How To Keep License Plate From Being Stolen?

License plate theft is a common problem that can lead to various issues such as identity theft, fraudulent activity, and even traffic violations. There are several proactive measures you can take to safeguard your license plate and minimize the risk of theft. This article explores effective strategies and practical tips to keep your license plate secure.

Understanding the Risks

Before diving into prevention methods, it’s essential to understand why license plate theft occurs and the potential consequences:

Identity Theft: Stolen license plates can be used in identity theft schemes, where criminals attach them to vehicles involved in illegal activities.

Fraudulent Activity: Thieves may use stolen plates to avoid paying tolls, parking tickets, or even to commit more serious crimes, leaving you to deal with the consequences.

Vehicle Cloning: License plate thieves might duplicate your plate and attach it to another vehicle, making it difficult for law enforcement to differentiate between the legitimate and fraudulent vehicles.

Common Methods of Theft

Common Methods of Theft

License plate thieves employ various tactics to steal plates, including:

Direct Theft: Thieves may simply remove your license plate when your vehicle is parked in public spaces, such as shopping malls, streets, or parking lots.

Tampering: Thieves might tamper with license plate screws or frames to remove the plate quickly without drawing attention.

Distracting Techniques: Some thieves use distraction techniques, such as asking for directions or causing a minor accident, to steal license plates while the vehicle owner is preoccupied.

Strategies to Protect Your License Plate

Implementing proactive measures can significantly reduce the likelihood of license plate theft. Here are some effective strategies:

Secure Installation

Use Security Screws: Replace standard screws with anti-theft screws that require special tools for removal, deterring opportunistic thieves. If you’re wondering how to get rust off a license plate, you can also periodically clean the screws and apply a rust-resistant coating to prevent corrosion.

Tamper-Proof Frames: You can invest in license plate frames with tamper-resistant features. These may include locking mechanisms or specialized designs that deter plate removal.

Enhanced Surveillance

Parking in Well-Lit Areas: Park your vehicle in well-lit areas whenever possible. Thieves are less likely to target vehicles in visible locations with high foot traffic.

Install Security Cameras: Consider installing security cameras in your driveway or parking area. They can monitor suspicious activity and deter potential thieves.

Anti-Theft Devices

License Plate Locks: Use license plate locks, which encase the plate screws and prevent unauthorized removal without a key or special tool.

GPS Tracking Systems: Install GPS tracking devices on your vehicle to monitor its location and recover it quickly in case of theft.

Comparison of Anti-Theft Products

Comparison of Anti-Theft Products

To help you choose the most suitable anti-theft solution for your license plate, here’s a comparison of popular products:

Anti-Theft License ScrewsRequires special tool for removal$10 – $20
Tamper-Proof License FrameLocking mechanism for added security$15 – $30
License Plate LocksEncases plate screws for protection$20 – $40
GPS Tracking SystemReal-time vehicle tracking$100 – $300

Stay Vigilant

Regular Inspections: Periodically inspect your vehicle’s license plate to ensure it’s securely attached and hasn’t been tampered with.

Report Theft Immediately: Report the theft of your license plate to law enforcement as soon as possible. Notify your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to prevent misuse.


Can license plate theft lead to identity theft?

Yes, stolen license plates can be used in identity theft schemes, posing a risk to your personal information.

What should I do if my license plate is stolen?

Report the theft to law enforcement and your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) immediately to prevent misuse.

Are there specific tools to secure license plates?

Yes, consider using anti-theft screws, tamper-proof frames, or license plate locks for added security.


Protecting your license plate from theft is essential to safeguard your identity and avoid legal complications. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, such as secure installation, enhanced surveillance, and anti-theft devices, you can significantly reduce the risk of license plate theft and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your vehicle is better protected against criminal activity. Stay vigilant, stay proactive, and keep your license plate secure.

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