Determine vehicle owner: What are the options?

If a driver violates applicable traffic law and is struck by lightning, the owner of the vehicle usually receives mail from the fine office first.

Today, driver liability applies, but the authorities assume that either the driver concerned is the vehicle owner at the same time, or that the driver knows who he left his vehicle to at the time of the crime.

Who is the vehicle owner? The determination is usually made using the license plate of the vehicle.

But what options are available to the responsible fine agency to find the vehicle information? And is the determination of the holder reserved for authorities only or can it also be carried out by private individualsYou can find information about vehicle owner identification in the following guide.

Determine vehicle owner: The license plate provides information

If the offence committed was, for example, the speed limit exceeded, the competent fine agency is generally only aware of two points :

  1. The measurement result of the speed control
  2. The license plate of the vehicle with which the violation was committed

Based on the first information, the authority is able to determine the impending penalties from the catalog of fines. However, she does not help her in finding a keeper of a motor vehicle.

To determine the vehicle ownerinformation number two is necessary: ​​Finally, the authority can find the owner details by license plate lookup. This usually only requires a so-called ZEVIS query at the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).

If the fine agency has found the keeper of a car, it usually sends out a hearing formZEVIS stands for “Central Traffic Information System  and describes, as it were, a huge database that lists, among other things, all vehicles that have an official license plate number and are registered in the world – including the name and address of the respective keeper.

As soon as the license plate is available, it is absolutely no problem for the responsible fine agency to determine the vehicle owner.

After she has carried out the identification of the holder using a license plate lookup, she will normally send a so-called hearing from in the next step. In this, the keeper can provide information on the allegations but is not obliged to do so. If the authority was able to determine who committed the traffic violation with the vehicle, the vehicle finally receives the relevant notice of the fine.

Incidentally, the license plate number is not always required when determining the holder. The police have ways to find a car owner – even without a license plate. However, it always depends on the circumstances in the individual case.

Can private individuals also determine the owner of a motor vehicle?

It is quite normal for the police to sometimes blame traffic offenders. After all, officials can not have their eyes and ears everywhere. However, this does not mean that affected drivers automatically get away with it in such cases.

Because it can also be the case that private individuals have noticed certain misconduct and therefore want to file a complaint.

Read More: Determine vehicle owner: when is this permissible?

But can you also determine the vehicle owner if, for example, a vehicle is blocking a property entrance around the clock? The answer to this question is provided by Section 39 of the Road Traffic Act (StVG)Paragraph 1 of the said paragraph states that

stored vehicle data and holder data to be transmitted by the licensing authority or by the Federal Motor Transport Authority if the recipient, specifying the relevant registration number or the relevant vehicle identification number, shows that he / she is using the data for the purpose of assertion, security or enforcement or for Satisfaction or defense against legal claims in connection with participation in road traffic or to file a private lawsuit for road traffic violations (simple register information). “

Under certain circumstances, private individuals can also determine the owner of a motor vehicle.

This makes it clear: Even private individuals can use a license plate to determine the owner of a vehicle if there is good reason to do so.

However, it is difficult to determine the holder as a private person without a license plate. In such a case, it is advisable to report it to the police. The responsible officials then take care of determining the vehicle owner – with or without a license plate.

Determine vehicle owners online using the license plate: is that possible?

Individuals who want to identify a car owner are now increasingly having the option to do it all online. In Berlin, for example, this works on the website of the State Office for Citizens’ and Regulatory Affairs.

Please note: You can only have a vehicle owner’s registration carried out if the requirements of the paragraph cited above are met.

Among other things, you can have the vehicle owner determined if one of the following reasons exists:

  • private exit was blocked.
  • You want to receive damages after an accident on the road.
  • private parking lot was used without authorization.
  • A driver made from a gas station from the dust, without paying.
  • A parked car was parked.
Important: If you want to find the owner online using the license plate number, a fee of 0 euros will be charged.
If you try to determine the respective vehicle owner without one of the scenarios just mentioned, make yourself punishable and have to be prepared for an indication of the improper query of owner data from the vehicle register!
You can usually find more information on the website that offers license plate-based keeper identification.