada license plate lookup uses the vehicle's license plate number to find information about the vehicle and the vehicle owner. Using a license plate lookup tool, a potential buyer may be able to obtain information about a vehicle, such as a vehicle's current owner, date of last renewal, state of the vehicle, and any associated lien. Other details that may be found via a license plate lookup include selected Nevada traffic records as well as:

  • Branded title
  • Accident or damage report
  • Car registration issues
  • Recent vehicle inspections
  • Limited license plate owner information
  • Driver’s criminal history
  • Odometer readings
  • Vehicle description

Vehicle registrations, renewals, and license plates are administered in Nevada by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You may perform a license plate lookup online for free or visit any local DMV office. You can easily find basic information about a vehicle using free tools, but detailed vehicle history reports can only be obtained from official sources like the DMV. DMV-sourced information from license plate lookups is also accurate and regularly updated, while search results from license plate lookups conducted from free service providers may be inaccurate and dated.

What is a Nevada License Plate?

Nevada license plates are metal number plates assigned to vehicles registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to identify the vehicle and its owner. The Nevada DMV requires most vehicles on the state roads to display front and rear license plates at all times, except for trailers and motorcycles. Trailers and motorcycles are only required to display rear plates at all times. If your vehicle is designed for a front plate or has an add-on bracket or frame, the Nevada DMV requires that such vehicles display both front and rear license plates; otherwise, according to Section 482.275 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, front plates are optional. If the Nevada DMV issues a vehicle owner two plates but the second plate is not displayed, the vehicle owner is obligated to store the second plate and surrender both plates to the DMV as at when due.

At all times, license plates must be securely affixed to the vehicle in such a way that they do not swing and at a height of not less than 12 inches above the ground, measured from the bottom of the plate, in a location and position that is clearly visible. It must be kept free of foreign matter and in a readable state.

License plate requirements require that plates be viewable in daylight from a distance of 100 feet. At night, when illuminated by conventional headlights, plates must be visible from a distance of 110 feet. Per Section 482.270 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, rear plates must include a decal indicating the expiry month and year. Registration decals indicating the month and year of expiration are placed on the upper right-hand corner of the rear license plate in Nevada.

The Nevada DMV issues small license plates to motorcycles and trailers under 1,000 pounds of gross weight. Trailers weighing above 1,000 pounds are issued full-size plates. The DMV does not prohibit the use of plate frames and covers provided the plate is legible and all other requirements have been met. The Nevada DMV issues standard license plates and specialty plates to vehicle owners in the state. License plates may also be customized.

Nevada issues license plates to individuals and businesses, not to vehicles. If you are selling your vehicle in Nevada, the state mandates that you either use the plates on another vehicle or surrender them for cancellation within 30 days after the sale of standard plates or 60 days after the sale of special plates. If you intend to continue using personalized plates for an extended length of time, you must return the decal.

How Do I Get a License Plate in Nevada?

To obtain a license plate in Nevada, you must have your vehicle registered with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). No car may be driven on state roads without valid vehicle registration. To complete your registration for a vehicle purchased from a Nevada dealer, the following information or document are required:

  • Application for Vehicle Registration (VP 222) form, if a third party registers the vehicle on behalf of the owner.
  • Nevada evidence of insurance.
  • Nevada Emission Vehicle Inspection Report. The dealer typically issues this report.
  • Electronic Dealer Report of Sale (EDRS).
  • Current odometer reading.

Note that vehicles must be registered prior to the expiration date on the placard issued by the dealer. Owners of vehicles purchased from Nevada dealers may complete vehicle registrations using the Nevada Online Vehicle Registration tool. Such owners may also transfer existing plates or obtain standard or other styles of specialty plates in the mail.

To register vehicles purchased from out-of-state dealers, the following are required:

  • Application for Vehicle Registration (VP 222) form if a third party registers the vehicle on behalf of the owner
  • VIN inspection
  • Nevada Emission Vehicle Inspection Report, if required
  • Nevada evidence of insurance
  • Current odometer reading

The invoice of the Bill of Sale and of:

  • Lease agreement
  • Security agreement
  • Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin

Vehicles purchased from out-of-state dealers must be registered prior to the expiration of any movement permit issued. Also, such vehicle owners are required to ensure that dealers complete the odometer statement on the certificate of origin or title for 2011 or newer vehicles. The Nevada DMV will also accept a secure Power of Attorney or similar statement.

