How To Fix Stripped License Plate Holes?

License plates are crucial for vehicle identification and legal compliance. Over time, the holes used to mount them can become stripped, making it difficult to securely attach the plate. 

Whether due to wear and tear, rust, or improper installation, stripped license plate holes are a common issue faced by many vehicle owners. There are several effective methods to remedy this problem and ensure your license plate remains securely in place.

Common Causes of Stripped License Plate Holes

Before diving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand why license plate holes become stripped in the first place. Some common causes include:

Overtightening: Applying excessive force while screwing in the license plate bolts can cause the threads to strip.

Corrosion: Rust and corrosion can weaken the metal around the mounting holes, making them prone to stripping.

Vibration: Continuous vibration from driving can loosen the bolts and gradually strip the threads.

Improper Installation: Using the wrong size or type of screws, or not securing the plate evenly, can lead to stripping over time.

Solutions for Fixing Stripped License Plate Holes

Solutions for Fixing Stripped License Plate Holes

Use Larger Screws

If the threads in the mounting holes are only slightly stripped, you can often remedy the issue by using larger screws. This solution provides a tighter fit and better grip, preventing the plate from coming loose.

  • Purchase screws that are one size larger in diameter than the original ones.
  • Use a screwdriver or drill to securely fasten the larger screws into the stripped holes.
  • Ensure the new screws are long enough to reach through the license plate and into the vehicle’s frame or bumper.

Install Threaded Inserts

Threaded inserts, also known as helicoils or thread repair inserts, are small metal cylinders with internal threads that can be inserted into stripped holes to create new, secure threading.

  • Drill out the stripped holes to the appropriate size for the threaded inserts.
  • Tap the threads into the newly drilled holes using a thread tap tool.
  • Insert the threaded inserts using a specialized installation tool.
  • Secure the license plate using screws that match the threads of the inserts.

Apply Thread Repair Compound

Thread repair compounds are specially formulated adhesives designed to fill in stripped threads and create a secure bond between the screw and the surrounding material.

  • Clean the stripped holes thoroughly to remove any debris or rust.
  • Apply the thread repair compound to the threads of the screws.
  • Screw the treated screws into the stripped holes and allow the compound to cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Once cured, the compound creates a strong, durable bond that prevents the screws from coming loose, ensuring a secure attachment for your license plate frame.

Comparison of Solutions

Comparison of Solutions
Larger ScrewsQuick and easy to implement May require drilling larger holes
Cost-effective May not be suitable for severely stripped
Threaded InsertsProvides durable, long-term fixRequires specialized tools for installation
Restores original threadingHigher upfront cost
Thread Repair CompoundSimple application processMay not provide permanent solution
Can be used without drillingNot suitable for all types of damage


What causes license plate holes to become stripped?

Stripped license plate holes can result from overtightening, corrosion, vibration, or improper installation.

Can I use larger screws to fix stripped license plate holes?

Yes, using larger screws can provide a quick and cost-effective solution, especially for minor stripping.

Are threaded inserts a permanent fix for stripped license plate holes?

Threaded inserts offer a durable, long-term solution by restoring the original threading in the holes.


Stripped license plate holes can be a frustrating problem, but with the right approach, they can be effectively remedied. Whether you opt for larger screws, threaded inserts, or thread repair compounds, it’s essential to choose a solution that matches the severity of the damage and provides a secure, long-lasting fix. 

By addressing stripped holes promptly, you can ensure your license plate remains securely attached, keeping you in compliance with legal requirements and maintaining the aesthetics of your vehicle.

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