How to Remove a License Plate

by Jesse Adams

Nothing is so permanent as change -- unless you're talking about the change you didn't get back from the DMV when you bought your license plate. At $20 to $200 a pop for replacement, depending on the state and vehicle, it pays to make sure your plate is mounted securely. It's not a difficult task by any means; at least, no more difficult that counting out money for a new one if yours falls off.

Step 1

Locate the four screws in each of the four corners of the license plate. Some license plates are attached with just two screws, and hex-head bolts are always a possibility, particularly if the car's previous owner lost one of the original screws.

Step 2

Unscrew each of the screws using the Phillips screwdriver, turning it counterclockwise. Keep track of the screws; you don't want to be that guy with one missing screw or mismatched hex bolt.

Step 3

Remove the existing license plate frame -- if applicable -- by giving the frame a light tug. Repeat the same tugging motion to remove the license plate itself. Place the new license plate inside the back of the license plate frame, if required.

Step 4

Align the holes in the four corners of the license plate and license plate frame with the four holes on the vehicle. If you are not using a frame, simply align the holes in the license plate with the holes on the vehicle.

Attach the plates and frame to the vehicle by inserting the screws into the holes and tightening them just snug. Don't overtighten; some cars use cheap, metal tabs that are easily stripped.

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