A Simple Hack to Keep Your License Plates from Getting Stolen

Updated: Nov. 23, 2023

Prevent license plate theft by using special screws that require a special security wrench to remove. They're inexpensive and take only minutes to install.

When gas prices are high (and don’t fool yourself—they will be again!), nasty people have been known to steal someone else’s license plates, fill their own cars with gas, drive off without paying and let the gas station cameras capture the stolen license plate number.

Install License Plate Security Screws

Install a set of license plate security screws to stop the crooks before they get their sticky fingers on your plates. The screws are cheap, easy to install and available in a style to fit your vehicle. The kits come with a security wrench; keep it in a safe place so you can change plates when they expire.

Also Score Your License Plate Tags

To protect your license plate stickers from thieves, first, remove any old stickers and clean the plate. Then, apply the new sticker and score it with an X pattern using a sharp tool to make it difficult to steal. This won’t prevent theft but can discourage thieves as the sticker becomes unusable if tampered with.

What To Do If Your License Plate Gets Stolen

  • Contact law enforcement agency to report the stolen license plate. Request a copy of the police report, as it can be valuable when dealing with potential legal or identity theft issues.
  • Inform your auto insurer and request guidance on whether you need to file a claim or take any specific actions.
  • Talk to a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) official or equivalent agency to apply for a replacement license plate. They may issue you a new plate with a different number to prevent identity theft.
  • Monitor your financial accounts and personal information, as stolen license plates could potentially be used in other fraudulent activities.