How to Replace a License Plate Bulb

The license plate lamps are designed to illuminate the plate and registration tags on your vehicle and make it easily visible to law enforcement. In many states, a burnt out license plate bulb can get you a ticket. It is essential that you replace a burnt out license plate bulb as soon as possible in order to avoid getting a ticket.

A license plate light utilizes a filament housed inside an inert-gas filled glass bulb. When electricity is applied to the filament, it gets very hot and produces visible light.

Bulbs don’t last forever and can fail for a number of reasons, the most common being filament failure from normal use. Other reasons for failure include sealing failure,when the bulbs atmospheric seals is broken and oxygen enters the bulb and breakage of the glass bulb.

If you find yourself in need a new license plate bulb, use the following steps to learn how to replace it.

Part 1 of 2: Remove the bulb

Materials Needed

Step 1: Locate the license plate light. The license plate light is located right above the plate.

Step 2: Determine which bulb has failed. Park your vehicle and set the emergency brake. Turn the ignition to the Accessory position and turn on the driving lights. Walk around the vehicle to determine which license plate bulb has failed.

removing license plate light cover screws

Step 3: Remove the license plate light cover. Remove the license plate light cover retaining screws using a screwdriver.

removing the license plate light lense

Remove the license plate light cover.

  • Note: You may need to use a small screwdriver to pry the cover off.

removing the bulb from its container

Step 4: Remove the bulb. Remove the bulb from its retainer.

Part 2 of 2: Install the bulb

Materials Needed

  • Protective gloves
  • Replacement license plate light bulb
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver

person installing the bulb

Step 1: Install the new bulb. Install the new bulb in its retainer and ensure it is in place.

  • Tip: Refer to your car’s user manual to determine the correct type of light bulb to get for your specific vehicle.

installing license plate cover

Step 2: Complete the installation. Put back the license plate light cover and hold it in place.

installing license plate light lense screws

Install the license plate light cover retaining screws and tighten them using a screwdriver.

Step 3: Check the lights. Turn on your car to check if your license plate lights are fully functional.

Replacing your license plate bulb only requires a little time and know how. However, if you prefer to leave this task to a professional and not get your hands dirty, get a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, to replace the license plate bulb.


Next Step

Schedule License Plate Light Replacement

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is License Plate Light Replacement. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent License Plate Light Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating

(35)

Rating Summary
33
1
0
0
1
33
1
0
0
1

Riley

41 years of experience
18 reviews
Riley
41 years of experience
Subaru Forester - License Plate Light - Washington, District of Columbia
He was very kind and professional - quickly diagnosed the problems with our car and repaired them. I would highly recommend Riley for your car repair needs.

Ramon

20 years of experience
130 reviews
Ramon
20 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - License Plate Light - Tucson, Arizona
Ramon is very professional and personable. He took the time to explain how the window regulator works and why mine needed to be replaced. Found and repaired a couple of other issues I had with my car as well. Thanks to Ramon my first experience with "Your Mechanic" was a good one and I will definitely use your business again.

Damian

11 years of experience
430 reviews
Damian
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Corvette - License Plate Light - Melbourne, Florida
Damian was early, arrived prepared and did the job quickly and well. He is very knowledgeable and a really nice guy. I would definitely want him to come out again if I needed anything else done, and I would recommend him to anybody needing automotive service done at their home in Melbourne.

Travis

13 years of experience
477 reviews
Travis
13 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe - License Plate Light - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis was GREAT! Really appreciated the ingenuity he displayed in solving the problem! Thank you again Travis!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Should You Change Your Headlight Bulbs to LED?
Headlight Headlight technology has evolved a lot over the last couple of decades. Once upon a time, cars had sealed headlights (you had to replace the housing too whenever a bulb blew). Then came permanent lenses and replaceable small bulbs...
How A Vehicle’s Headlights Work
The The History of Headlights When cars were first being produced, the headlight was more of a lamp, with an enclosed acetylene flame which had to be manually lit by the driver. Those early headlights were introduced in the 1880s,...
4 Essential Things to Know About Your Car’s Reverse Lights
Reverse lights are also called backup lights. They are used to warn other vehicles and people around the car that...

Related questions

How do I turn on the parking lights in a 2012 Dodge Ram?

Turning on the parking lights is easy. Simply find the headlight knob, which is located just to the left of your steering column. Turn the knob clockwise to the parking light icon, which is a picture of two lights facing...

What does the lamps on reminder light mean?

The lamps on reminder light is located on the instrument panel. When the lamps on reminder light is illuminated, that means that your lights are currently on. When you turn off all of your lights, the lamps on reminder light...

When headlights are on, dash and tail lights go out

Hello. Most of the time, this means that you have a bad instrument cluster. The instrument cluster has a circuit board attached to it, and a lot of times, the circuit goes bad on the board. In some rare cases,...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com