If you are searching for the owner of a certain vehicle license plate – there are many online options you could look at – just know what the procedures are upfront.
There are many reasons as to why someone would want to search for an owner’s details using their number plates. When a motor vehicle accident has occurred, people often panic and may fear incrimination, or worry about having to pay out hefty amounts without having adequate insurance. For this reason, many people end up giving fake contact details. Ensure you always take down the number plate correctly, should you be given fake contact numbers.
Another reason for wanting to find the owner of a vehicle is if you have witnessed a serious contravention of the rules of the road. If you spot an obviously drunk driver, or see a vehicle behaving recklessly, your duty as a responsible citizen would be to take down the number plate and then to report it to the authorities.
Witnessing a crime or hijacking is the third reason for needing to find the owner of a vehicle through a number plate search. While the South African Police do their best to keep criminals and bad drivers off the roads and in jail, it is the responsibility of every South African to assist them in tracking down criminals.
In conducting a number plate search, there are various online bodies which offer such a service. Marisit.co.za offers this service, which is quick and easy. Here, you insert the number plate into a search function, and pay R50 through EFT or credit card. The search then takes between 2 – 5 working days, and will return contact details for the registered owner of the vehicle. There are also various regional traffic departments which offer this service, for registered vehicles within that region only.
There are some risks and safety issues associated with searching for owner details via number plates. Unfortunately there are sick people in the world who would abuse this system to find contact details of people who would not normally give out this information to these people. There are, however, things you can put in place to avoid becoming a victim of this open search facility.
Firstly, always put down a postal address as opposed to a physical address when registering a new vehicle in your name. While you do usually need to give at least one phone number, try to put down an office number if at all possible. Bear in mind that you could always put your office address down as an alternative as well.
While it is easy to find the owner of a vehicle using a license plate, there are associated risks with this as well. Make sure that you know how to find a number plate in a hurry should you witness a crime or be the victim of an accident. On the other side of the coin, you also need to protect your own information, knowing that anyone can get hold of the contact details you have provided to the traffic department.