Can You Take Pictures of People’s License Plates?

The license plates are always displayed when driving around the streets every day. So, can you take pictures of people’s license plates? Many people are afraid if someone pictures their license plates.

Can You Take Pictures of People’s License Plates?

Taking Pictures of People's License Plates

It is legally acceptable to take pictures of people’s license plates in the United States when their cars are on the streets. You also have the freedom to post pictures online.

However, if the post contains false information, they can file a lawsuit. 

That means you cannot break into someone’s garage to photograph the car’s license plate number.

You are also restricted from using the picture to harass somebody or giving it to the public. 

Is It Possible To Steal Someone’s Identity Using Their License Plate Number?

Taking photos of license plates

Under normal conditions, the public cannot access someone’s information using the car’s license plate number.

After all, it is a legal requirement to display your car’s license plate number in an easily readable manner to the public.

However, the cops and certain DMV employees can access the DMV records and obtain personal information using your car’s license plate number. 

Considering that many people are still skeptical about taking pictures of their cars’ license plate numbers, you can use the below photography skills to help you take pictures of cars without necessarily capturing their license plate numbers.

Use A Unique Perspective 

Are you allowed to take pictures of license plates?

Many people tend to capture a car when photographing it at the front or back. This way, there are higher chances that you’re not going to capture the car’s license plate number.

Instead of using these mainstream shooting angles, you can consider using an unusual shooting angle. 

For instance, you can look for a way to take an aerial shot of the car. This new perspective will make the photo look unique, and you will have no worries about posting it anywhere.

However, you will need to look for an exciting location to take aerial shots.

Add A Unique Element Into The Photo 

If you are determined to capture the car’s front or back and don’t want the license plate number to be visible, you can consider adding a unique element to the photo. 

For instance, you can have someone stand with pride at the front or the back of the car, blocking the car’s license plate number. 

This way, you’ll make the photo look aesthetic, but at the same time, you will have avoided picturing the car’s license plate number.

However, you will need to find a subject or person to match the car’s personality. 

Take Pictures With the Car Moving 

Is it OK to Take Pictures of People's License Plates?

It can be challenging to avoid a car’s license plate number if you photograph a parked car.

You can avoid this by taking pictures with the car moving. This way, you’ll be capturing the car at an angle and not directly in front or back. 

Considering that the car will be moving, you will be taking the pictures from a considerable distance, so the car’s license plate numbers will be unreadable.

You can do this by standing next to a road and then taking shots of a car as it drives past. 

Capture the Cars Details 

Many photographers don’t know that cars have features that need to be captured.

From body shapes and carvings to front lights and faces, there are so many details that you can capture in a car instead of capturing the entire car. 

Setting your camera to capture these details will show the car’s unique features and capability while avoiding capturing the license plate number. 

For instance, capturing the car’s front wheel and the bumper at an angle without capturing the license plate number can be used to show how the car is fit for off-roading or sporting.

Other Articles In This Series

You might be wondering where else you can take photographs. This series of articles might be of interest:

Final Thoughts 

So, can you take pictures of people’s license plates?

Photographing a person’s car license plates is legally acceptable if you do it in a public space. However, it is illegal to use it to spread false information or harassment.

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