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What Size Are License Plate Screws?

Most vehicles come with license plate mounting screws. If you find yourself needing to hunt down license plate screws, though, this guide will save you a lot of time and frustration.

Quick links:

What are license plate screws made of?

What are the types of license plate screws?

How to measure screw size?

License plate screw sizes

License plate screw sizes for specific cars

Where to buy screws for license plates?

How to remove plate screws?

How to remove rusted screws?

We’re sorry to break it to you: there’s not a standard license plate screw size. One-fourth of an inch in diameter by three-fourths of an inch in length is the most common screw size; ¼” X ⅞” is also fairly common; then there are a ton of other specialized types and sizes.

Here are some of the factors that affect license plate screw size:

  • Metal retainers. License plate screws for cars with metal retainers must be a specific size and type to avoid damaging the metal retainer.
  • Threaded holes. Vehicles with threaded metal holes use a specific type of screw.
  • Mounting brackets. A mounting bracket may require a specific screw size and type.
  • Make and model. Different car brands use different screw types and sizes.

Let’s look at the most common types of license plate screws and where to get them. These simple tips could save you time and money when installing a new license plate on your car.

What Are License Plate Screws Made of?

The screws that hold license plates in place can be made of steel, aluminum,  or a metal alloy of some sort.

Rust proof license plate screws are usually plated with black zinc. Black zinc plated screws are more resistant to corrosive elements.

License Plate Screw Types

There are so many different types of screws on the market. Here are some of the categories and classifications of license plate screws.

  1. Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) screws are specific to a certain vehicle make or model. OEM screws tend to also be the most expensive.
  2. SlimLine screws are the smallest and have the least amount of visible head. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit different makes and models of vehicles.
  3. Sport line screws have a large head and are used for bumpers without plastic covers.
  4. Shadow line screws are the traditional screw head and work best for BMWs. They fit perfectly and come in a variety of colors.
  5. Star line screws have a star-shaped head and come in chrome, black, or satin finish.
  6. FlatLine screws are low profile and work well for bumpers without plastic covers.
  7. Self tapping screws fit most vehicles that have plastic or nylon screw retainers.
  8. Anti-theft license plate screws are made to be tamper-proof, which means they have a special head that can't be taken off with a regular screwdriver.

Screw Head Types

The head of most license plate screws will usually receive one of the following screwdriver types:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Robertson screwdriver
Many screwdrivers hanging up

Some screw types may require special drivers.

Metric vs Standard?

License plate screws can be measured in metric or standard size. For example, ¼” is a standard measurement (inches), while 16mm is a metric measurement (millimeters). You need to know whether your vehicle uses standard or metric sizing. You can often find this info in your owner’s manual.

In general, metric screws are slightly longer and have a smaller diameter than standard screws. As a result, they can be more difficult to remove if they become stripped or corroded.

How Do You Measure License Plate Screw Size?

The size of a screw is determined by its diameter, and thread pitch (you’ll also want to know the screw length, but this is the easiest dimension to measure).

The diameter is the distance across the screw, while the thread pitch is the distance between threads.

To measure the diameter of a screw, use a caliper.

  1. Place the screw on the bottom jaw of the caliper.
  2. Close the top jaw until it just makes contact with the screw.
  3. Read the diameter measurement on the scale.

To measure the thread pitch, you will need to use a thread gauge.

By measuring length, diameter, and thread pitch, you’ll know the size of any screw.

License Plate Screw Sizes

Although there are different sizes of license plate screws, the most common license plate screw size is 1/4-14-3/4. The fraction 1/4 indicates the screw's threaded diameter in inches, the middle number 14 equals the number of threads, and the 3/4 fraction indicates the screw's length in inches.

