How important is a license plate light replacement?

You may not think getting your license plate light replaced is very important—and it’s true that a burnt-out license plate light bulb doesn’t impact your visibility or driving in any way.
However, you should get this service done as soon as your schedule allows because driving with a burnt-out license plate light may put you in violation of state law.
Many states have license plate light regulations in place, including:
  • The light must turn on when your headlights or parking lights illuminate
  • The light must make the license plate readable from 50 feet away
  • The light must be white
It’s better to replace the light yourself or take the car to the shop than potentially get pulled over and have to pay a fine.

When do I need a license plate light replacement?

You should get a new license plate light bulb as soon as you notice your current one is burnt out. It’s possible that the bulb itself is dead or that your car is experiencing another electrical issue with the wiring, relay, switch, or fuse.
If you’re not sure how to fix this issue on your own, just take the car to your local auto shop.

How to replace a license plate light

In this service, a mechanic will:
  • Detach the license plate light cover
  • Test and remove the faulty light bulb
  • Install a new bulb
  • Replace the light cover
  • Test the light to make sure it functions properly
Pro Tip A license plate light replacement is a great time to switch from incandescent to LED bulbs, which have a longer lifespan and are significantly more energy-efficient.

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