How to Fix a Bent License Plateby Kat StaffordUpdated June 29, 2023
License plates are easier to bend than most people realize. Since they are made of thin, lightweight aluminum, standard license plates can be bent by as little as stepping on them with a heavy shoe. Luckily, they can be unbent as easily as they are bent with the help of two wooden boards and a hammer. A vise is also useful if the plate is exceptionally bent, such as in the case of an auto wreck with rear-end damage.
1. Create your work surface
Place one of the 2x 6 wooden board against a hard, stable surface like a table or counter.
2. Straighten by pulling bent sides
Straighten the bent license plate as much as you can by pulling the bent sides away from each other, after you remove the plate cover or plate frame with a screwdriver or pliers.
3. Lay plate on top of board
Lay the license plate on top of the 2 x 6 board. It should be centered on the board, with no edges hanging over the board's edges. If possible (depending on how the license plate is bent), the licence plate should be upside down to prevent further warping of the license number.
4. Strike till flat against the board
Strike the edges of the license plate with a hammer until it lays flat against the board. If you must strike the middle of the the plate to work out the bend, do so cautiously. Striking the middle of the plate may warp the license number.
5. Sandwich the License Plate
Lay the second 2 x 6 board on top of the first board and the license plate. Press on it firmly, sandwiching the license plate between the boards. This will ensure the license plate is completely flat and ready to properly hang on a car.
if the damaged plate is beyond repair, you can always go to the dmv (department of motor vehicles) with your driver license for a new license plate or replacement plate. it could be a good excuse to get a personalized plate and front license plate or headliner.
make sure you fix your bent plates quickly because law enforcement might pull you over if your license plate number or sticker isn’t visible.
- If the license plate is exceptionally warped, placing it in a vice between two 2 x 6 boards should cause enough pressure to straighten it.
Things You'll Need
- 2 wooden boards, 2 x 6 and at least 1 foot long
- Hammer or sledgehammer
- Be careful not to strike your fingers with the hammer.
Kat Stafford is an English professor and technology expert. She worked in the video-game industry and as a search-engine senior editor before beginning her career in higher education. Stafford has been editing and writing for more than 12 years, with work appearing in various online publications. She holds a Master of Arts in English from National University.