How to Find My Former Driver’s License Number

Your driver’s license number is an important piece of personal information that is linked to your driving record and identity. Even after your license expires or if you move to a new state, you may still need to reference your old driver’s license number for various reasons.

Finding your former driver’s license number is possible in most cases by checking your personal records, contacting the DMV, or using online services. With some time and effort, you can locate this information and have it handy when needed.

This comprehensive guide will walk through all the potential ways to find your old driver’s license number. We’ll cover:

  • Checking your personal records
  • Contacting the DMV
  • Using online services
  • Replacing your license
  • Accessing court records
  • Hiring a private investigator

Follow these steps and you should be able to uncover your elusive former driver’s license number.

Check Your Personal Records

The first place to look for your old driver’s license number is in your own personal records. Licenses and other documents you’ve saved over the years may have this information printed on them.

Look for Any Physical Licenses

If you’ve previously moved states or renewed your license over the years, you may still have old licenses in your possession. Dig through any boxes or folders of important documents you’ve saved to see if you have any past licenses with the number printed on them.

Even if the license is expired, the number should be the same. The license number is tied to your identity and driving record, not the validity of the license document.

Search Digital Copies

In addition to paper copies, you may have digital images, scans, or photos of old licenses and other documents. Check your computer, cloud storage, email, and smartphone for any digital files that may display your license number.

If you regularly scan important documents, there’s a good chance you have a digital copy that contains your license number from years past.

While looking through your records, also keep an eye out for any other documents that may have your driver’s license number printed on them. For example:

  • Vehicle registration paperwork
  • Insurance cards
  • Ticket or citation paperwork
  • Court records
  • Tax forms
  • Bank documents
  • Employment paperwork

Make a list of any documents you find that display your old license number for future reference.

Contact the DMV

If searching your personal records comes up empty, the next step is to contact the DMV of the state that originally issued your license.

The DMV maintains driver records that include your license number. With proper verification of your identity, the DMV can provide you with your old license number.

Call the DMV

You can call the DMV customer service line and speak with a representative. Explain that you are trying to find your former license number that was issued in their state.

Be prepared to confirm your identity by providing personal information like your:

  • Full legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Current address

Once the representative verifies your identity, they should be able to look up your old license number and provide it to you.

Visit a DMV Office

You can also visit a local DMV office in person and request help finding your old license number. Bring original copies of identity documents like your birth certificate, social security card, and current driver’s license.

A DMV employee can use these documents to verify your identity and search state records for your license number. Just explain what you need and provide any details you have about the license.

Submit a Records Request

Another option is to submit a written request to the DMV for a search of your driver records. The DMV website usually has forms available to request your personal driving records.

Fill out the form with your identifying details and submit it along with the required fee. The DMV will conduct a search and send you documentation that should include your old license number.

Use Online Services

There are also some online services you can use to look up your old driver’s license number, typically for a small fee.

Private Record Lookup Sites

Websites like Intelius and BeenVerified let you search public records databases to find personal information like your former license number. You simply provide some basic details like your name and state, pay the lookup fee, and they will show you available license numbers associated with your identity.

DMV Record Check Sites

Some states have authorized third-party DMV record check services that allow you to quickly search official DMV databases online to find your driver’s license number.

For example, lets you lookup license numbers directly through the California DMV database for $5.95. Other states like Florida and Texas offer similar online DMV search services.

Data broker services like LexisNexis provide access to comprehensive public and proprietary data sources that may include your historical license numbers. For a fee, you can use their people search tools to get data like previous driver’s license numbers linked to your identity and address history.

Order a Replacement License

If you still live in the state that issued your lost license number, another option is to simply replace your license to get a new card with the number printed on it.

Go to the DMV and apply for a replacement license. You’ll fill out the application with your personal information, get a new photo taken, pay the replacement fee, and the DMV will mail you an updated license document.

Once you receive the new license, your old license number will be clearly printed on it. This number typically stays the same from one license to the next.

Check Court Records

If you’ve ever been to traffic court to contest a ticket or citation, the case records may include your driver’s license number.

Contact the court that handled the traffic case and ask for a copy of the records. There may be a small fee for the court clerk to search the archives and provide you with documentation.

Any case files related to moving violations or auto accidents that involved your license should have your driver’s license number listed in them.

Hire a Private Investigator

As a last resort, you can hire a private investigator to track down your old driver’s license number. They have access to various public records and proprietary databases that may contain your historical license information.

This option costs more since you have to pay the investigator’s fees, but they are skilled at uncovering hard-to-find personal data. Just provide them with your name, previous addresses, date of birth, etc and they can use their contacts and resources to hopefully find your elusive driver’s license number.

Locating Your Former License Number

With so many options to find your old driver’s license number, one of these methods should hopefully do the trick. Be thorough in your search and don’t hesitate to contact official agencies like the DMV for assistance. If your number is stored in a state database or document somewhere, these steps will help you rediscover it.

