Whether your license plate has fallen off or you cannot screw it back on your front bumper, you’ve probably thought about just using zip ties and calling it a day. There are benefits to using zip ties to hold up your license plates as well as some legal problems which we will address in this article.

The short answer is yes, you can zip tie your license plate on your bumper. However, it might be against the law in your state to do so. Some states have laws that forbid using anything other than normal license plate brackets to mount a front number plate because they could potentially become projectile objects in crashes.

Picture of Volkswagen using zip-tied license plate

It is legal to zip tie your license plate to your bumper, but you need to check with the laws in your state. Some states look at anything other than normal license plate brackets as an attempt to alter a license plate for illegitimate purposes and may issue you a citation or fine if they discover this during a traffic stop or other method of questioning.

The benefits of using zip ties instead of standard license plate mounting brackets are that it saves time and takes up less space. It can also be easier to attach if there aren’t pre-drilled holes on the front bumper for your license plates.

If a police officer notices a distinct lack of holes on your front bumper and they see a license plate attached in what looks like an unusual way, there’s a chance they might pull you over just to check. However, most cops won’t even notice or care since it’s not affecting anything much other than the aesthetics of your car itself. If you do get pulled over for this reason, just explain that its zip ties and for aesthetic reasons if nothing else because there are no holes on the front bumper to screw in license plates. You could also try explaining that you would like to fix it via normal brackets but can’t find them which is why you’re using zip ties at all.

So What’s The Hassle? What’s Bad About Using Zip Ties?

There really isn’t anything bad about using zip ties except that it requires some more creativity on your part. You have to arrange the zip ties so that they hold up the license plate, which may be difficult depending on where you mount it. Also, some states have laws requiring how far back a front number plate must be from the front of the car so attaching it in any other way besides via normal license plates brackets may violate this law.

If You Do Decide To Use Zip Ties, What Are The Best Ways To Attach It?

Picture of a car using zip ties tied onto a plastic bracket

There are many ways you can attach your zip ties including drilling holes through the front bumper and attaching it with screws, using double-sided tape (which may lose stickiness over time), or by tightening the zip tie until is clamps onto itself holding the license plate with tension. There are also commercial products that act like extra-large zip ties which screw into a pre-drilled hole in your car’s frame instead of going around the whole bumper to hold up your license plate securely too.

How Can I Tell If A License Plate Is Zip Tied Or Attached With Normal Brackets?

Picture of license plate bracket without screws, this usually means zip ties are holding the license plate up

The best way to tell quickly is to check if there are screwed holes on the front bumper. This usually signifies that the front plate was attached with screws and not zip ties or any other method besides using normal license plate brackets. It could also mean that the original screws were stripped because of rust over time and thus someone had to use zip ties as a substitute for screwing in the license plates, but this is less likely than just seeing no holes at all.

You can look more closely by checking how far away from the car’s frame the license plate is mounted and how it’s situated around the rest of its frame. You can also try to lift up the corners of the plate and see if you can feel zip ties underneath.

Does It Matter If The Zip Ties Are Visible?

Since license plates usually face forward, it’s not as much of a problem if the zip ties are visible from the front. However, if they’re visible from other angles or especially from behind then you might be compromising your own safety by making yourself more conspicuous. To avoid this, you should try to cover them with tape or paint that matches your car’s color so that is less noticeable when driving around. Also, using clear zip ties instead of black ones will reduce its visibility for this purpose too.

How Can I Improve The Stealthiness Of My Zip Tied License Plate?

Using a slightly darker color zip tie or twisting the ties together in an alternating pattern will break up the regularity of black on black. If you’re using clear zip ties, tape them with a matching color to your car’s color so that it is less visible from most angles. You can also put electrical or neon-colored tape around it which may be even more effective at being discreet about your license plate being zip-tied.

Do Zip Tied License Plates Affect Your Car Insurance?

Zip tie attached license plates should not affect your car insurance premiums unless you have an accident or violation due to having a dangling license plate from your front bumper. Even if you do, it’s unlikely that the insurers would know by looking at pictures. If they do find out, however, then there’s a chance that your car insurance premiums might go up. You’d have to ask your insurer for information on this because it varies from company to company and not everyone has the same policies regarding zip-tied license plates.