Last Updated on December 19, 2020 by Joe Regan
Howdy, Driver? In this guide, you will learn how to make a fake license plate. Should you make a fake license plate? Is it legal to create a license plate for yourself?
Yes, it is illegal to create a fake license plate. If you get caught, your vehicle will be impounded and you will face legal actions.
In this guide, I disclose how to make a license plate for a photoshoot or to prank friends with your customized registration plate.
It is easy to make fake license plates as several states do not use embossed texts for inscribing registrations number on plates. If you want a fake license plate that looks real, you need sheets of aluminum, paint, and adhesive vinyl sheeting. You will paint the plate to match the accepted background pattern of your state.
The toughest aspect of creating a fake license plate is matching the reflective paints as used on legal license plates. Nonetheless, you can achieve the effect with industrial suppliers.
How to Make a Fake License Plate
In this section, I disclose how to create a fake license plate in 3 ways for fun.
Below are the ways to create a fake license plate:
You could make DIY license plates using Photoshop software.
Below are the steps to create license plates for your car:
Download a sample license plate for your state online. After you download the image, launch Photoshop.
In this tutorial, I use Adobe Photoshop CS6. If your version is different, the editing tools may not be present in the same positions as CS6.
If you are going for a photoshoot or outdoor prank, below are the steps to make yourself fake license plates:
- Launch Photoshop, click File at the top-right, select the license plate template that you downloaded, and click Open.
- If the downloaded template has a registration number, use the clone tool to erase it. Locate the clone tool via the sidebar.
- Now, we have a plane plate, except for the California inscription, which is the state license plate I am mimicking.
- Select the typing tool from the toolbar, click the template image, and type in the registration number on your license plates. Make sure to select the font suitable for the font on the template. The font selection tool is available above the template of the image. Use the resize tool to enlarge the text.
- You may select any font but I recommend using Sans-Serif. In this tutorial, I use EngraversGothic BT.
- Emboss the text (Typically, license plates carry embossed fonts). To emboss the fonts, right-click on the text layer, click Blending Options.
- Tick Bevel and Emboss, tick Contour, tick Stroke (look to the right, and reduce the Fill Opacity option. Also, set the color to White.
- Still, under Blending Options, click Color Overlay. Under Blend Mode, click the color plate and select a matching color for the registration plate. Click OK to save.
- Next, we will write “dmv.ca.gov” beneath the registration number. You are to write yours as applicable on your state’s license plate.
- Click the typing tool and write the text applicable under the registration number (we don’t need to emboss this time around).
- Create the month font. I use FEB but you may change yours to whatever month. The font I use to create the FEB font is Humnst777 Blk BT. After writing the month, press CTRL T and resize the text to fix the box space on the top-left of the license plate.
Now, we have created a perfect embossed license plate. If you want to include the license plate sticker, see how to create a fake license plate sticker as you read further.
After you create the fake sticker, copy and paste on the empty sticker space at the top-right.
Finally, to print out the design, you need an artist. Typically, the motor department uses aluminum for license plates.
Materials for creating the license plate are:
- Sheets of aluminum
- Pre-printed and colored reflective and adhesive sheeting.
The artist will cut the aluminum in the same shape as the license plate in your state.
If you want to go the extra mile, ask the artist to emboss the fake license plate before applying the effect as in the Photoshopped template you created.
ACME License Maker
If you do not want to go through the stress of designing fake license plates, visit https://www.acme.com/licensemaker/.
On the website, do the following:
- Select your state
- Select the frame type and click Make License
Finally, download the template to your phone or computer. I do not recommend this method because the image quality is low.
You can place an order for a fake license plate on Amazon. I came across several listings that you may be interested in.
On Amazon, do the following:
- Click the search option
- Enter “fake ID”
- Pick the listing that interests you
- Click Select Size
- Click the next option to select a state. If the seller requires additional information, do well to include, but do not share personal information.
Finally, place your order. Note that I do not recommend this option because I have not tried out the service.
There are more license plate services you could check out on Amazon. Some services would mail you fully made fake license plates while some would provide you with the template design only.
Do well to confirm from the seller before placing an order.
How to Make a Fake License Plate Sticker
If you plan to evade taxes and fees, then consider creating a license plate sticker. However, it is an illegal act that is punishable by law.
To create a fake license plate sticker, get a sample sticker template on your state online.
In this article, I use the California sample template. Below are steaps to create the sticker for your car:
- Launch the Photoshop or any photo editing tool and create a plain background with a color similar to the background in your state.
- Use the type tool to create texts in the areas you find texts in the sticker applicable in your state.
- On the license plate of your car, scrape off the old sticker.
- Use hydraulic or rubbing alcohol to wipe the residues on the surface of the plate
- Place the new sticker on the available spot at the top-right of the plate.
Is it illegal to have a fake license plate?
Yes, it is illegal to create a fake license plate for a car. A report on ABC7Chicago shows how the Millersburg Police Department arrested a driver for using a DIY hand-drawn license plate.
What happens if you get caught with fake tags?
If you get caught with fake tags, you will be arrested and convicted for registration fraud. Moreover, you could face up to 364 days in jail or a fine up to $1,000 or both jail term and fine.
How much does it cost to create your license plate?
Depending on your supplies, it cost roughly $10 to make your license plate.
If you are going to make a fake license plate, create it using a plastic plate. But, do not use the license plates to drive on the road legally. Otherwise, when the police inspect your plates and discover it to be fake, you would have questions to answer.
After paying the fine, you will have yourself apply for legitimate license plates. Of course, your vehicle may be impounded in the process, so, you have to pay to recover your vehicle from impound.
Typically, crooks use fake license plates to sell a stolen car after concealing its identity. So, you do not want the police to suspect you of crime.
Meanwhile, if your car gets impounded by the police for making fake license plates, the articles below should help with regards to am impounded vehicle:
Note: Do not use the license plate to drive on the road, except for a photoshoot or prank.
Finally, some states in the US, for example, allow you to drive without registration plates for a specific time. So, you not need fake license plates to drive a new car home.
ACME. Retrieved Nov. 2020.
(September 2020). “Driver caught with DIY hand-drawn license plate”. Abc7chicago. Retrieved November 2, 2020.