Car Tips

What Size Are License Plate Screws?

License plate screws may seem like a small and insignificant detail, but they play a crucial role in keeping your license plate secure and properly mounted on your vehicle. However, not all license plate screws are created equal, and it’s essential to know what size screws are needed to properly install your license plate. In this article, we will explore the different sizes of license plate screws and what you need to know to ensure a secure installation.

Why are license plate screws important?

License plates are required by law in most states and serve as a way for law enforcement to identify vehicles and their owners. License plates are typically mounted on the front and rear of a vehicle using screws. The screws not only hold the plate in place but also ensure that it is securely attached to the vehicle.

Improperly installed license plates can not only result in fines but also pose a safety hazard. Loose or missing plates can fall off a vehicle and cause accidents or damage to other cars on the road. This is why it’s important to use the correct size screws to ensure that your license plate is properly secured.

What size screws are needed for a license plate?

License plate screws come in different sizes, and the size you need depends on the make and model of your vehicle. The most common sizes for license plate screws are:

  • 1/4 inch
  • 5/16 inch
  • 3/8 inch

To determine the size of the screws you need, you should consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer. If you do not have access to your owner’s manual or cannot contact the manufacturer, you can also take the screws from your existing license plate holder and use them as a reference.

Types of license plate screws

There are two main types of license plate screws: self-tapping and machine screws.

Self-tapping screws

Self-tapping screws are the most common type of license plate screws. They have a pointed tip that allows them to tap their own thread into the mounting holes. This means that they can be screwed directly into the vehicle’s bumper or license plate bracket without the need for pre-drilled holes.

Self-tapping screws are available in various sizes, including the three sizes mentioned above. They are typically made of steel or stainless steel and are corrosion-resistant.

Machine screws

Machine screws require pre-drilled holes in the bumper or license plate bracket. They are typically used when the bumper or bracket is made of metal and the mounting holes are not threaded. Machine screws are threaded and require a nut or threaded insert to secure them in place.

Machine screws are also available in various sizes, including the three sizes mentioned above. They are typically made of stainless steel and are corrosion-resistant.


License plate screws may seem like a small detail, but they are an essential component in ensuring that your license plate is properly mounted and secured to your vehicle. Using the correct size screws can prevent fines and safety hazards.

Rachael McAdams

I'm Rachael, CEO of AutoGeeX, bring unrivaled expertise and passion to the automotive industry. With extensive knowledge and a deep understanding of cars, she shares captivating tales, invaluable insights, and practical tips with readers. As an active presence in the car community, Rachael ignites excitement, revolutionizing the automotive landscape with AutoGeeX's pursuit of perfection.

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