Some regions require front license plates, but not all makes and models of vehicles have a front mounting bracket. If you have a front mount, just screw the license plate onto it. Otherwise, there are simple options. You can try a mounting bracket with adhesive or a bracket designed for the specific shape of the bumper model. There are also some that fit into the tow hook on the front bumper of some newer car models. If you don't mind making holes in the bumper, you can just install the license plate the old fashioned way.
In France, it is strictly forbidden to screw on license plates.
However, this is quite normal in many other countries. Find out if the information in this article is applicable in your country.
Method 1 of 4: Use an existing license plate holder
Step 1. Remove the bracket screws that secure the license plate
You will find the screws in the corners of the license plate bracket on the front bumper. Twist them counterclockwise using a screwdriver to remove them, then store them in a safe place so they won't be lost. If the bracket is attached to an old license plate, the bracket will come off when you remove the screws.
- If the car is new, the license plate holder screws may be in the glove box.
- If you don't have license plate screws, you can get them at a hardware or auto parts store.
Step 2. Check if there is a frame for the license plate
Some brackets have a frame mounted with screws that fit the plate. If the bracket has a frame, remember to line it up with the license plate and insert the screws into both when installing.
You'll know you have a license plate frame if you see a separate rectangular piece when you remove the screws from the bracket
Step 3. Align the license plate with the holes in the bracket
You will find them in the corners of the plate and the holder. Place the license plate in the holder so that the holes line up.
If the bracket includes a frame that fits the license plate, line up its holes with those in the plate and bracket
Step 4. Place the screws to secure the license plate
Insert them through the holes in the bracket and the holes in the license plate (and frame, if applicable). Adjust the screws by turning them clockwise with a screwdriver to complete the installation.
Method 2 of 4: Use a mounting bracket with adhesive
Step 1. Purchase a mounting bracket
You need to get one that is suitable for the make and model of the vehicle. Search the Internet or visit a local auto parts store to purchase a hole-free mounting bracket that is suitable for the make and model of your car.
Several no-hole brackets use a strong adhesive and are suitable for most makes and models of vehicle. Some brackets are only suitable for a specific model and require special tools to secure them to the grille or bumper. Consult the product manual for specific installation instructions
Step 2. Clean the bumper assembly site
Do this with alcohol wipes. A mounting bracket with adhesive requires a clean installation site. Find the center of the bumper where you will attach the mount, wipe it clean with alcohol wipes, then let it air dry or do it with a clean microfiber cloth.
Some brackets are attached to the front of the bumper, while others adhere to slots or holes corresponding to specific models. Refer to the installation instructions for the mounting location
Step 3. Test its position without removing the protective film
The adhesive is protected by a protective film that you must not remove while testing its fit. Place the bracket where you are going to attach it to make sure it fits snugly and matches your car model.
If it doesn't fit your car's bumper, you may have inadvertently purchased the wrong type of bracket. See if you can change it for a voucher
Step 4. Remove the protective film and press the holder against the bumper
After carefully checking that the backing is snug, peel off the protective film to expose the adhesive. Press down firmly on the bracket at the front of the bumper, at the bottom, or at another mounting location specified in the product instructions.
Try to be precise when mounting the stand, as you only have one chance
Step 5. Screw the license plate onto the bracket
Once this is in place, you have the option of aligning its holes with those in the license plate. If the product has a frame, place it on the plate and line up its holes with those in the bracket and plate. Turn the screws clockwise to complete the installation.
Method 3 of 4: Install a tow hook bracket
Step 1. Find the location of the part
You need to locate and remove the plastic panel that covers the tow hook anchor. Many models have a plastic plate on the front bumper that you can press to pop out. This plate hides the anchor of the tow hook. The license plate brackets come with a threaded stud which is inserted into the anchor.
Make sure you have a tow hook anchor before purchasing a kit with such a license plate holder
Step 2. Screw in the tow hook stud from the kit
Take it and insert the threaded side into the slot of the anchor. Turn it clockwise until it is tight.
Step 3. Pass the bolt through the holes in the bracket
Also do this with the tow hook stud. Align the hole in the backing plate with the hole in the trunnion. The kit comes with a bolt that goes through these holes. Find it and pass it through these holes to secure the backing plate with the tow hook stud.
To start, turn the bolt clockwise with your fingers, then use a ratchet to finish tightening
Step 4. Secure the license plate to the bracket
Once it's in place, all you need to do is screw on the license plate. If the product has a frame, remember to place it on the frame and rotate the screws clockwise through the two objects.
Method 4 of 4: Drill holes in the front bumper
Step 1. Check if your car has a metal or fiberglass bumper
Drilling in metal is more complicated than drilling in fiberglass. If you have a chrome bumper, it would be best to try a method that doesn't involve puncturing if you've never done it before with metal.
If you feel like punching a chrome bumper, you will need to perform a few extra steps and use some special tools. You will need an awl, a bit to pierce the metal, a bur, and goggles
Step 2. Align the license plate holder with the center of the front bumper
Use a tape measure to measure the length of the bumper, which will help you find the exact midpoint. Mark the center point lengthwise with a tape or marker, then measure the height of the bumper to find its exact midpoint. Once found, place the license plate holder there.
If you are not using a stand, simply place the plate on the bumper
Step 3. Create marks through the holes in the bracket
Hold the license plate bracket over the center point of the bumper and locate the already drilled mounting holes. Use a marker to mark the places where you need to drill into the bumper so that it lines up with the holes in the bracket.
- Note that the bracket mounting holes are the ones the bumper will be attached to and the corner holes that will be used to screw in the license plate.
- If you are not using a bracket, simply make marks for the bumper holes at the top corners of the plate.
Step 4. Make 3mm holes in the bumper
After marking the locator holes, leave the bracket or license plate aside. Use an electric drill and a 3mm bit to drill a guide hole in the bumper. Make it only 3mm deep.
If the bumper is chrome, you will need to start making the holes with an awl before you start drilling
Step 5. Use an awl and a special bit for chrome bumpers
After marking the points on the surface where you will need to drill, hammer the awl over them to make cracks. It is a good idea to add lubricating oil to crevices to reduce friction and heat. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes.
- Applying duct tape or masking tape around the puncture site will help protect the chrome finish if the bit slips.
- Hold the drill (with a bit designed to drill through metal) perfectly perpendicular to the surface. Apply firm, constant pressure to pierce the chrome metal.
- After drilling the holes, use a chamfer bit and rotate 3 to 4 turns to smooth out any irregularities in the metal on the front edge of the holes.
Step 6. Mount the bracket on the bumper
Line up the mounting holes on the bracket with the holes you drilled in the bumper. Insert the screws into the bumper through the bracket by turning them clockwise.
Step 7. Screw the license plate onto the bracket
After mounting the bracket, line up the holes in the corners of the plate with the holes in the corners of the bracket. Turn the screws clockwise to secure the license plate and to complete the installation.