Can you trace who owns a number plate I want to buy?
We are often asked if we can trace the owner of a particular registration number. But unfortunately this is not possible. We cannot do this for you as it is protected information.
We understand that you may wish to trace the owner in order to make an offer for the registration number.
Why can't I trace a number plate?
Individuals' data is protected under the Data Protection Act. Only certain organisations, such as the police and the DVLA have access to that information.
If you think about it... if that was your information, you probably wouldn't everyone to be able to access it.
The number plate I want isn't for sale anywhere. What do I do?
It is possible to find out if the number plate you want is currently on a car if you look for relevant websites.
If it's not on a car, someone may be keeping it on a DVLA number plate certificate. It's also possible that it was never issued. Or it's even possible that it was once on a vehicle but the vehicle was scrapped, in which case the registration number was lost with it.
So there are any number of possibilities.
You should write to the DVLA with your enquiry. They may be able to advise you as to whether the registration number you want was ever issued, and when. Or they may keep a record of your interest, and let you know if or when they plan to make it available.
Make sure the number plate you want is valid
All number plates must follow a specific format in the UK. You can't ask for anything you want, like in some countries. Before you contact the DVLA, make sure that what you are asking for fits within the standard formats.