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Contracted Plate Search (CPS)

What is CPS?

CPS is a way for qualified business and government users to search and view Washington State vehicle and vessel records. With CPS, you can search by:

  • VIN.
  • License plate number.
  • Boat Hull ID number (HIN).
  • Boat WN number.
  • Registered owner name.

Login or sign up for License eXpress to use this system.

Federal and state law govern who can receive lists of vehicle and vessel owners and for what purpose. Users of this service must comply with the following:


You must have a contract with us to access vehicle or vessel registration information. Businesses or agencies that can get access might include:

  • Attorneys.
  • Insurance agents.
  • Private investigators.
  • Process servers.
  • Vehicle dealers.
  • Vehicle wreckers or salvage processors.
  • Out of state tow truck operators.
  • Courts.
  • Law enforcement agencies.
  • Government agencies.
  • Financial institutions.

Permissible uses

You must also engage in a permissible business activity to get access to the service. Permissible activities include:

  • Government use.
  • Processing insurance claims.
  • Buying, selling, impounding, or destroying vehicles.
  • Administering vehicle taxes.
  • Enforcing or administering vehicle related laws.
  • Financing or refinancing purposes

If you do not see your business activity, you can still request a plate search contract. We will review the request and determine if the activity qualifies as a permissible use.

What you need

  • A computer with any operating system (such as Windows) and any of the following web browsers*:
    • Microsoft Edge
    • Safari
    • Chrome
    • Firefox
    • Opera
  • Internet access (broadband, DSL, or dial up)

*Your browser must be the current version or one version prior.

How to get started

The administrator for the account should follow the steps below. This person will manage system access for their employees.

  1. Request a plate search contract.
  2. Get access to the system.
    • Once we execute the contract, follow the instructions in the User Guide to set up account access.
    • You can also add additional users.
  3. Conduct searches
    • Instructions for conducting searches are in the User Guide.


Your organization is subject to certain compliance requirements. See our data compliance requirements for further information.

Other requirements

  • You must maintain a current business license.
  • Your organization must provide a copy of the entire agreement to each user.
  • The licensee contract manager (administrator) must track each user's access.
  • Each user must maintain an updated Information Request Log.
    • Your organization must keep the logs for a minimum of 3 years.
  • If you provide vehicle or vessel data to an attorney or private investigator, you must:
    • Provide written notice to the owner of the requested records within 5 days.
    • Submit a copy of this notice to our Public Disclosure Unit at notifications@dol.wa.gov.
  • Download a sample letter.

Refer to your organization’s contract for the complete requirements.

Questions? Need help?

License eXpress

Contracted plates searches

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