License Plate Reader Data Extract in NCIC

The FBI maintains and operates the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which contains 15 person files and seven property files. As law enforcement agencies take advantage of advanced technologies, they gain opportunities to use NCIC data to help with investigations. 

The NCIC system's mission is to provide real-time, accurate, and complete criminal justice and intelligence information that enables law enforcement and the intelligence community to: 

  • Identify threats;
  • Apprehend fugitives;
  • Locate missing persons;
  • Identify unidentified persons;
  • Recover stolen property; and
  • Protect innocent persons.

License plate readers (LPRs) are one of these technologies. LPRs use external trigger signals to capture license plate images. LPRs may be mounted on patrol vehicles or placed in fixed sites such as border crossings, interstate highway on-ramps, and toll-booth plazas. 

LPRs can read reflective license plates and retroreflective plates, which reflect light back toward a source. The LPRs capture plate images and timestamp each image. They also automatically generate and archive lane and date information.

LPR systems then search the information against specified files within the NCIC to:

  • Identify and recover stolen vehicles;
  • Locate fugitives and missing persons; and
  • Support other types of law enforcement investigations.

Agencies can use the database responses to control access to specific locations or to cross-check for access violations. 

The FBI produces an extract of NCIC vehicle data that can be used with LPRs. The vehicle data includes information from the following NCIC files: 

  • Vehicle 
  • License Plate 
  • Wanted Person 
  • Protection Order 
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order 
  • Missing Person 
  • Gang 
  • Threat Screening Center 
  • Supervised Release 
  • National Sex Offender Registry 
  • Immigration Violator 
  • Protective Interest 
  • Violent Person 

In June 2004, the CJIS Advisory Policy Board approved the NCIC LPR Extract, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol successfully piloted it. Today, the extract is available up to four times per day—at 12 a.m., 6 a.m., 12 p.m., and 6 p.m.—via the Enterprise File Transfer Service. You can access this service through the Law Enforcement Enterprise Portal.

Each jurisdiction’s CJIS Systems Agency determines how frequently the NCIC LPR extract is disseminated to its respective agencies. 
NCIC’s LPR Extract is just one of many successful NCIC initiatives that help the CJIS Division’s law enforcement, national security, and U.S. Intelligence Community partners. 
Please contact Ms. Patricia Thanh Elswick at for more information about the NCIC LPR Extract.