How to Remove a License Plate

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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.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Ratchet
  • Socket set
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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