What Side Of Trailer Does License Plate Go?

When it comes to trailers, one common question that arises is where to place the license plate. Properly displaying the license plate on a trailer is not only a legal requirement but also essential for safety and identification purposes. 

Understanding the regulations and best practices for positioning the license plate on a trailer can help ensure compliance with the law and promote road safety. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the specifics of where the license plate should be placed on a trailer, considering various factors and regulations that govern this aspect.

Legal Requirements for License Plate Placement on Trailers

Where a trailer’s license plate is affixed is governed by legislation in the majority of jurisdictions. By enforcing these laws, law enforcement and other road users will be able to easily recognize and see the license plate. License plates must be mounted in a clearly visible and unobstructed area, per legal requirements.

Rear Placement of License Plate

  • Rear placement of the license plate on a trailer is a common and widely accepted practice.
  • This positioning ensures that the license plate is visible to vehicles following behind.
  • It allows for easy identification by law enforcement officers and other road users.
  • In many jurisdictions, the law often mandates rear placement to meet visibility requirements.

Left or Right Side Placement

Left or Right Side Placement

Even though the back placement is standard, differences could exist regarding whether to install the license plate on the left or right side of the trailer, especially when considering specific regulations such as those governing the ‘What Is Road America License Plate?’

In some areas, you may have more latitude to choose between the left and right side of the license plate, while in others, the legislation may specify which side the plate must be mounted.

Considerations for Side Placement

VisibilityEnsure the license plate is easily readable by other drivers.
Trailer DesignConsider the trailer’s shape and features that may obstruct the license plate.
Lighting ConfigurationTake into account the position and type of lights on the trailer.
ObstructionsAvoid mounting the license plate near any obstructions that may hinder visibility.
Local RegulationsCheck if local laws specify a particular side for license plate mounting.

When deciding on the side placement, it’s essential to weigh these factors to ensure the license plate is clearly visible and compliant with local regulations. By considering these aspects, you can choose the optimal side for mounting the license plate on your trailer.

Lighting and Visibility

Lighting and Visibility

Ensure that there is enough lighting to illuminate the license plate, regardless of whether it is installed on the left or right side of the trailer, especially if it’s a PAVL License Plate.

In addition to improving visibility, proper lighting aids in meeting the legal criteria for license plate illumination. To increase visibility, install clear, bright lights close to the license plate, especially at night or in poor light.

Mounting Options

  • Mounting options for attaching the license plate to a trailer include license plate brackets, frames, or holders.
  • These accessories specifically designed for trailers securely affix the license plate.
  • Easy to install and durable, they ensure the license plate remains in place during travel.
  • Choosing the right mounting option is crucial for maintaining compliance with regulations and ensuring visibility.

Compliance with Regulations

It is imperative that you abide by the particular laws controlling license plate placement on trailers in your region in order to prevent any fines or penalties. 

To make sure your trailer satisfies the requirements for road legality and safety, familiarize yourself with the applicable local rules and regulations regulating license plate placement.

Maintenance and Inspection

Maintenance and Inspection
  • Regularly inspecting the license plate and its mounting is crucial to ensure it remains securely attached and visible.
  • Over time, vibrations, weather exposure, and road conditions can affect the integrity of the license plate mounting.
  • Periodically check the license plate for any damage, fading, or obstruction that may hinder its visibility or legality.
  • Maintaining the proper condition of the license plate and its mounting is essential for compliance and safety.


Can the license plate be mounted on the side of the trailer?

In some cases, you can mount the license plate on the side of the trailer, but you must securely fasten it and ensure it is clearly visible.

Does the license plate need to be illuminated at night?

At night, ensure visibility and compliance with regulations by illuminating the license plate.

Can the license plate be mounted vertically on the trailer?

In general, you can mount the license plate vertically as long as you securely fasten it, ensure it’s clearly visible, and illuminate it at night.


Properly positioning the license plate on a trailer is crucial for legal compliance. It also significantly advances road safety.

Trailer owners can ensure optimal visibility and recognition of their license plates by understanding the requirements. They should also consider visibility and choose appropriate mounting options.

To avoid any possible problems with license plate placement on your trailer, don’t forget to keep up with local laws and regulations. You can ensure your trailer is safe to drive. Just follow these standards to comply with traffic laws.

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