How To Install A Front License Plate On A Car Without Holes

Though all states require rear license plates, front license plates are required in some states but not in others. If you live in a state that requires a front license plate, but your bumper has no holes, what are you supposed to do? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered with this guide.

The process of attaching a license plate to a car is not difficult, but it is important to do it correctly.

If you have a front bracket, just screw your license plate onto it. If you don't have one, you might consider using an adhesive-mounted bracket or a bracket made specifically for the shape of your model's bumper.

Let’s look at your options for mounting a front license plate onto the front of a car with no holes.

Before You Install License Plates

There are a few things to keep in mind before you install your license plates.

Make sure that the plate is placed in the correct position. Most states have laws that tell you how and where to put your license plate, so check your state's rules.

Be sure to attach your registration sticker to the plate. Without it, you could be subject to a ticket.
Image highlighting Buying/Selling Car Privately by PrivateAuto

State Rules When Mounting License Plates

The rules for mounting the license plates vary from state to state, but there are some general guidelines that must be followed:

The plate must be securely fastened to the vehicle so that it does not become dislodged
The plate must be clearly visible and not obscured by any part of the car
The plate should not swing when mounted and should be positioned right side up and reading left to right
The plate should not be more than 60 inches off the ground
The plate should retain its original reflective coating.
By following these simple guidelines, you can ensure that your license plate is in compliance with your state's plate law.

Choose The Right Tools and Hardware

Choose the right installation tool for your license plate before you put it on your car. Look for mounting hardware that is made specifically for your car's make and model. You can find base-mount hardware and tools at most auto parts stores. Follow the instructions that come with the installation tool or hardware.
How To Install A Front License Plate On A Car Without Holes

Front License Plate Mounting Kit

Mounting a front license plate on your car is much easier with a quality front license plate mounting kit.

Front license plate mounting kits come with all the screws, bolts, and other parts you need to attach the plate to your car, so you don't have to guess what you'll need. The kit will include instructions that explain how to install the plate correctly.

How To Put a License Plate On The Front Of a Car Without Drilling Holes

All states require vehicles to have a rear license plate. Some states require front license plates, while others do not.

Depending on the type of vehicle, there are several ways to attach a front license plate. Here are some of the most common front license plate mounting options that do not require drilling.

Mounting a Front License Plate Using a Tow Hook Bracket

Some vehicles have a tow hook anchor in the front bumper. If yours has it, you can use it to install your license plate—without drilling holes.

Before purchasing a tow hook license plate bracket kit, check the front of your car for a tow hook bracket. Look in your vehicle’s manual, or search the front for any sign of the tow package. Some vehicles have small rectangular shapes in the bumper that can be popped out. Others have the tow package in other locations.

If you have the right tow anchor, license plate installation only takes minutes and requires no special tools. Just purchase the correct tow hook bracket for your vehicle and follow these steps.

1. Attach the bracket on your front bumper’s tow eye using the provided screws and holders.
2. Screw in the tow hook stud from your kit and place the threaded end into the hook slot. Insert the bolt through the bracket and tow hook stud threads.
3. Mount the license plate bracket. With the bracket in place, the only thing left to do is screw on the license plate. Remember to install the license plate frame over the plate if your product includes one.

Mounting a Front License Plate Using Sticky Tape

You can use double-sided tape or pads to secure your license plate to the front of your car. Choose an industrial-grade adhesive suitable to the task.

Just cut a section the appropriate size and follow these instructions.

1. Choose a location for your license plate that will be visible and that meets state guidelines. Don’t block any air intakes or other functions.
2. Clean the area with a damp cloth to remove dirt and loose debris to ensure easy adhesion of the sticky pads. Wait for the area to dry.
3. Attach the adhesive to the back of the license plate and press the plate firmly against the car’s surface until secured.

What to Do If My Car Does Not Have a Front License Plate Holder?

If you drive a vehicle that doesn't have a front license plate holder, don't worry! Here are some solutions.

Buy a universal front license plate bracket holder and install it on the front of your car.
Use the vehicle’s tow anchor to attach the plate (covered above).
Use adhesive applied directly to your license plate to secure it (covered above)

Using a License Plate Bracket Properly

Look online or in your local automotive store for a no-drill mounting bracket that suits the make and model of your vehicle.

Just make sure you adhere to all applicable legal requirements and follow the instructions. There are two main types of bracket holders:

1. Adhesive-mounted
2. Magnetic-mounted

Using an Adhesive-Mounted Bracket Holder

An adhesive-mounted bracket is an effective way to install your front license plate without any specialized tools. Look for installation instructions in your bracket’s user manual. Also, different vehicle makes and models may have their own installation instructions.

Here are some general steps that are common to most adhesive-mounted front brackets.