Registration requirements for new residents in Nevada and vehicles acquired through private party sales, family sales, and gifts are also outlined on the registration requirements page of the Nevada DMV website. The application process for personalized license plates is also available on the DMV website. For more information on obtaining license plates in Nevada, contact:

Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711-0725
E-mail: info@dmv.nv.gov

To make the required payments for vehicle registrations in Nevada, registrants are advised to have their VIN or MSRP ready and use the online fee estimate tool to obtain estimated registration fees. Note that VIN inspections are conducted at the DMV offices. Vehicle owners may drive to the inspection stations outside the main offices to have VIN inspections conducted. No appointments are required. Also, except where vehicles are eligible for online registration, registrants are required to visit DMV Full-Service office locations to complete their vehicle registrations. An appointment is necessary to complete a vehicle registration at a Nevada DMV office.

Passenger License Plates vs. Commercial License Plates

Although Nevada distinguishes between passenger and commercial vehicles, the requirements for obtaining license plates are the same for both types of vehicles. Per Section 706.126 of the Nevada Revised Statutes, a commercial vehicle refers to any vehicle built, maintained, or primarily used for the transportation of property or passengers in furtherance of commercial enterprise, except and excluding any vehicle that is a taxicab moto-carrier. Hence, any vehicle not used for personal purposes is deemed a commercial vehicle in Nevada. Delivery trucks, buses, and service vehicles are all examples of commercial vehicles. Nevada does not distinguish commercial vehicles by type of vehicle, the number of wheels, length, weight, height, or size. Note that vehicles weighing 26,001 and above must be registered through Motor Carrier.

How Can I Find the Owner of a License Plate in Nevada?

You can find a vehicle owner in Nevada if you know the vehicle's license plate number. To do so, you need to conduct a license plate search through the Nevada DMV or third-party license plate lookup service. Before the Nevada DMV issues license plates, vehicle records and vehicle owner information are obtained from vehicle registrants and maintained in a database. Hence, by searching DMV records using a license plate number, it is possible to find the owner of the vehicle.

Third-party aggregate sites are a reliable alternative for obtaining license plate information. These sites are maintained by independent establishments which collate the information from government-run repositories. Obtaining records from these sites often proves substantially easier than government alternatives. However, requestors may be required to provide any information required to facilitate the record search and pay any required fees to access the record of interest.

Nevada License Plate Renewal

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 484, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles replaces license plates every eight years under a scheme called "rolling reissue" that started in July 2016. This program was established to limit the loss of readability and reflectivity on license plates due to the age of license plates. Hence, a Nevada license plate is valid for eight years after issuance. Note that if your license plate is not due for a reissue, you may only order duplicate license plates and not renew your plates. Replaced license plates will retain the same serial number. Plates with Sunset backdrops will be converted to have Nevada Home Means backgrounds. Specialty plates will retain their current appearance. The wording on almost all replacement plates will be embossed.

You will receive new plates in the mail when you pay your vehicle registration renewal and make the payment for the plate fee. Renewals of vehicle registration that involve replacement plates will include a 50 cents per plate prison industry fee in addition to all other relevant registration costs. Also, renewals may or may not include a $3.00 plate cost recovery fee per plate. This cost often applies to plates with the Sunset backdrop, such as Classic Vehicle and similar plates. Special plates that benefit charitable organizations already contain a production cost and will be charged simply the prison industry fee.

Vehicle registration renewal may be completed online, in person, or through DMV kiosks. To complete registrations in person, you must make an appointment at the Carson City, Henderson, Las Vegas, or Reno office of the Nevada DMV. The addresses of local DMV offices are available on the DMV website. You may also complete renewal at a County Assessor office that offers vehicle registration and renewal in Nevada. A list of the forms that may be required for renewal is available on the registration renewal page of the DMV website.

Can You Look Up License Plates with VIN?

Yes, you can look up Nevada license plates if the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) of the vehicles are known. The VINs are linked with the license plates and other vehicle and owner information in the Nevada DMV records. You can conduct VIN lookups in Nevada by visiting any of the locations of the local DMV offices.

VIN Number Lookup

A VIN lookup refers to using a Vehicle Identification Number to obtain information about a vehicle through a VIN lookup tool. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is a 17-character imprinted on cars by manufacturers to identify each car uniquely. The VIN may be found on the dashboard of the driver's side of the vehicle, the doorpost of the driver's side door, the engine block, or the hood underside. The VIN can reveal specific information about the vehicle, such as country of production, airbag types, engine size, plant name, safety recalls, trim level, insurance coverages, and claims.

A VIN lookup can reveal a vehicle's accident history, ownership history, sale history, market worth, and other relevant information.