Taking the wrong item on a plane can be a costly mistake. If you have ever watched movies or television shows about planes, then you know that there are many things that passengers aren’t allowed to take with them onto a plane. However, some items may not appear as dangerous as they actually are and people tend to forget their restrictions when flying. One example of this is license plates. More specifically, license plates from one’s home state or any other state in America.

It is not illegal to carry license plates on a plane, the TSA have stated on their website that license plates can be used in luggage and carry-on.

Carrying restricted items around airports is illegal for those who don’t want to pay the hefty fee of disposing these objects before boarding their flights back home. In some cases, these rules extend even further than a passenger’s baggage and include personal belongings as well as souvenirs purchased at their destinations. However, there is one exception and its license plates.

There are, however, some restrictions which include the dimensions of the license plate itself. Having a license plate larger than 12″x6″ could cause problems when trying to board a plane and people should avoid doing so.

Other Methods Of Transporting License Plates

Placing plates in checked luggage is not the only way to get your license plate home if you purchase one while traveling. You can always rent a car, which comes with the same type of license plate that is registered at your own address, and simply place it on that vehicle once you pick it up. Even though the state in which you rented the car from may be different than where you live, most companies offer this option.

Alternatively, you could opt for shipping methods such as FedEx or UPS when transporting your new acquisition back home. Most people who use these services report no issues and claim that their packages arrive in time and are undamaged. Unless there are additional fees involved because of the weight and size of your item, both shipping companies offer relatively affordable rates.

Will TSA Metal Detector Pick Up My License Plates?

Picture of a person getting checked at airport metal detector

One of the most common questions regarding license plates is whether or not they will set off an alarm at airport security. Most people are worried about this, as they have already packed their bags with everything that’s approved and don’t want them to go through an additional search due to these items.

Fortunately, this isn’t something you need to worry about when flying home with your recently purchased license plate. The magnetometer used by airport security has a very low range of sensitivity, meaning that it is meant to detect weapons, knives, or other sharp objects which can be potentially harmful to passengers.

Will My License Plates Go Through Airport X-Ray?

Picture of a suitcase going through an x-ray machine at the airport

This might sound like a paranoid concern but it can happen during special circumstances. If you’re carrying a license plate with you which is larger than 12″x6″, it can be mistaken for a laptop or something similar and lead to a tedious search which might make you miss your flight.

There aren’t many restrictions when it comes to taking plates on planes as long as they’re not over the weight limit and dimensions of 12″x6″. If you opt for checking in your luggage, there’s nothing to worry about as long as you don’t have anything that could potentially pose a threat such as weapons or explosives.


As you can see, it is perfectly legal to bring a license plate on a plane as your carry-on item. However, the size and weight of this object may prevent you from doing so. In most cases, there are other transportation options available that do not involve checking in luggage.

Luggage handlers have a reputation for being careless with checked bags and any breakable items they contain could easily become damaged or destroyed if handled incorrectly. This is why many choose better alternatives such as shipping their plates home instead – unless they don’t mind paying extra costs for transporting them via baggage check.

So now that you know it’s okay to bring your license plate with you on the plane as long as it isn’t too big. Have fun traveling!