License Plate Screw Size

License Plate Screw Size

Vehicles are not complete without license plate screws. Over time, you’ll notice these screws are prone to lose or rust.

That being said, you should choose the right screws to hold the plates tightly on your vehicle. But, plate screws vary depending on many factors.

If you go for a smaller-sized screw, you will risk having the plate fall off again. Moreover, larger screw sizes may not fit the screw holes perfectly and damage the license plate.

So it is very important to know the perfect fit for your license plates. In that case, the relevant information is available here for your consumption.

Standard License Plate Screw Sizes

To make screws of various diameters, screw makers employ a range of materials. The most common license plate screw size is 1/4-14-3/4 inch.

The first value (1/4), a fraction, represents the screw’s threaded diameter in inches. The middle number (14) indicates the number of threads on the screw, while the last (3/4) indicates the screw’s length.

The usual screw sizes for license plates vary depending on the brand. Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) screws are screws that manufacturers make of the vehicle’s brand.

There are standards for certain brands and types of automobiles.

Standard Screw Sizes

On the other hand, car and truck manufacturers make their screws in various materials and sizes that are particularly designed for the license plate retainers of their respective models. Hex heads, slotted hex heads, truss heads, and slotted truss heads are just a few of the types of screws they make.

What To Check When Buying New License Plate Screws?

When purchasing screws, pay attention to the length of the screws. Your screw length should account for the whole registration mount, not just the length of the hole.

License Screw Set Contents

The whole registration mount consists of the following:

  • Washers
  • Covers with a base screwed on
  • Cover for your license plate that is clear (if legal)
  • Frame for a license plate
  • The number on the license plate
  • Gasket for the frame

The total length of all of the components mentioned above can greatly reach 12mm. If your screws are too short or too long, they will not fit securely.

Material Used for License Screw

You should also become familiar with the many various types of screw materials. A list of metal screw materials is shown below:

  • Regular Steel
  • Alloy Steel
  • Zinc-Plated Steel
  • Chrome and Nickel Plated Steel
  • Type 304 Stainless Steel
  • Type 316 Stainless Steel
  • Brass and Bronze
  • Aluminum
  • Titanium
  • Plastic
  • Black finish

Tips in Repairing License Plate Screws

Any automobile DIYer understands that the little tasks may take up the greatest time. Repairing and removing screws and bolts can easily escalate from a little nuisance to a major crisis.

Damaged screw holes can be repaired with black nylon inserts or plastic retainer kits. If you find corrosion, you should inspect the screws themselves.

Cross threading can occur when a screw is placed at an angle, causing the bolt’s threads to move off-center. The screw’s “female threads,” or small threads down the shaft, are damaged as a result.

To repair it, cut new threads into the broken, “female” portion of the bolt. These new cuts will eventually fix the screw.

Steps in Removing Rusted License Plate Screws

After years of being untouched and exposed to the elements, the screws and bolts holding plates can become completely rusted and unmovable.

Rusted License Plate

Step 1: Getting the rust off. Begin by coating the front and back of screws with penetrating catalyst oil and allowing it to sit for 15 minutes. This oil is designed to cut through rust while also lubricating the surface for easier removal.

Step 2: Gripping. The tool that makes the greatest surface contact with the head is the one to use.

If the head is hex, use a socket. If the head is circular and won’t spin freely, use a file and locking pliers to produce two parallel straight sides.

Step 3: Deliver a Shock. One great method is to tighten the ratchet, put it on the bolt and execute one or two hammer strikes to the end of the ratchet.

Note: If you’re working with a slotted head, insert the screwdriver into the slot, pointing it in the direction that will loosen the bolt and give it a couple of hammer blows. Reapply the penetrating oil and wait for another 15 minutes.

Step 4: Removal. Make sure the ratchet is in the loosening position and turn it to the left.

If you’re still not making much progress, you’ll have to drill and tap out the bolts. Purchase a titanium drill bit for this procedure.

How to Install License Plates with Screws?

Before proceeding to these steps, make sure you have the license plate, an appropriate screwdriver, and the screw.

Step 1: Begin at the back of the vehicle. Crouch in the middle of the bumper.

Step 2: Remove the previous license plate, if applicable. There should be two screws along the top border of the plate.

Remove those screws by twisting them counterclockwise with the appropriate screwdriver. A flat-head or Phillips screwdriver is required.

Step 3: Place the screws in a location where you won’t lose them.

Step 4: Remove and lay aside the license plate frame if you have one.

