As an Amazon Associate, We earn from qualifying purchases at no added cost to you.

How To Change License Plate Light – EASY

You should keep an eye on the license plate light as it's one of the crucial car elements. If your car's tag lights go out, you must repair them as quickly as possible, or risk being pulled over. But do you know how to change the license plate light?

There are two ways to change license plate lights: replacing lights from outside and inside the trunk. In both methods, you need to purchase new license plate light, loose the screws, turn the light base around, pull the bulb out, and insert the new license plate light. But while placing it with the inside method, you have to check the trunk liner.

One of your primary considerations should be ensuring that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. So, you need to learn the process of changing plate light.

What Is a License Plate Light?

License plate lights are designed to draw attention to your car's license plate and registration marks. The lights also make them visible to law enforcement. In most countries, it's prohibited to keep your license plate dusky.

These lights are also known as tag lights. And it provides visibility to other drivers to read your license plate number, which is most likely for the purpose of reporting you for anything illegal.

When a car's running lights are turned on, the license plate light illuminates. This indicates the identity of the vehicle to onlookers and road traffic authorities.


Lifespan Of a License Plate Light

Typically, the license plate lamp assembly is intended to last as long as your vehicle. But this may not be the case due to some damages.

Several factors are in action to damage this light. The seal surrounding the light's casing will start to leak, resulting in a range of damages. Other causes of failure also include sealing failure.

When the bulb's atmospheric seals are destroyed, oxygen enters the bulb, and the glass bulb breaks. If the wire connections of this light get damaged, it will be difficult for the light to function correctly.

Here are also a few things you'll notice when it's time to replace your license plate light:

The light won't turn on.

The license plate assembly has visible damage.

Water in the license plate light's lens

Why Should You Change License Plate Light?

License plate lights are tested throughout a safety inspection, along with headlights and brake lights. While the latter two may appear higher in the automobile light hierarchy due to greater relevance, don't overlook the license plate lights.

A license plate light illuminates the registration plate from a range of fifty feet. Driving around with a car that does not have functioning lights is both unsafe and unlawful. If your vehicle's lights aren't working, you could be issued a ticket with a hefty fee.

In addition, you should have a license plate light for your own protection. Otherwise, there's always a high possibility of accident involvement. So, replace your broken license plate light as soon as possible.


Materials You Must Have to Change License Plate Light

Changing a license plate light bulb requires either removing a lens cover to gain access to the light or gaining access to the light socket from inside the vehicle. The latter will almost always use an access point in the trunk area.

  • You should have a few things on hand if you want to replace your automobile tag light.
  • Repair manuals
  • Protective gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Screwdriver
  • Replacement license plate light bulb

7 Easy Steps to Change a License Plate Light

Investing in a high-quality license plate light will lessen the number of times you will need to renew it in the future. You can choose two alternatives to change your car's license plate light.

Replacing Lights from the Outside

You won't have to open your trunk to replace your license plate light if you can just replace it from the outside. Here are the steps you can follow:

Step 01: Purchase New License Plate Light

Purchase appropriate lights for your vehicle. A new set usually costs between $2 and $3. Replace both of your tag lights at the same time, as the second one frequently burns out soon after the first.

You can use LED or incandescent lamps for your license plate lights. Pick white light bulbs to illuminate your license plate without providing any distractions while driving.

The LED lights are preferable to halogen lights because of their brighter appearance. When selecting tag lights, keep the following information in mind.

  • Bulbs must be white; any other color is prohibited.
  • The plate must be illuminated by bulbs such that it can be read from a distance of 50 feet.

The lamps must turn on once the headlamps or parking lamps are turned on.

Step 02: Loosen the Screws That Hold the Lights in Place

Locate the license plate light, which is usually situated just above the plate. Turn the ignition switch to the accessory position and turn on the headlights.

Examine the vehicle to see which license plate bulb has been damaged. Locate the screws that hold the covers to your car and turn them counterclockwise with a screwdriver.

Pull the covers off your automobile after the screws are loosened to expose the light bulbs underneath. Rubber gaskets may also be connected to the lids.

Ensure the gaskets are still connected to the surfaces when removing the covers. Water might get into the light bulbs without the gaskets and cause a short out.

Step 03: Turn the Light Bases Around

Typically, lights mounted to the back bumper do not have fasteners. First, search for the black wires coming to the circular ports on the rear of the bumper below your car, which is behind the license plate.

Rotate the wire bases counterclockwise in each port to reach the lights and pull them straight out. You can use a torch to locate the wires that lead to the backside of your bumper.

Step 04: Pull the Bulb Out

Handle the light bulbs carefully, or else they will shatter. Just simply pull them straight out of the bases to remove the bulbs.

If the bulbs do not illuminate, search for plastic or metal tabs that keep them in place. Gently press on them to loosen the light bulbs. You can throw them away as soon as you've removed the old license plate lights.

If you try to eliminate the lights while the car is running, you risk being electrocuted.

Step 05: Insert the new License Plate lights

When handling replacement light bulbs, use rubber gloves to avoid smudging or damaging them. Align the hooks on the bottom of the new license plate lights with the sockets in the bases.

Insert each light bulb into its base until it clicks into place. If you force the lights into the bases, they will break. So, keep that in mind while inserting the bulb.

Step 06: Check to See If the Bulbs Are Functioning

Start your car and switch on your headlights before reinstalling the covers or attaching the bases. Check whether the license plate lights are on or not to ensure a successful replacement. Switch off your car if the tag lights come on so you can carry on working.

If they aren't illuminated, there may be a problem with your car's wiring. You'll have to get it checked by a professional.

Step 07: Reattach the Covers

Replace the coverings over the light bulbs, aligning the screw holes. Now tighten the screws with your screwdriver clockwise to secure the covers.

Once you apply the covering, the process is complete. Don't leave the cover loose, or the bulbs can quickly get damaged. 

Accessing The Lights from Inside The Trunk

Replacing lights from the inside trunk necessitates opening your vehicle's trunk to replace your license plate light. It's simply impossible to do from the outside. It is a bit difficult.

The first seven steps are identical in both methods. Another step is to secure the bolts used to rejoin the trunk line. Here's the final phase you need to apply:

Set the trunk liner along with your car's body to align the fastener holes. The plastic bolts should be pushed into the holes till they snap into place.

Continue to attach the liner by fastening the remaining screws along the edge. If you're having difficulties getting the screws in, you can use a hammer to carefully press them in until they're flush.


Bottom Line

For safe and legal driving, a license plate light is necessary. It's essential to replace a burned-out license plate bulb as quickly as possible. If you wish to change the license plate light on your own, you must first learn how to change the license plate light.

Hopefully, the discussion has enough clearance to teach you the methods. Therefore, if you ever face such difficulties with your license plate, just follow our guidelines to install a new one. Stay safe and drive carefully!

Leave a Reply