How to find the owner of a license plate

When you are faced with a situation where you need to know the owner of a car, you wonder how to find out who owns it. Is it possible to find the owner of the car from its license plate number? For example, if you are the victim of a hit-and-run, how do you find the owner of a vehicle by using a license plate to establish contact with the person responsible?

In another case, if you find a lost object at a rest area and want to help find the owner of a car by its license plate, how do you know the name of the owner to inform them of the situation? Also, for all license plates, is it possible to find the owner of a car from its license plate, especially if you are looking to buy a vehicle?


Let’s say you come across a car for sale, exactly the model of car you’ve been looking for, but you can’t read the phone number on the sign. How to find the owner of a vehicle from a license plate in order to establish contact with the seller and discuss the transaction?

In all these cases, the challenge is to know the identity of the owner from a vehicle registration. Noting the plate is essential to find the owner of the vehicle in case of need. However, finding a vehicle without a license plate can be more difficult. In these situations, it is crucial to find ways to identify who owns a car with its license plate and thus facilitate interactions between the parties involved.

Alors comment trouver le propriétaire d’une plaque d’immatriculation ?

Vehicle registration is an important process for identifying a vehicle and its owner. When buying a used car, for example, it is essential to know the information about the vehicle and its owner to avoid fraud or problems later on. The SIV, which is the central registration file in France, provides access to certain information about vehicles and their owners. In France, searching for a license plate is the privilege of a small number of people, authorized by the high governmental authorities to have a variable access to the national registration file (F.N.I.). This file is the result of the automated processing of motor vehicle registrations, in order to centralize the administrative documents necessary to authorize traffic. This official file includes the name, first name and date of birth of the owner of the device. It cross-references this information with the vehicle’s make, model and color data. It is this cross-referencing of information that makes it possible to find the identity of the owner of a vehicle from its registration number.

Le fichier national des immatriculations et le fichier SIV

The FNI and the vehicle registration system (SIV) are the databases that gather all the information on vehicles and their owners in France. License plates are linked to these files and allow the identification of a vehicle and its owner. It is important to note that access to vehicle owner information is regulated to protect the privacy of individuals. Data such as the owner’s name, address or phone number is not available to the general public. On the other hand, certain vehicle information, such as date of first registration, car model, ownership or accident history, can be obtained in certain situations.

Que faire après un accident pour retrouver le propriétaire d’un véhicule grâce à la plaque ?

In some cases, such as in the case of an accident or a hit and run, it may be necessary to know the owner of a vehicle from its registration number. Law enforcement agencies have access to the SIV file to retrieve owner information from a plate and can intervene accordingly. If you are involved in an accident and need to know the owner’s information, it is best to contact the police or the gendarmerie.

In addition, insurance companies also have access to this data. In the event of an accident, you can contact your insurer and give them the registration number of the vehicle in question. Your insurance company will be able to identify the owner and his insurance company to obtain reimbursement for any damage.

Qui a accès au FNI (Fichier national des immatriculations) ou au fichier SIV ?

The only people who can check a license plate with a name, or the other way around, are members of the police force, the gendarmerie or the prefectures in cases concerning road safety via the database of the vehicle registration cards: there is all the information to identify the owner of the vehicle. Prefectural officials use the national file to check the dates of the mandatory technical inspection and to verify the availability of a vehicle (pledged or declared stolen). In these cases, it is important to find a car by its plate to warn or punish the owner.

This access to the NIF was recently extended to the intelligence services of the Defense and National Gendarmerie to assist them in the fight against terrorism and fraud.

Alors peut-on retrouver le nom du propriétaire du véhicule et toutes les informations à partir de sa plaque ?

If we take the particular case of a hit-and-run after a traffic collision, there is one access to the NIF that is of particular interest to us. This is the one that car insurance company personnel benefit from. You can therefore fill out a report on your own, noting only the license plate number. Your insurance company will be able to find the owner of the license plate, and the details of his insurance company in order to reimburse him for any damage. This is the only case in which you will be able to access the national registration file through an intermediary.

In conclusion, we can say that searching for a license plate and finding the owner of the vehicle from it is not an easy task for a private individual in France. Law enforcement agencies, prefectures and insurance companies have limited and regulated access to the NIF and IVS databases to preserve the confidentiality of personal data.

EDIT: since the writing of this page, the subject has been further explored: it seems that other alternatives are available to us for find the name of the owner of a vehicle thanks to its license plate. (click or comment directly on the article with the said registration) or use this form directly:

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