How to Mount the Front License Plate on a Subaru

Written by nat fondell
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How to Mount the Front License Plate on a Subaru
Some Subaru owners encounter problems when attaching front number plates. (4x4 off road SUV truck image by goce risteski from

For many otherwise happy Subaru owners, moving to a new state that requires front number plates can become a frustrating experience due to the strange configuration of number plate holes on the front of many different types of Subaru vehicles. For some reason, the Subaru manufacturers have shipped various models of their Forester, Outback, Outback Sport and Impreza with front number plate holes that do not match standard American number plates, and so Subaru owners must make adjustments to their vehicles to avoid paying a repair shop to do so.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver
  • Front number plate
  • Mounting screws
  • Mounting kit (optional)
  • Drill
  • Drill bit
  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Place the number plate over the holes on the front of your Subaru. Determine if any of the holes in the number plate match those pre-drilled in the bumper. If even two of the holes line up, you may be able to get by with merely attaching the number plate with two screws, especially if they are the two top screws or the two screws in opposite corners.

  2. 2

    Hold the number plate up to the front bumper, and mark the places where you will need screws with a pencil. Use one of the pre-drilled holes if possible. Drill the marked places using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the screws you will be using. Then screw in the number plate using the mounting screws. Be sure to tighten all the screws partway before tightening any screws fully, as this will ensure a level installation.

  3. 3

    Alternatively, use a mounting kit to attach a number plate to the front of your vehicle by first finding the right mounting kit for your make and model of Subaru. Attach the mounting kit to the front bumper using the included screws. Then, attach the front number plate using either the included screws or the clasps in the mounting kit.

Tips and warnings

  • Always be sure you are screwing the number plate to something that is solid, and not merely the flimsy plastic of the exterior bumper. If you can only use this plastic as your attachment point, use screw anchors similar to those used on drywall.
  • Some states do not require front number plates, so check your state regulations before beginning a number plate project, as you may not need this extra number plate.
  • Do not perform this installation while the engine is running.
  • Check your number plate installation frequently at first to make sure it is not detaching or tearing loose from the front bumper, especially if you made your own holes for the screws.

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