1. Clean the surface where the bracket will be installed. Use a cloth and rubbing alcohol to remove debris, oils, or grime. Dry with a microfiber cloth.
2. Without removing the protective coating, test the fit of the bracket. Place the bracket on the mounting location to ensure that it fits and matches your model. If it does not align with your car's bumper, get the right bracket.
3. Remove the protective film and press the adhesive-mounted bracket to your vehicle in the proper location.
4. After allowing it ample time to set, carefully attach your license plate grip onto the bracket. If your product includes a license plate frame, position it over the plate and match the holes in the frame with the holes in the bracket and plate.

Mounting a Front License Plate Using Magnetic Mounts

If you need to attach a front license plate, but don't want to drill holes in your bumpers, a magnetic front license plate mount might be the way to go.

A magnetic license plate mount is fairly easy to install. You don’t need specialized tools, nor do you need to add permanent hardware to the vehicle.

All you need to do is attach the plate’s metal backing to two strong magnets, then center them on the bumper of your car.

Mounting a Front License Plate Using Zip Ties

We don’t recommend using zip ties to attach your front license plate.

Some states don’t permit it
Zip ties can become brittle and break eventually, causing you to lose your license plate
Zip ties are more unsightly
How To Install A Front License Plate On A Car Without Holes
If your state permits it and you want to do it, though, go for it. Drill holes in the four corners of your license plate and attach away.

How To Attach a License Plate Frame

License plate frames are metal or plastic frames that go around your license plate, usually for decorative purposes. You can purchase license plate frames at most auto supply stores.

In order to properly and securely attach a license plate frame, it is first important to understand the different types of frames that are available.

The most common type of frame is the bolt-on frame, which attaches to the vehicle with bolts or screws. These frames are typically made of metal or plastic, and they can be decorated with designs or logos.
Another type of frame is the adhesive frame, which uses double-sided tape or an adhesive pad to attach to the vehicle. These frames are often made of plastic or vinyl, and they are less likely to damage the paint on the vehicle.
There are also magnetic frames, which use magnets to attach to the vehicle. These frames are often made of metal, and they can be removed and reattached easily.
If your goal is to attach your plate with no drilling, use an adhesive frame or the magnet frame.

If you are using an adhesive frame, remove the backing from the double-sided tape or adhesive pad and press it firmly into place.

If you are using a magnetic frame, simply position the magnets on the vehicle and attach the frame. Once all of the magnets are in place, the frame should be secure.

License plate frames can add a personal touch to your car and help protect your license plate from damage.

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. While some plates are sold with these fasteners already attached, others must have the fasteners installed separately.

Putting on license plate fasteners is a fairly easy job that can be done in a few 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. Be careful not to overtighten the fastener, as this could strip the threads or damage the plate.
You can use fasteners for your back license plate or your front plate.

Where To Get Your License Plate Installed

If you’re not handy with tools—or if you’re just too busy—a license plate installation service can install your front license plate for you.

There are a few different places that you can go to get your license plate installed.

Local Dealership

Many dealerships offer installation services. A dealership will probably be the most expensive option, but they should have the right products and tools, and will know exactly how to install the front plate.

Local Auto Shop

A local auto shop is a less expensive option, and they will also have the right tools and know-how for the installation.

This may be a bit more work, but it can often be cheaper than going to a dealership.

Self-Service Kiosks

A self-service kiosk still requires you to install the plate yourself, but it provides tools, materials, or info to help you get the job done correctly. Most of the time, these kiosks are near offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles or at rest stops along major highways.

What to Do with Old License Plates?

If you just sold a vehicle and need to dispose of your old license plates, one option is to simply send the old plates back to one of your state’s Department of Motor Vehicle office locations. You can also use them for decorative purposes.
How To Install A Front License Plate On A Car Without Holes
Different states have different rules, so it’s best to check with your state’s DMV or equivalent organization.
Image highlighting Selling Car Privately by PrivateAuto

Experience the PrivateAuto Advantage

Avoid scams, keep personal information private, and Get started today.

FAQ on Front License Plates

How do I install a front license plate without drilling holes?

There are a variety of mounting brackets available that can help install the front plate without drilling holes. Such mounting brackets typically mount to the vehicle’s existing tow hook or allow mounting with industrial strength velcro, by using magnets, or adhesive tape. The mounts typically come with all necessary hardware and can usually be installed easily in minutes, making them perfect for those who want to avoid the hassle of drilling holes in their car.

How do I affix my front license plate?

Can you drill new holes for number plates?

Is it best to remove a license plate when selling a car?

What can I do if my license plates are stolen?

How can I clean my license plates?

How to get new license plates?

How much do license plates cost?

How to get temporary license plates?

What is a passenger license plate?