Where is the License Plate Light Fuse Location? (Explained)

Although it’s not very common, some vehicles have a light above their license plate, which they can turn on with the touch of a button. This fuse is located in different parts of the car. The reason the fuse is located in different areas in each vehicle manufacturer has a different idea of where it should go.

How to Find the License Plate Light Fuse Location?

So you just bought a new or pre-owned vehicle and you’re super excited about it! As you look around your new vehicle, you notice that there is a light above the rear license plate. Your old car definitely didn’t have this feature!

The light that sits above the rear license plate can illuminate the license plate. Now you might tell yourself: why in the world would anyone want someone to see their license plate clearly? 

There is no other reason except that it looks really cool. But looking really cool has its drawbacks. 

For one, if you’re speeding down the highway at 90 miles an hour, the police license plate scanner will capture your license plate number since it is brighter and easier to see.

Also, if the license plate light breaks, you will have to spend money repairing it if you ever want to see it lit again.

But if you have a light above your license plate, you can change out the light so that it is a cool blue or a light yellow. Not only that, you can coordinate the light bulb color to your specialty made license plate. If you have a glittery license plate, a license plate light bulb will shine on the license plate and illuminate the glitter.

How to Find the License Plate Fuse

There is only one of two places where the fuse for the license plate could be. The license plate fuse is in the fuse box located near the engine or behind the glove compartment or in another part of the vehicle. 

Most manufacturers like to keep all the fuses in a vehicle in one area, and that is in the fuse box. But if the fuse box is packed with fuses, then the manufacturer can place a fuse somewhere else.

You will have to use your driver’s manual to find the fuse box. Most fuse boxes are near the engine and to the right or left of the battery. On the fuse box, there might be several rows and columns with numbers. These numbers directly correspond to the type of fuse underneath it. The matrix of columns and rows can also be underneath the fuse box lid.

If you have the type of vehicle where you can access the fuse box yourself without any special tools, then you can change out the fuse. First, always make sure that your vehicle is off. You don’t want the engine to run while removing a fuse. 

Use your driver’s manual to find the number that matches the number on the fuse. Then use tweezers to remove the old fuse and replace it with a new fuse. 

My vehicle’s license plate light bulb is dim. 

If you just drove through dirty rain or got splashed with mud, then there is no issue. It’s not that the light bulb is dim, it’s that the plastic cover protecting the light bulb is filthy. 

Also, it is possible that dirt and grime can find their way underneath the plastic light bulb cover, so you’ll have to clean the inside and around the light bulb as well.

If the plastic cover on the light bulb is perfectly clean, then you’ll be able to detect that the light bulb isn’t as bright as it once was. 

A dimming light bulb almost always means that the light bulb has reached the end of its use and a mechanic should now replace it. It could also mean the wires connecting the battery to the license plate bulb don’t work anymore.

How to Replace a License Plate Light Bulb

You walk out of your home and press the engine on the button on your key fob. Your vehicle turns on and the ignition purse is like a kitten. 

As you walk around the rear of your vehicle to get to your driver’s side door, you realize that the light above your license plate isn’t on! 

Oh, no, it looks like you’ll have to change the light bulb!

  • First, turn off the vehicle. You do not want the vehicle to be on while you’re changing the light bulb.
  • Using a small screwdriver, open the plastic light bulb cover. In some vehicles, there will be a small hole where you can place the screwdriver.
  • When the cover comes off, you will have access to the light bulb underneath the cover. 
  • Gently unscrew the light bulb. Do not apply any pressure. Use a very light touch as you do not want to break the light bulb. 
  • Once you unscrew the light bulb, replace it with a new light bulb. Once again, use a feather light touch to screw in the light bulb.
  • Then place the plastic cover back again and make sure it snaps into place.

Well, that was so easy! Unfortunately, not all manufacturers make their vehicles license plate lights easy to change. Some vehicles require the help of a mechanic to remove and replace the license plate bulb. Other vehicles will require that you open the trunk and access the light bulb through the back.


Many cars now have a light bulb above or below the rear license plate. If the model of vehicle you want does not have a light bulb, you can certainly custom order a vehicle with a license plate light bulb on a manufacturer’s website like Toyota, Ford, BMW, or Lexus. Some vehicles also have a light bulb above or below the front license plate as well. If the bulb burns outs, you will have to replace it yourself or hire a mechanic to replace it.