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How to drill holes for the front license plate

Updated February 21, 2017

Installing a number plate on your vehicle is usually a simple task. However, if your number plate or vehicle does not come with pre-existing holes drilled in, this simple task becomes more complicated. You must learn the appropriate measurements to drill the holes in the correct location on your number plate and vehicle before you can mount the number plate that your state department of motor vehicle requires.

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  1. Measure how many inches separate the end of the number plate indent to the top left hole that is already drilled in your vehicle if applicable. Write this measurement in a notebook. Measure from the top right hole to the end of the number plate indent on the right side. Write this measurement down. Continue this process for the bottom holes and record the measurements.

  2. Measure 5.3 inches to the left of the centre of the number plate area on your vehicle and 2.375 inches up if your vehicle does not already possess drill holes for the number plate. Mark this location on your vehicle by making a circle in the area with your pencil. Continue this process for the right corner hole, bottom left corner, and bottom right corner, measuring from the centre to the location that will require a hole.

  3. Drill the holes in your front bumper with an electric drill if necessary. Hold the drill at a 90 degree angle and drill a hole at one of the locations that you marked. Drill a hole that does not exceed .3125 inches in diameter.

  4. Measure the same dimensions that you previously wrote down and mark the equivalent positions on your number plate. Drill the first hole in your number plate by holding the drill at a 90 degree angle and applying pressure to the drill as you hold the number plate upright with your free hand. Continue this process for the other three holes.

  5. Place your number plate against the number plate area on your front bumper. Move the number plate until the holes in the number plate match up with the holes in your bumper. Place a screw or bolt through one of the holes and screw into place with your drill. Repeat for the other three holes.

  6. Tip

    If your vehicle does not come with pre-drilled holes in the body of the car, you can opt to purchase a no hole mounting kit for an easier option.


    Do not apply too much pressure or drill too quickly or you may damage your drill bit. Slow and steady is the best method.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits
  • Screws

About the Author

Samantha Kemp

Samantha Kemp is a lawyer for a general practice firm. She has been writing professionally since 2009. Her articles focus on legal issues, personal finance, business and education. Kemp acquired her JD from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She also has degrees in economics and business and teaching.

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