How to Change a License Plate Light Bulb

Written by elton dunn
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How to Change a License Plate Light Bulb
Lights illuminate your plate number and car at night. (Rare Italian luxurious sports coupe image by Oleg Ivanov from

Along with taillights and brake lights, number plate light bulbs help other cars keep track of you while driving. They're an important component of vehicle safety. When you want to upgrade your number plate light bulb to a high-powered LED light or simply replace a burnt-out bulb, you'll need to know how to get at the number plate light bulb housing. Changing the light bulb light should take one hour or less, depending on your comfort level with DIY automotive repair.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Replacement light bulbs

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  1. 1

    Review your car's manual before beginning to find out how to change the number plate bulb for your exact model. While the basic procedure remains the same across the board, there are model-specific differences to keep in mind. The manual will inform you what size light bulb you need to buy.

  2. 2

    Open the boot of your car. Look at the inside panel of the boot door (this will be above your head) to find several screws. Remove these to expose the area where your number plate light is.

  3. 3

    Remove the pins holding your boot lining in place by prying a flat head screwdriver underneath the lip of the pin. The number of pins varies by your model car.

  4. 4

    Pull away the boot lining. Look for two tubes connecting to light brackets. If you're not sure whether you're looking at the right thing, lower the boot and see if the tubes match up with the number plate light on the outside of your car. Pull the tubes off to disconnect the power source and expose the light housing so you can safely change the light.

  5. 5

    Turn the light housing clockwise to loosen it then pull it out. There will be one housing for each light.

  6. 6

    Grasp the light bulb in the housing and pull up to remove it. Remove both light bulbs.

  7. 7

    Take the replacement bulbs out of their packaging. Working one at a time, push the new light bulb into the light housing to secure it.

  8. 8

    Insert the housing back in place and turn it counter-clockwise until it snaps into place. Replace both housing elements.

  9. 9

    Re-attach the light tubes. They will click into place.

  10. 10

    Fit the boot liner back in place. Hold it in place with one hand and slide the pins back to secure the boot liner cover. Once you've got all the pins back in place, your work is complete.

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