How Can I Find Out If Someone Has a Car Registered In My Name?

Last Updated on January 19, 2023

Has someone registered a car in your name? It’s not a common issue, but there are certain situations where someone will register a car in your name.

If someone has a car registered in your name, then it could be a serious problem. You could be liable for accidents you never caused. Your car insurance rates could rise. Your driver’s license could be revoked.

For all of these reasons, it’s crucial to determine if someone has a car registered in your name. Today, we’re going to explain how to check a vehicle’s registration.

How Can I Find Out If Someone Has a Car Registered In My Name?

Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Immediately

If you believe someone has a car registered in your name, then you need to contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) immediately.

The DMV keeps a record of every driver in the state. The DMV tracks the driver’s record, infraction history, vehicle type, and more.

At this point, you can explain the situation to the DMV. Explain that you believe someone else has illegitimately registered a vehicle in your name.

You may need to provide your driver’s license number, full name, and proof of identity. The DMV can search your name and driver’s license number to see if there are any unknown vehicles attached to your record.

If the DMV search doesn’t reveal any unknown vehicles attached to your driving record, then nobody has registered a vehicle in your name.

How to Check a Vehicle’s Registration

Checking a vehicle’s registration is easy if you know the VIN or license plate number.

You might check a vehicle’s registration if you are preparing to buy a used car, for example, and want to verify the seller has legitimate ownership of the vehicle.

Alternatively, you might check a vehicle’s registration to verify it’s in your friend’s name – and not registered in your own name.

Here’s how to check a vehicle’s registration with the DMV:

  • Step 1) Write down the vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Step 2) Write down the vehicle’s license plate number
  • Step 3) Check the vehicle’s license plate to verify the state
  • Step 4) Contact the DMV for the state in which the vehicle is registered, then request a title record.

The DMV’s title record will list who owns the title for that vehicle. If someone has registered that vehicle in your name, then the title record will show your own name.

Some DMVs require you to claim an exemption under the Driver Privacy Protection Act before you request a title record.

With some DMVs, you only need the license plate number or the VIN. Some DMVs require both the license plate number and the VIN to run a title record search, however.

Check the National Motor Vehicles Title Information System (NMVTIS)

The Department of Justice runs the National Motor Vehicles Title Information System (NMVTIS). It’s a database that contains information about the condition and history of vehicles. Only 14 states use the database, but you may still be able to find more information about the vehicle you’re researching.

You can use the NMVTIS database to request a detailed state record of the vehicle from one of two authorized providers. The NMVTIS requires you to use CARCO Group Inc. or Auto Data Direct Inc. Both agencies charge a fee for a detailed report on a vehicle.

If you pay to request the report, you will receive detailed information about who holds the title of the car and other detailed information about the vehicle.

How to Register a Vehicle in Your Own Name

To register a vehicle in your name, you will need to follow these steps:

Step 1) Gather Necessary Paperwork: Rules vary between states. Generally, you need your vehicle’s insurance information, the VIN, proof of purchase (the title), your driver’s license, Social Security card, and proof of residence (like a utility bill, bank statement, or lease agreement). Call your DMV before you arrive to make sure you have the necessary paperwork in order.

Step 2) Visit Your Local DMV: Most DMVs accept walk-in vehicle registration, although some DMVs require you to make an appointment. Some states also have a Motor Vehicle Administration or Department of Transportation instead of a DMV.

Step 3) Complete Registration Forms: The DMV will give you the relevant vehicle registration paperwork to complete. Enter your personal information, vehicle information (make, model, and VIN), and other required info.

Step 4) Pay the Registration Fee: The DMV charges a registration fee. Most DMVs accept all standard forms of payment.

Step 5) Place the Registration Sticker on your License Plate: Your DMV will give you a sticker. Place the sticker on the rear license plate of your vehicle to complete vehicle registration.

The specific registration process varies between states. Drivers in California and certain other states, for example, will need to complete a smog check. Check with your DMV before you arrive.

Final Word

It’s unusual for someone to register another vehicle in your name. However, it’s still possible.

If someone has fraudulently used your identity to register a vehicle, you must fix the situation as soon as possible. Contact your DMV to verify your driving record. The DMV should be able to tell you if any other vehicles are registered in your name.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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