This screw size is used on many vehicles, including some models from the following brands:

  • Chevrolet
  • Ford
  • Porsche
  • Subaru
  • Nissan
  • Suzuki

Here are some other common license plate screw sizes:

Car Brand

Screw Type

License Plate Screw Size


Slotted Hex Head

M6 x 16mm


Slotted Hex Head

M6-1.0 x 16mm


Slotted Hex Head

#14 ¼ ″ x ¾ ″


Torx Head

#12 x ¾ ″


Phillips Head

M6 x 1.0 x 16-25mm


Slotted Hex Head

M6 x 1.0 x 10mm


Phillips Pan Head

M6-1.0 x 16mm


Phillips Pan Head

M5-0.8 X 8mm


Torx Head

M6-1.0 x 16mm

License Plate Screw Size For Popular Car Manufacturers

Let’s get even more detailed about some of the most popular car manufacturers and the screw sizes that accompany them. Note that each car manufacturer mentioned may have additional screw sizes and types, as this list is not intended to be comprehensive.

Audi License Plate Screws

Аudi's license plate screws are made from stainless steel and have a pan head style. The dimensions of the screws are 0.50" x 0.35" x 0.50", with extended screws having an extra 0.15" thread length.

License Plate Screw Size For BMW

BMW license plate screws are available in standard and extended lengths to accommodate a plate frame. The screws measure 0.39″ x 0.39″ x 0.19″. The screws are made of 316 stainless steel for strength and durability.

Chevrolet License Plate Screw Size

The standard size for Chevrolet car and truck license plate screws is 1/4″ x 14 x 3/4″. Chevrolet screws have slotted hex washer heads. This type of stainless steel screw is intended for use with nylon or plastic retainers, not metal threaded holes.

Chrysler License Plate Screw Size

Chrysler license plate screws that have a 0.54″ head, 0.25″ screw diameter, and 0.86″ thread length. They are made out of stainless steel.

Ford License Plate Screw Size

Ford uses 1/4″ x 3/4″ screws. These license plate screws have a 3/8″ hex slotted head, which makes them compatible with both plastic and nylon retainers. You can also choose between stainless steel, black zinc, or chrome for the screw's color.

Dodge License Plate Screws

Dodge license plate screws are standard screw size of 1/4" x 3/4" with a 3/8" slotted hex head. They are made of high-quality steel and have a black finish.

Honda License Plate Screws

Revolution Steel License Plate Screws are the perfect choice for anyone with a Honda vehicle. The size of license plate screw for Honda is ¼” x ¾”.

Honda Logo

Hyundai License Plate Screw Size

Hyundai license plate screws are 0.23 inches in diameter, 0.46 inches in head size, and 0.64 inches in length. These screws are made of standard 316 stainless steel and will work with most Hyundai vehicles.

Lexus License Plate Screws

The license plate screws on a Lexus are 0.50 inches by 0.55 inches by 0.50 inches. These screws have a fine thread and are made of 316 stainless steel.

Mercedes-Benz License Plate Screw Size

Mercedes-Benz license plate screws are typically pan-head screws made from stainless steel. Sizes vary by Mercedes-Benz vehicle models; the most common sizes are 5mm and 6mm diameters.

Mazda License Plate Screws

Mazda license plate screws are 5mm in diameter and have a thread length between 12-16mm. They are designed to hold the license plate securely in place and prevent vibrations. The screws are made of high-quality steel and they are available in a variety of finishes.

Nissan License Plate Screw Size

Depending on the model of the car, the size of the screws that hold the license plate on a Nissan can be different. Nissan truck and car screws come in two variants: ¼” standard and ¼” extended. The ¼” standard screws are typically used for Nissan vehicles with lower ground clearance, while the extended screws are used for Nissan vehicles with  higher clearance.

Toyota License Plate Screws

The size of Toyota license plate screws is 0.50 inches by 0.75 inches by 0.50 inches. These screws are made from 316 stainless steel.

License Plate Screw Size for Volkswagen

The standard license plate screw size used in Volkswagen automobiles is 0.5 by 0.5 by 0.75 inches. This size screw usually secures the license plate to the bumper or grille of the vehicle.

Where to Buy Screws for License Plates?

If you're not sure where to find screws when you need to replace them, the most common places are eBay, Amazon, or a dealership parts department.


eBay is a great place to buy license plate screws. You can find a variety of screws, including stainless steel and chrome-plated options. There are also a variety of sizes to choose from, so you can find the perfect fit for your license plate.