Key takeaways:

  • Check your personal records for old licenses and documents
  • Call, visit, or submit a request to the DMV that issued the license
  • Use online people search or DMV record services
  • Order a replacement license from the DMV
  • Search court records for traffic cases
  • Hire a private investigator as a last resort

Why You Might Need Your Old License Number

There are a variety of reasons why you may need to reference a driver’s license number from years past. Here are some of the most common situations:

Tax Purposes

When filing taxes, you sometimes have to provide information like license numbers as part of the process. For example, if you are an independent contractor, you may need to submit old license numbers related to your business activities.

Employment Verification

Some employers will request your license numbers from previous years when conducting employment verification and background checks. Having these numbers handy can speed up the screening process.

Insurance Claims

Insurance companies will often ask for license numbers that were valid during the time of an accident or claim. This helps verify details when processing insurance claims.

Traffic Ticket Records

If you need documentation related to a old traffic citation or accident, the records system will search for tickets based on the driver’s license number you had at the time.

Applying for Benefits

Government benefit programs sometimes require past driver’s license numbers as part of proving eligibility and identity.

Replacing a Lost License

To get a replacement license, you usually need to provide the DMV with your previous license number. This helps confirm your identity and links the new license to your existing records.

Credit Checks

Some credit checks for loans and housing inquiries look for current and previous driver’s license numbers to help confirm your identity and address history.

How to Find Your License Number in State Records

Driver’s license numbers are primarily stored in the DMV databases for each state. Here is some background on how the numbers are assigned and how to access them:

License Number Format

Driver’s license numbers consist of a combination of letters and numbers that follow a specific format for each state. For example, license numbers in Florida consist of 14 digits while New York uses a combination of 10 letters and numbers.

This helps the DMV keep license numbers unique and make them easy to store in databases. The numbering convention typically includes codes related to the issuing office, date of birth, audit numbers, etc.

Stored in State Databases

The DMV database stores your license number along with your personal information like name, address, driving history, and license status. This data is used to generate your license document.

Even after a license expires, the record is still kept in the state DMV system and accessible for reference. The license number stays the same in subsequent renewals.

Available from DMV Records

To protect privacy, DMV license numbers are not available in public records. However, the DMV can retrieve your license number from their database with proper verification of your identity.

You’ll need to provide personal details like your legal name, date of birth, social security number and current address to confirm you are authorized to access the license number.

Updated Records Have Current Number

If you renew your license or move within the same state, you are issued a new card but the license number itself does not change. The updated records just link your current number to your new license document.

So your current license will display the same identifying number as previous licenses from that state.

Tips for Locating Old License Numbers

Use these tips to improve your chances of successfully locating your previous driver’s license number:

  • Provide the DMV with multiple forms of ID – Give them as much identifying information as possible like your legal name, SSN, former addresses, car VIN numbers registered under your name, etc. This makes it easier for them to accurately match you to the license number in their system.
  • Check court records in person – By visiting the court clerk’s office you can search through records directly rather than depending on staff to process a remote request.
  • Take photos of important documents – Snap pics of any paperwork and licenses that contain personal info for future reference. Cloud storage makes them accessible anywhere.
  • Search under maiden names – If you’ve changed your last name, make sure to search under maiden names also when checking records.
  • Call DMVs in multiple states – If you’ve moved around, you may have to check with each state’s DMV to find previous license numbers issued.
  • Look up tickets or crashes – Any incidents you were involved in likely included your license number at the time, so check with police records.
  • Hire an investigator as a last resort – If you’ve exhausted all other options, a private investigator has access to the most comprehensive data sources.

Alternatives If You Can’t Find Your License Number

In some cases, your previous driver’s license number may be impossible to locate if:

  • It was issued by a state that has purged older records
  • You have no records of it from your personal documents
  • The DMV cannot find it in their system

If you absolutely can’t find your old license number after an exhaustive search, there are couple alternative options:

Provide Other Documentation

Wherever you need the old license number – whether it’s for a background check, tax purpose, or insurance claim – you may be able to provide alternate documentation to demonstrate the same information.

This could include tax records, pay stubs, vehicle registrations or other paperwork from that time period that establishes your identity, residence and driving status.

Explain the Situation

You can describe that you made a thorough effort but could not locate the specific license number because the records were purged or unavailable.

Most agencies are understanding and will work with you on alternatives like providing supplemental documentation to meet their verification requirements.

How Long Do States Retain License Numbers?

Driver’s license numbers are retained indefinitely in most state DMV databases, so your number should always be accessible even from decades ago:

  • Electronic databases – Older license numbers remain in the DMV systems and never get deleted. New records just get added as you renew over time.
  • No purge policies – Most states do not have policies to purge license records after a certain time period. They maintain them permanently as part of your driving history.
  • Updated records – Renewals and replacements issue new cards but the license number stays the same in the updated records.
  • Court cases – If your license number appears in court records related to traffic violations, it remains there permanently also.

Citations: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

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