Number Plate Screws & Fixings Law

Number Plate Screws & Fixings Law

Fixings are a great way for motorists to personalise their number plate, but you may be breaking the law unknowingly. We want to help motorists by outlining all the regulations and laws for number plate fixings. There are quite a few rules and regulations around number plate screws and other fixing methods as well. The DVLA are the governing body responsible for number plate laws in the UK, and they produce all the new number plate combinations every year.

However, if you’re wanting to customise your number plate by using different screws or fixings, it's important to fully understand what you can and can't do. The main issue that the DVLA wants to avoid is obscuring the display of the number plate. 

But what are the actual laws around number plate fittings and screws? What other ways can you secure your number plate to your vehicle?

Throughout this guide, you'll learn what the DVLA regulations are, what options are available to secure your number plate and how to replace your number plate accurately. 

What Does The Law Say? 

The DVLA have very strict rules about how your number plate should be displayed, and this also applies to number plate screws and fixings. 

The law states that you cannot use screws or fixing to obscure the characters on a number plate. This is so that you cannot use screws in the middle or next to any of the characters on the number plate to change the way your plate is displayed. This is the same for when you use brackets or sticky pads.

Your number should always be clearly displayed. So when using screws or brackets, you should always ensure they are on the far left and right of the plate or in a space where it will not affect the display of your number plate.

What Type Of Screws Should I Use For My Number Plate? 

It’s very common that different car brands to use different types of screws for the number plate, so finding the right size can be tricky. This is especially if you are wanting to change your vehicle but keep your private number plate registration. These screws can also be entirely different types depending on the vehicle brand as well, making it more difficult to find the right size screws.

Therefore, it is important to do your research before replacing your number plate for a new vehicle, so you don't accidentally use the wrong type of screw and the wrong size. You could end up damaging your car if you use the wrong bolts and screws to secure your number plate.

However, the average number plate screw size is 1/4-14-3/4 inches. If this wouldn't fit your vehicle, it's important to have a look at the threading of the screws so that you don't end up damaging the threads, which could be a very costly repair.

How Can I Secure My Number Plate?  

There are a few methods to securing your number plate other than using screws to keep your number plate in place. Here are some alternate methods to securing your number plate onto your vehicle that are becoming more popular:

Use Sticky Pads 

Using sticky pads is an easy and quick way to secure your number plate to your car. Using sticky pads is also a popular option as it means you don't have to make any modifications or drill into your vehicle.

The strong adhesive that is on sticky pads means they won't come off easily, however this also means that they can be tricky to remove cleanly. So you must align your number plate properly before the plate is secured.

Use Screws 

Screws are one of the most common ways to secure a number plate and each car model has its own specific type of bolts and screws that they use, so make sure you get the right one. However, if you screw your number plate in wrong or with the wrong type of screws, it can be quite difficult and expensive to repair.

Screws are a great way to secure your number plate as they are durable and will keep your number plate in place for a long time. The only precaution is that the way the screws are secured doesn't affect the display of the number plate and follows the rules of the DVLA.

Use Brackets 

Brackets are becoming another popular way to secure a number plate for more and more motorists, especially if they need to use show plates. Using brackets can allow you to quickly and simply slide your number plate into the bracket to secure it. In any case, sliding your number plate in and out isn't very secure and could lead to theft. This is why they are mainly used for show plates.

Lipped brackets are a more secure way to fix your number plate onto your vehicle in comparison to normal brackets. How they frame your number plate is very different as they frame the plate the entire way around, so plates cannot be slid in and out. Lipped brackets also secure number plates in a way that doesn't alter their display, in line with DVLA regulations.

How To Secure Your Number Plate with Screws 

Here is how you can accurately screw your number plate to your vehicle without the worry of obscuring the display of your plate and keeping it tightly in place. See how to secure your number plate below:

  1. First, you will need to remove the old number plate from your car.
  2. Then measure out where to put the holes for the screws in your number plate by placing it over the previous number plate as a guide. Drill the holes in the back of the number plate and it should be accurate for your vehicle.
  3. Using the correct screws, tightly secure the number plate in place using the best tool for the job until it is solidly in place.
  4. Then it is recommended that you use sticky pads and tape to further secure your number plate in place.

Number Plate Screws FAQ 

Where is The Best Place to Put Screws on a Number Plate?

Typically, number plates are secured using screws that are attached to the frame of the car. There are alternatives that you can use, like nylon nuts and bolts, but they are more prone to cracking or being damaged. However, it's always essential to remember the rules the DVLA have in place regarding manipulating characters and the display of the number plate. Therefore, as long as your number plate screws are not obscuring the number plate in any way, you will be compliant with the law. 

What Colour Screws Can You Have on a Number Plate? 

According to the DVLA, the background on the front number plate must have black characters on a white background, and the back number plate must have black characters on a yellow background. The number plate also needs to be clear and reflective as well. In order to avoid compromising your number plate it is recommended that you use yellow, white or black screws.

Is it Better to Stick on Your Number Plates Instead of Screwing?  

Using sticky pads to secure your number plate is a quick and easy solution, and the strong adhesive keeps your number plate in place. However, for extra protection from getting your number plate stolen, we would recommend that you use screws to keep your number plate in place. This is a more secure way of ensuring your number plate isn't stolen. Although, using either method to secure your number plate is within the rules and regulations set by the DVLA.

Are Stick-on Number Plates Illegal? 

Stick-on number plates used to be legal. However, after the law changed in 2001, stick on plates could cause you to fail your MOT or you could be fined over £1000 by the DVLA. The law states that the material for number plates has to be strong and reflective. Because stick-on plates are not strong they would be flagged up during your MOT.

Can I Use Black Screws To Secure My Number Plate? 

Black Screws are fine to use on number plates as they do not directly affect the clarity of the display. As noted before, as long as the screws are not securing the number plate in a way that affects the reflectivity or clarity of the back and front plates, then black screws are fine to use.

Looking For a New Personalised Number Plate?

At Absolute Reg, we supply a huge range of personalised number plates for you to choose from. With over 50 million number plates available, search through our full range to find the style and personalisation of your choice.

As well as providing an expansive range of products, there are plenty of other reasons why you should get your private number plate from Absolute Reg.

  • Large stock of number plates to select from.
  • Our Price Promise guarantees you get the best deal for your number plate.
  • Excellent customer service.
  • You get a certificate of entitlement.
  • Highest rated on-time delivery in 2020 according to

To find your perfect personalised number plate today, use our search feature and discover all the number plates that we have to offer.

Contact Absolute Reg 

If you would like to get in contact with us, you can email us at Alternatively, you can give us a call at 0207 205 2347 to speak to a member of our team.

Read More

Number Plate Rules & Laws 2023

Are 4D Number Plates Legal? 

Motorcycle Number Plate Laws 

How ANPR Affects Number Plate Owners

Number Plate Spacing Laws: Explained