Step 5: Place the new plate against the bumper, matching the holes on the plate with the holes on the bumper.

Step 6: Place the frame, if used, on top of the plate.

Step 7: Tightly screw in the two screws.

Step 8: Tugg on the plate to ensure it’s securely in place.

What are the Alternatives to License Plate Screws?

Many vehicle owners are looking for ways to avoid drilling plate screws into the vehicle living holes. But with the current technology, there are already easy application alternatives to achieve no-drilling of screws in mounting license plates.

Adhesive mounts

Adhesive mounts utilize a strong adhesive to hold the license plate to the bumper. Adhesive mounts differ depending on the make and type of the car.

You can try conducting some research on which mount would work best for your vehicle. Still, it is best to visit your local automotive store for further information.

How to Install an Adhesive Mount:

  1. To make the glue stick, clean the mounting place of your automobile using alcohol wipes.
  2. Make sure the mount is centered by hovering it over the mounting location.
  3. While doing this, keep the protective film on.
  4. Remove the protective film from the bracket and attach it to your bumper.
  5. Attach your license plate to your mounting bracket with screws.

Tow Hook

Instead of drilling into the bumper, towbar hooks are utilized to support the number plate. This license plate panel is constructed of coated steel or aluminum, which keeps the License Plates from spinning when traveling at high speeds.

Installing a Tow Hook Bracket:

  1. Find your tow hook anchor.
  2. Most automobiles have a plastic plate that covers the tow hook. Push the plate, and the tow hook should spring out.
  3. Screw a tow hook stud into the middle of the ratchet and through your tow hook anchor. Then tighten it clockwise using a ratchet.
  4. Attach your license plate to your bracket with screws.

Magnetic Mounting

Adheres to all metallic surfaces of the rear deck, magnetic mounting offers extreme holding power with no metal scratch on the vehicle.

The ultra-slim design of magnetic mounting gives no indication that magnets hold the plate on. Using this, you can easily attach License Plate directly to the magnetic frame providing a stronger grip.


Are license plate screws all the same?

No. There are two kinds of plate screw measurements that are used today. These are metric measures and conventional measurements.

Sheet metal screws in vehicles made in the United States are measured in inches or gauges using the imperial measurement system. Whereas remaining parts of the world use the metric system for screws, all dimensions are measured in millimeters (mm).

The exception to this rule is that most British vehicles secure broader plates using a mix of standard and metric screws.

What kind of screwdriver do I need to take off a license plate?

They are typical license plate screws for most domestic manufactured cars, measuring 1/4-14×3/4 slotted hex washer head self-tapping screws. Please confirm that your vehicle utilizes standard-size screws before ordering.

How do anti-theft screws work?

License plate anti-theft screws lock your plates with a design requiring a specialist tool for installation and removal. Some existing anti-theft screws on the market employ two-hole security, which are difficult to get at a hardware shop.

Again, special security tools are required to fasten and remove these screws.

What are tamper-proof screws?

Because removing the screw is difficult, all Tamper Proof Screws are used to deter vandalism or theft. They are also known as anti-theft screws since they need special equipment to fasten and remove.

Furthermore, one of the reasons these screws are so tough to remove is because they are designed for long-term usage.

How do you keep screws from getting unscrewed or loose?

There are a lot of ways to keep screws tight and secure.

  • Installing New Screws. If the old screws are pulling out of the holes, use longer screws. Because they have fewer threadings, shorter screws have a harder time digging into the material.
  • Fill Loose Screw Holes in Wood. The Wood should only be about 1 inch longer than the screw.

Spread a generous amount of wood glue around the wood until it is thoroughly covered. Insert the wood through the screw hole.

Remember to let the wood glue dry for 1 hour. Drill a 14-inch-narrower hole in the wood than the screw. Reinstall the screw.

  • Using Threadlocker on Metal. When you require a long-lasting connection, use a permanent thread locker.

Make sure to clean the screw’s threading with a degreaser before Applying several drops of thread locker. You can also add a few drops of thread locker into the screw hole.

Final Thoughts

Being knowledgeable about license plate screws allows you to think carefully about the factors you must examine before buying one.

In the United States, the typical size of license plate screws for automobiles is 1/4-14-3/4 inch. These are self-tapping screws that are compatible with most cars that have nylon or plastic screw retainers.

For cars with threaded metal holes, a distinct type of plate screw is necessary. The diameters of these screws also differ based on the make or model of the vehicle.

Thus, reading your vehicle’s manual is really important to know what license plate screws suit your vehicle the most.

Leave a Comment