January 9th, 2013

Private Investigators and the DMV

Search Attempts: Various combinations of "Do Private Investigators have access to the DMV, Private Investigators, Maine, DMV, BMV, Private Investigators in Maine, How do you access vehicle registration, finding vehicle registration based on model and year".

The story takes place in November of 2011, in Maine. Apparently PI's do have access to the DMV (or BMV for Maine), but I'm getting stuck on a few things:

1. How do they access the DMV registry? Do they have special access to the registries (per state, because I know each has different rules) or do they always have to contact someone within the DMV to access it for them?

2. Does anyone have an idea how searching the registry would work? I don't intend to go into minute detail, but do you plug in the details you know into a search engine, do you look at a list, etc?

3. The investigator in my story knows the car was a blue sedan from sometime between 1980 and 2000, and possibly a first name to attach to it. Could he even find the car with those details, or do you need the license plate?

Thanks for any help. Not for the first time, I'm thankful this community exists. :D