Another advantage of shopping on eBay is that you can often find sets of screws at a discount, which can save you money in the long run.

If you're looking for a more convenient option, Amazon is also a great place to buy license plate screws. Amazon Prime members can enjoy free two-day shipping on many items.

Local Car Dealership

If you need new screws for your license plate but don't want to order them online, you can also check with your local dealership's parts department. Many dealerships sell replicas of the original screws that came with your car.

How To Remove And Replace License Plate Screws

Removing screws when replacing a license plate can be a tricky task, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

  1. Locate the two screws that are holding the plate in place.
  2. Use a screwdriver to remove them. If the screws are rusted or tight, you may need to use a little bit of force. Be careful not to strip the screws. If necessary, you can also use WD-40 or another lubricant.
  3. Gently pull the plate away from the car. If it's sticky, you can use a putty knife or another flat object to help pry it off.
  4. Clean the area where the plate was mounted with soapy water and dry it off before attaching the new plate.

Removing a license plate is a quick task that every driver needs to know how to do. With one simple tool, you will be able to remove your vehicle’s old license plate and install a new one in only a few minutes. And, if you’re wondering what to do with your old plates, one option is to simply send the old plates back to one of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle office locations.

How To Remove Rusted License Plate Screws

Over time, screws can become corroded and difficult to remove. This is especially true for license plate screws, which are exposed to the elements and can get a build-up of road grime. Here are a few things you can do to make removal easier.

A bunch of rusty screws

Is it Best to Remove a License Plate When Selling A Car?

Different states have different requirements for what happens with the license plates following a private vehicle sale.

  • In most states, the license plate stays with the seller, who will need to remove the plate from the vehicle. The new vehicle owners of the car will need to apply for their own license plate.
  • In a few states, the license plate stays with the vehicle and passes to the buyer.

Our state-by-state license plate guide will tell you the proper protocol for your state.

Some states require that you surrender your license plate when you sell your car. So be sure to check your state's requirements before you finalize the sale.

What Size are License Plates?

US license plates are 6 inches by 12 inches for all cars, trucks, and trailers. Motorcycle license plates are smaller.

Which States Require Front License Plates?

All states require a rear license plate, but as of 2020, only 30 states plus Washington, D.C. require a front license plate as well. Alaska was the first state to mandate front plates 1910, and since then many states have followed. These are the states that require front license plates:






Rhode Island



South Dakota











New Hampshire



New Jersey



New York



North Dakota


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Gather necessary documentation

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License plates

In some states, you’ll remove your license plates, while in other states you’ll leave them on and let the buyer take them with the car.

Cancel car insurance

You don’t want to pay for insurance on a car you no longer own, so be sure to cancel your vehicle's insurance.

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License Plate FAQ

Are all license plate screws the same size?

License plate screws come in a variety of sizes, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. In most cases, the screws used to secure a license plate are chosen to match the existing holes in the bumper or grille. As a result, it is not uncommon for different vehicles to use different-sized screws. While the difference in size may seem like a small detail, it is actually an important part of ensuring that a license plate is properly secured.

Do I need special screws for the license plate?

You should always use the screws that come with the license plate. These are made just for license plates and will make sure that yours is attached securely. If you use any other kind of screw, there is a risk that it will not be the right size or that it will not fit properly. This could cause your license plate to come loose while you are driving, which could be very dangerous. In addition, using the wrong screw could damage your license plate or your car.

How do you put a license plate on a car?

The process of attaching a license plate to a car is relatively simple and can be done in a matter of minutes.

  1. The first step is to remove the old license plate from the car. This can be done by unscrewing the screws that hold it in place.
  2. Once the old plate is removed, drill holes into your new license plate. Next, secure the new plate to the car with screws. Be sure to use screws that are the appropriate size and type for your car.
  3. Clear the license plate and mounting surface of any debris. This will help ensure that the new plate adheres properly.
  4. Fix the sticky pads to your license plate and press it onto your car.
  5. Make sure that the plate is level and securely attached before driving.

