How to Drill Number Plates

Written by jon stefansson
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How to Drill Number Plates
Getting new plates on your vehicle is a simple task with the right tools. (number plates image by timur1970 from

So your new car vanity plates have arrived but there are no holes drilled in them. You will want to have them on the car as soon as possible, and luckily the job isn't difficult. You may also want to drill number plates because the old ones were lost or stolen. Using a few common household tools you should be back on the road with your new plates in no time. In total, the job should take around 30 minutes.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Electric hand-held drill
  • 6mm drill bit
  • File
  • Marker
  • Wooden workbench
  • Scrap wood
  • Clamps
  • Grease/Oil (if necessary)

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  1. 1

    Remove the new number plate from any packaging and lay it on the workbench. Lay a piece of scrap wood on top of the bench, you will drill through the plate into this wood. If you have the original number plate, lay it over the new one and mark where you will drill holes with a marker.

  2. 2

    Mark the screw holes on the bumper with grease or oil and place the plate over the top, if you don't have an existing number plate. The grease will stick to the back of the plate where the screw holes on the bumper are. Replace the marks with marker and use them as a guide for the drill.

  3. 3

    Keep the old plate on top of the new one as a guide. Use the electric drill with a 6mm bit to drill through the new plate into the scrap wood. Standard American plates have four holes, one in each corner. Clamp the plates and wood to the workbench to prevent them from slipping.

  4. 4

    File any sharp metal from around the drill holes down. When you finish you may notice that sharp metal is protruding around the drill holes. This should be removed before the plates are attached.

Tips and warnings

  • Be careful not to burn yourself. The metal of the plates and drill bit will get hot during drilling.

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