Each license plate can be assigned to the owner of the vehicle.
This data is stored at the Federal Motor Transport Authority and issued if there is a legitimate interest.
Do you want to find the owner of another vehicle with the license plate?
You can only get the holder data if it is required by legal means, i.e. you have a legitimate interest. This applies, for example, if you have been endangered or damaged by the keeper in connection with road traffic.
It is also possible to obtain the data for maintenance claims over $ 500.00. If you find a license plate, you must take it to the police.
What is “legitimate interest”?
When you can query and receive the data is regulated in the ” Road Traffic Act §39 “.
The data may only be released in connection with claims in road traffic or with the Maintenance Act .
Are there any other ways to get the holder data?
Yes, but not by the authorities. There are several ways to get the data without the police or central registry. For example via search engines or online auto ranger.
I found a license plate and would like to return it. Who owns the license plate?
Hand in the license plate to the police, they can help you quickly and find the owner of the license plate.
Who is the owner of the license plate? (Ownership)
The license plate belongs to the person who bought the license plate. Even if the city has sealed the license plate, this does not change the ownership structure.
Unlike in other countries, such as Switzerland, we do not have a public directory with holder data in Germany.
It is therefore only possible with legal means to receive the data if there is a so-called legitimate interest.
But do n’t let that discourage you, there are many tricks you can use to find out something.
First of all, we should clarify whether there is a legal basis for your case.
Do you have a legal basis to obtain the data?
There are only a few cases (when viewed roughly) in which you can find out the owner of the vehicle.
This is regulated by the so-called Road Traffic Act §39 ( transmission of vehicle data and owner data for the pursuit of legal claims ).
You can only find out the vehicle owner if it is required by law
You will only receive the official owner data legally if it is required by legal action.
Example 1: To get the data related to road traffic
This would be the case, for example, if someone damaged your vehicle and you wrote down the number plate.
The damage incurred is normally covered by the offender’s motor liability insurance (the person who caused the accident).
However, if he commits to flee the driver and the perpetrator is not found, you remain on the damage. Unless you have fully comprehensive insurance, which also covers damage caused by an unexplained driver escape.
In such cases, you should, therefore, try to write down the number of the person who caused the accident so that you can report it to your car insurance company and the police in the event of a driver escape.
Another possibility is that the car owner has to pay a tow. For example, if he blocked a driveway with his car without permission.
Example 2: To get the data related to the maintenance right
However, to receive the data for a right to maintenance claim, the amount must be greater than € 500.00.
What is the “legitimate interest” anyway?
You have to be able to prove to the competent authority that the data are required to satisfy his legal claims.
But there are other ways that you might still be able to find out.
The police can find out the keeper
If you have been endangered by a driver, you can file a complaint with the police. If there is sufficient suspicion, the authority can query the holder data using the license plate in the central register.
When information is possible
The authorities and the Federal Motor Transport Authority may therefore only pass on data in exceptional cases.
But only if the information is required by legal means. This is only the case if a third-party car or property has been damaged or endangered by a vehicle.
The registration authority or the Federal Motor Transport Authority shall transmit the stored vehicle and keeper data if the recipient shows that he has the data to assert, secure or enforce or to satisfy or defend against legal claims in connection with participation in road traffic or to file a private lawsuit for road traffic violations .
Road Traffic Act (StVG) § 39 Transmission of vehicle data and owner data to pursue legal claims
Alternatives if you have no legitimate interest
Alternative 1: More information on “license plate changers”
It is also possible that you will find more data on the so-called “auto pillories”. An example would be auto-pranger.de
There you can search specifically for license plates, perhaps you will find more information.
Alternative 2: ask search engines
You can research the license plate on the Internet, maybe you are lucky. There is a high probability that no hits will be found.
Let’s say you are looking for the AU TO 1234 license plate. You can then try the following combinations:
- “AU TO 1234”
- “AU-TO 1234”
- “AU TO1234”
Limit the number of hits by enclosing the indicator in quotation marks. So you only get the exact string.
Reasons why you want to find out the holder
Fancy someone’s opinion!
Most want to find the data because the other one did not behave correctly. For example, if the other one cut you by car.
Personal interest in the vehicle
You don’t always want to find out someone else’s information because the damage has occurred. Sometimes there is simply an interest in the vehicle of the other road user. For example, if you saw a beautiful classic car. Are you interested in classic cars and would you like to chat a little with the driver?
There is hardly a chance to find the holder if it is not legally necessary.
Unfortunately, the authorities cannot help here. They will not reveal the vehicle owner’s data in this way. You can only hope to meet the owner at the next classic car meeting.
License plate found?
Imagine you are stowing your shopping in the car and you find a license plate on the street. Someone has probably in the supermarket parking lot lost. Of course, you would the owner return and maybe waving a finder’s fee.
Lost license plates often occur because sometimes the license plate holders are not firm enough. Then license plates suddenly find themselves in parking lots or on the side of the road.
The loss of the license plate together with the complete license plate holder is said to have already occurred. If the number plate is screwed on, the screws can loosen over time and the number plate falls off.
If you have found a foreign license plate, a call to the registration office is of no use. The data of the other road user will in this way not experienced.
It is best if you hand in the license plate to the police station. The officials there can identify the keeper and ensure that he gets his license plate.
If you don’t mind, the owner will be told your name so they can thank you. The owner of the license plate will certainly be glad that he no longer has to search.
Because if it was a wish indicator that he chose, he could no longer use it.
License plates found can be handed in to the police. So the holder gets his license plate again.
If the license plate number is lost, the worst case, theft, is assumed. For this reason, the previous letter and number combination of the license plate is blocked for a long time. The owner of the vehicle must then choose a different combination.
Have you seen a potential partner?
It happens more often than you think that you discover someone you want to get to know personally.
For example, the sweet smile of the woman in the convertible can no longer get out of a young man’s head. Or a lady would love to meet the driver of the red Ferrari across the street.
It is of course not always possible to get out of the vehicle in heavy traffic. Before a decision is made, the other car has disappeared around the corner.
The license plate is easy to remember, but that doesn’t help much in this case. In any case, the registration office will not release the vehicle owner’s data.
There are flirt portals on the Internet where you enter your license plate. With this, you can be found, but you can also find others. If you are registered and “drive particularly well”, you will have nice mail in the subject soon.
You can also enter your license plate and contact details, maybe you will be contacted soon. An example would be contact2car.com
Who owns the license plate purely legally?
The ownership structure of license plates is clear:
The license plate is owned by the person who acquired the license plate. Even if the city has seals on the license plate, the buyer remains the owner.
Excepted from this are the affixed seals (stamp stickers).
No rule without exception: in order to participate in road traffic, the license plate must be in a state determined by the legislator. Otherwise, a trip is not allowed.