License plates are a means of identification that is usually attached to cars so that police officers and other law enforcement officers can easily identify the vehicle.
It’s the only official way to identify the owner of a vehicle because it carries information about the vehicle, its owner, and all the registration details of that vehicle.
License plates serve as a form of identification in case of robberies or emergencies when the face of the driver couldn’t be seen, the plates can be written down to easily track the movements of such vehicles.
Are People Allowed to Take Pictures of License Plates?
People generally do not have any reason to be private with their license plate numbers.
Since it is required that every vehicle has license plates in the front and at the back of the car so that they can be easily identified by law enforcement agents.
It is required to be public and because it’s public, people can easily take pictures of it. It is not a crime to take pictures of someone’s license plate.
Moreover, license plates are placed on the part of the car where it’s possible for everyone to see it.
Most celebrities and highly ranked officials tend to cover their license plates sometimes so that their cars may not be recognized when parked, that way their location is not disclosed to the entire public.
As reiterated earlier, there are no laws that prohibit taking pictures of anything as long as the picture is being taken in a public place.
Taking photos of another person’s license plates is not a breach of privacy in any way. It only becomes an offense when the person taking the picture has to invade private property.
The only people that can get the information of a car owner just by running the plates are police officers, employees of the DMV, and some other selected individuals.
Why Did Someone Take a Picture of my License Plate?
People can take pictures of your license plates for different reasons, but you don’t have anything to worry about it because they cannot access information that’s personal to you from the license plates.
Sometime last summer, I was driving with my uncle in his vehicle and we stopped by a food place to get something to eat, while we stopped we realized someone was taking pictures of the car.
We stepped outside to speak to the guys taking the pictures and realized that they only liked how the car’s bumper looked and wanted to get something like it for their car.
Sometimes, all you need to do is have a little conversation to really know why they’re taking a picture of your license plates and you’ll be surprised to find out their reasons as opposed to whatever you were thinking.
Some people might do it to scare you, while you’re driving so that you’re just there in your car wondering, why someone’s taking a picture of your license plates, who the person knows, and what he can do with it.
Unconsciously, you might start driving in a certain way just so that you don’t offend the person or bash their car or even get into an argument with them.
Should I Be Worried if Someone Took a Picture of my License Plate?
When you find out that someone took a picture of your license plate, you don’t need to worry about anything because the most information anyone can get from your license plate is the model of your car and what make it is.
The only reason why you may be worried is if you were involved in a car crash, probably you bashed someone’s car and you didn’t stop to do the necessary things before leaving the scene, if such person has a picture of your license plate, then you’re at risk of getting sued by the person.
So in case, such an incident occurs, take the necessary steps or report the situation to the nearest police station so that you don’t get worried when someone takes a picture of your license plate.
The information that your license plates carry cannot be accessed by random people except for elected officials and employees of the department of motor vehicles.
What are the Best Things to Do If Someone Took Picture of my License Plate?
If you find out someone is taking or has taken a picture of your license plates, here are a few things you can do;
- If your car is parked and someone takes a picture of your license plate, you can just walk up to the person and ask why they were taking a picture of your plate, they might have just been taking a picture of something else.
- You should try to be more careful while you drive so that when someone takes a picture of your plates and you haven’t done anything wrong, it won’t bother you. If you have already done something, try to make amends so that the person has nothing on you.
- When someone takes a picture of your license plate, as long as you’re sure you haven’t done anything, you can act like you didn’t notice it or just check the person’s car just in case you mistakenly scratched it, once you didn’t do that, you have nothing to worry about.
Most times people take pictures of license plates to scare the other person and as long as you didn’t do anything wrong, pay no attention to them. But if it’s too obvious, you can report the matter to the police.
License plates are for easy identification and it is an act of obeying the law of the state so you can’t take them off because then, you would be breaking a law and that can attract a fine or penalty.
You should also drive carefully and make sure to take the appropriate measures whenever you’re involved in a car crash, that way, you have nothing to worry about when someone takes a picture of your license plate.