With a little time and effort, you can easily put a license plate on a car.

How to remove the license plate frames?

License plate frames are a popular way to show off your personality or promote a cause. However, if you sell your car or get a new license plate, you'll need to remove the frame. The process is simple and requires a few tools you can find in any auto parts store:

  • Use a Phillips head screwdriver to loosen the screws that hold the frame in place.
  • Gently pry the frame away from the license plate. If the frame is stuck, you can use a putty knife to help pry it loose.
  • Once the frame is removed, clean the adhesive residue from the back of the license plate with soap and water.

How to get new license plates?

You must register your car in the state where you live to get a new license plate. Displaying a license plate indicates that your vehicle is properly registered. Once your car is properly registered, the state will give you a license plate and any tags that go with it.

How much do license plates cost?

The cost of the license plate might be included in your registration, or billed separately, depending on your state. Some states allow you to transfer license plates from your old car to your new one, while others require brand-new plates. For more information on how much license plates cost in your state, you should contact your state’s DMV office.

leather wallet on top of a bed

How to remove license plate holders?

Most license plate holders are secured with screws. In order to remove the license plate holder, you will need a screwdriver.

  • Locate the screws attaching the license plate holder to the vehicle. There will usually be between two and four screws attaching the license plate holder.
  • Determine what type of screwdriver will be needed to remove the screws. License plate holders are usually held in place with Phillips or flathead screws.
  • Use the appropriate screwdriver to remove the screws by turning them counterclockwise. A power screwdriver like the Phillips truss machine screwdriver will make this process much quicker, but a regular screwdriver should get the job done just fine.
  • Secure the screws in a safe place as you remove them from the license plate holder.

With the screws removed, the license plate holder should come right off.

How to install license plate fasteners?

In many states, license plates must be attached to the front of a car with fasteners that make it hard to take the plate off. Some plates come with these fasteners already attached, but others need to be put together on their own.

Installing license plate fasteners is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a matter of minutes.

  1. Begin by lining up the fastener with the hole in the plate. If the fastener has a lip, be sure that the lip is facing up.
  2. Once the fastener is in place, use a screwdriver or allen wrench (depending on the type of fastener) to tighten it until it is snug.
  3. Be careful not to overtighten the fastener, as this could strip the threads or damage the plate.

If you live in a state that requires you to have both front and back license plates, repeat the process for the front plate to attach it to the vehicle.

What can I do if my license plates are stolen?

If your license plates are stolen, the first thing you should do is report the theft to the police. This will help to ensure that your vehicle can't be used for illegal purposes. Once you have filed a police report, you should also contact your state's DMV office to let them know that your plates are missing.

Person removing a license plate

Most of the time, you can get a new set of plates or a temporary tag that lets you drive legally until your new plates come.

While losing your license plates can be inconvenient, following these steps will help to ensure that you can get back on the road as quickly as possible.

How to get temporary license plates?

Every state has different requirements for issuing temporary license plates (also known as a temporary tag), but commonly required documents include:

  • Certificate of Title
  • Temporary tag application
  • Proof of car insurance
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Results of inspections or emissions testing, if applicable
  • Loan documentation or release, if applicable

Some states require you to show multiple forms of identification. Typically, one must be a government-issued ID, while the other can be something like a bank statement or utility bill.

Check the website of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for further info.

What is a digital license plate?

A digital license plate is a plate that uses a digital display instead of the traditional paper or metal license plate. The digital display can be used to show the current status of the vehicle, such as the registration or inspection expiration date. Digital license plates can also show messages, like safety messages or Amber Alerts.

How can I cancel my license plates?

There are two ways to cancel your license plates. You can either turn them in to your local DMV, or destroy them yourself. Check with your state’s DMV to see what protocol they require you to follow.

What is a passenger license plate?

A passenger license plate is a type of license plate that is typically used on a passenger vehicle, such as a van or SUV. Passenger license plates usually have a simple design with the name of the state and a numbering system that is easy to read. In most cases, passenger license plates are made of metal, though some states also offer specialty plates that are made of other materials.