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Ohio License Plate Lookup


Ohio License Plate Lookup

When buying a pre-owned car, the buyers often face such issues that lead to money loss or purchasing an automobile with illegal details. So, during a purchase of an automobile, its background check became an essential part of the process.

Today, the right to access data about the vehicle’s history is not exclusively for the police. There are many Ohio license plate lookup tools, that allow conducting free search and obtaining data on a title, past ownership, odometer readings, salvage records, liens, and so on.

Through Ohio license plate lookup, you will avoid purchasing a truck that is involved in illegal actions. Besides, it reveals odometer misreading, engagement in natural disasters, and so on. It is quite difficult to foresee the defects of the car, as it may look quite normal outside but has certain problems behind it.

After getting the lookup results, you make sure that you get the quality you are paying for. There are 3 available options for the search: online, requesting a record from the state, or using the service of private investigators.


There are many online databases available, just choose a reliable online lookup service, that gets data from public agencies and insurance companies. Generally, they work immediately; fill out the plate number in a special gap, choose the state and by submitting this info, obtain the record within several minutes.

This option is free and legal. As you are paying taxes for the collecting and organizing of this data, the government feels accountable for giving you access to it. However, you have to keep in mind, that you can’t receive personal details of automobile owners, as the state strictly follows Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws. Moreover, while using the information of the record, you have to show a legitimate reason for it.

Requesting a Record from State

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is a public body that handles all license-plate-related issues. This means that you have a right to request a record by applying to this public institution.

Fill out the special request form, provide a permitted reason for the use of the personal details that you are to receive, and wait for the record. The results will be emailed to you or mailed.

Private Investigators

The service of private investigators is available throughout the US. They perform the lookup for you and send a package of information to you. Their service is expensive; however, the results will probably satisfy you.

No matter which search method you choose, you will receive the following data:

· Car owner (if it is an individual or business entity)

· Current and past titles

· Transactions (that had been made with the involvement of the vehicle, including loans)

· History of the accidents

· Damages (caused by the fire or flood)

· Inspection report

· Main specifications of the car

· The VIN

Registration Process

All the residents of OH have to use license plates while driving on public roads and highways. The authority that issues them is the BMV. When purchasing a new automobile or newly establishing residency, you have to contact it for titling and registration.

Before July 1, 2020, the national law required car owners to display two plates; one for the front and the other for the rear. But beginning from July 1, there is no need to display the front tag.

The latter contains 4 numbers and three letters. It pictures the “Sunrise in Ohio” and you are to find on it a field, city skyline, and child on a swing. Once in 5 years, the OH changes the design of the placards.

After moving to OH or purchasing a new truck, you have only 30 days to manage the registration. Before applying for the authorization, make sure you have valid auto insurance.

After titling, you should visit the local BMV agency and submit the following data:

· Proof of ownership

· Photo ID or Driver’s permit

· Power of Attorney for OH Registration (if applicable)

· Inspection documents

· Payment for the necessary fees and taxes

Before receiving your permanent authorization by mail, the state will issue a temporary permit that allows you to legally drive on the roads of OH. When purchasing a car from a certified dealership, you are to receive your temporary tag that is valid for 45 days.

The cost of registration is $34.50.

Available Types

The OH BMV offers numerous types of placards to serve its residents’ individual and organizational interests. There are many personalized and specialty types available. Let’s discuss each category separately.

Personalized Type

As a resident of OH, you have a right to customize your placards. However, there are special requirements that have to be followed:

· The tag must contain from 4 to 7 characters and include spaces. Motorcycles have up to 5 characters as their tags have less place.

· Don’t use offensive or vulgar writings, as the government may ban them.

· You can’t use combinations that have been used before or have any connection to the combinations chosen by the police or public institutions.

The cost of personalization is $50 in addition to standard payments.

Specialty Type

This category is here to feature special causes, hobbies, or organizations, and also supports fundraising. There are many subcategories inside this type, however, we specify 7 subtypes:

· Collegiate

· Organizational

· Disability

· Professional Sports

· Military

· Company logo

· Public owned

This category is charged in addition to standard certification costs.

Disability Type

The OH licensing agency issues disability stickers and tags. They allow the holders to park in specially designed parking zones. The sticker is a small wheelchair symbol that is displayed on the review mirror of your automobile.

You are eligible for this sticker if you have a permanent or temporary serious health issue or if you are a member of an organization that transfers people with disabilities. These tags are for people with serious health problems who own or lease their automobiles.

Ohio recognizes all the out-of-state disability permits and visitors don’t have to apply for the certification if they already have permits. While in the territory of Ohio they are subject to local parking regulations.


You may apply for the permit by mail or in person. If you’re applying for a sticker you need the following documents:

· Completed Application for Disability Placards (Form BMV 4826)

· Prescription provided by the certified physician

· The fee of $5

Mail the package of documents to:

P.O. Box 16521,
Columbus, OH 43216

You may also personally bring documents to the local deputy registrar’s office.


To obtain a tag, you have to own or lease your vehicle and show proof of eligibility. You have to submit a completed special application form for disability license plates (Form BMV 4834), show medical certification given by the physician, and pay the applicable fees.

For more details contact your local licensing office by calling (844) 644-6268.

Renewal Procedure

While registering and renewing your vehicle, you are offered several options for the length of the registration cycle. The cycle may last 1, 2, or 5 years.

Your registration expires on your birthday and the government requires you to renew it by this date. Generally, the BMV sends you a renewal notice 45 days before the actual expiration.

The method of renewal available for you will be indicated in the reminder. You can manage renewal online, by phone, through the mail, or in person at the Deputy Registrar’s Office.

Ohio has standard fees for the most common vehicles, but you will find a variety of taxes when looking through different counties. The fee for a passenger car is $31, for the motorcycle you have to pay $25, for non-commercial light trucks $46 and heavy ones $81.

The renewal cost for a motor home is $46 and for a moped $21. There are also additional fees accessible connected with the circle of the authorization. So, you may pay from $5 (one year) to $15 (5 years) additional costs.


If you have damaged, lost or someone has stolen your tags you should replace them as soon as possible. In case of theft, you must visit a local police station and file a crime report first.

Only after completing that procedure you should go to a local licensing agency and apply for the replacement.

Apply online, in-person, or by mail. The replacement procedure lasts up to 4 weeks and you may be required to obtain temporary permits to drive legally on the highways.

The cost of the replacement of one tag is $10.50, replacement of two is $11.50. The sticker’s replacement costs $4.50.

Transferring and Surrendering

The state attaches the placards to the owner’s name and when buying a new automobile, the owner has a right to transfer the numbers to a new auto. The fee for this procedure is $4.50.

You must surrender your tags if you sell, donate or auction your truck, or when you are moving to a new state.