How to Fix a License Plate Light

by Gracie Sprouse

Only the rear license plate has a light around it. Most states have laws that require the license plate light be visible at night. A traffic citation will be issued if this light doesn’t work, in the states that do require them. This light gets its power from the vehicles running lights when they are turned on. The most common cause of license plate light failure is a blown bulb. Very rarely does the failure occur because of faulty wiring.


Locate the license plate light which is mounted near the license plate.


Turn on the parking lights and check if the light is working.


Use the Phillips-head screw driver to remove the two screws that secure the lens on the bulb. Remove the lens from the light by hand to reveal the bulb.


Grasp the bulb by hand and push down on the bulb. Turn the bulb counterclockwise and remove it.


Insert the new bulb into the socket and turn it clockwise to lock it in place.


Reinstall the lens cover and secure it with the screws.

Items you will need

About the Author

Gracie Sprouse has been writing professionally since 1976. Her areas of expertise are in antiques, crafts, real estate, income taxes and small businesses. Her education consists of an Associate of Applied Science with a business and accounting major from Piedmont Virginia Community College.

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  • photo_camera aggressive front of car image by Xavier MARCHANT from