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Front License Plate Bracket

Discussion in 'Model 3: Ordering, Production, Delivery' started by Iamscoobydoo, Mar 3, 2017.

  1. Iamscoobydoo

    Iamscoobydoo New Member

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    Does anyone know if I could order the car without the front license plate bracket even if my state requires a front plate. I could install at a later date but would risk the ticket.
     
  2. mikevbf

    mikevbf Active Member

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    My Model X came without holes or bracket for the front license plate even though VT requires a front license plate. I tried to to talk my wife out of it and risk the ticket, but was unable to pass inspection without it. However, I managed to stick it on instead of drilling holes and bolting it on so if it just happens to fall off until the next inspection, I guess I would be ok with that ;)
     
  3. Iamscoobydoo

    Iamscoobydoo New Member

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    Thanks. I will not have to get the car inspected for 4 years. I'll use your idea to stick it on when the time comes. I support a police department for all their IT systems. I get the get out of jail free cards from the officers as well as the chief
     
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  4. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Depends on how they decide to do it, either like the S or X. For example, the X doesn't not have holes nor does it come installed from the factory. On the other hand, all S come from the factory with the bracket installed. There are no holes in the front so it can be removed by two fasteners underneath and some heavy-duty adhesive tape.

    I suspect it will be done like the S in which it comes installed but can be removed with some minor work.
     
  5. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    The story on the S and X seems to be the way they were certified in crash tests from what I've read here. So, you usually have the option to not have the front plate on an X but are stuck with it on an S. We'll have to see how that works/if the same thing holds true for the 3. I wonder if 'The Law' sort of bracket will work on the 3 also... be nice to not have the bracket attached to the front face!
     
  6. Jayc

    Jayc Member

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    I'm surprised how Tesla would even consider selling a non-compliant car. At least here in the UK, a front license plate is mandatory and you would be stopped by a patrol car when one of the automatic number plate recognition points alert the cops. Heck some people even end up paying heavy fines for not keeping the plates clean/legible.
     
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  7. Zaphod

    Zaphod Galaxy President (former)

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    Things are a bit different over here across the pond. Lots of states in US do not require a front plate. Fines for not having a front plate where required are usually quite minimal as well.
     
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  8. Red Sage

    Red Sage The Cybernetic Samurai

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    I'll have to check to make sure... But I believe the Great State of California actually requires there be a 'unique identifier' at the front of the car. That's how people get away with sports team plates instead of their actual license up front. If you remember, there was a long while when the Chevrolet Corvette came standard with a molded insert that read 'Corvette' that sat in the front license space. Very few people replaced that with an actual license plate here. Some would use a plate with the stylized Chevy bowtie, or an American Eagle and flag though.
     
  9. ccutrer

    ccutrer Active Member

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    Here in Utah a front plate is technically required, but driving down the highway paying attention there are a good percentage of cars without one, and I've never heard of anyone getting fined for not having one. Heck, I'd guess that probably 90% of the people without a front plate both don't even realize they don't have one, and don't know that it's required.

    If the bracket is already on the car, and removing it would leave scars, I have no problem putting the plate there. I've learned to get a good plate holder, though - on my last car the front plate was always snagging on my pants when I walked in the house, and getting all bent out of shape. A car with a beautiful front like a Tesla, that adding a plate would be a huge distraction -- I'd rather not have a front plate.
     
  10. Sawyer8888

    Sawyer8888 Member

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    #10 Sawyer8888, Mar 27, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2017
    Unfortunately Tesla still requires the Model S to be delivered to a customer with the front license plate bracket affixed to the front of the vehicle. At this time, no matter how many requests you make to have it removed prior to you taking ownership, Tesla will always respond with a firm, "no". This is non-negotiable.

    Tesla claims the plastic holder is "easy" to remove. Easy is a relative term, especially in this case. After reading several forums and watching multiple YouTubers, the following is the best way that I have come up with to remove the front license plate holder.

    Be advised that this method does not allow you to reuse the license plate holder. If you want to save this holder for future use, then you will need to buy yourself a pair of 90-degree needle nose pliers. You will use these angled pliers to grip and unscrew the two unique screws that keep the license plate holder attached to the vehicle. These two screws are located under the license plate holder in a hard-to-reach spot. The heads of these two screws are very unique, so your short screwdrivers and socket wrench set will not work on them.

    This TMC forum has been very insightful and quite helpful in answering many of the questions that I have had. I hope the following helps you through this tedious task of removing the front license plate holder. There are plenty of words to follow, however this should save you some time and maybe some money and get you out there on the road a little quicker without the front license plate holder detracting from the intended sleek design of the bumper.

    For the quick version of what is to follow, here it is in a nutshell: Remove the three screws from the painted portion of the license plate bracket. Pull the loosened bracket away from the thick black plastic bracket which is affixed to the car with double-sided tape. The loosened portion of the holder will still be attached to the car with two unique screws. Using snips or a decent pair of scissors, cut the painted plastic holder away from the bumper. Make your cuts somewhat close to where the two unique screws are located. Using the remaining cut plastic portions of the license plate holder as a sort of grip, turn counterclockwise and remove the unique screws. Then use steam to heat up the double-sided tape that is holding the thick black plastic license plate bracket to the bumper. Pull the bracket away from the bumper and then pull away any remaining double-sided tape. Wipe up the condensation and you're done.

    Ideally a YouTube video of this would have been best, however I skipped the video-making step of this job.

    The long version:

    Step one: Put all of your grinders and other rotary cutting tools away. We are working with plastic after all.

    Tools needed: 1) philips screwdriver, 2) cutting snips (or a very good pair of scissors), 3) steamer (or anything that creates a good deal of steam) 4) painter's tape (this is optional for added protection to prevent scuffs to your bumper during the removal process, and it could actually create a little more of a sticky-residue since the steam separates the tape's glue from the paper)

    Amazon link for a pair of snips:
    Stanley FatMax 14-563 9-7/8-Inch Straight Cut Aviation Snip - Nippers And Snips - Amazon.com
    This is also at your local Home Depot, Lowes or mom and pop hardware store. This tool will prove to be much more useful for you in the future compared to a 90-degree pliers.

    Amazon link for a steamer:
    Amazon.com - J-2000 Jiffy Garment Steamer with Plastic Steam Head, 120 Volt - Carpet Steam Cleaners

    Obviously you do not need to have this exact one, but when you're done using it on your Tesla, it is a great item to have to quickly get the wrinkles out of your clothes. There are many other less expensive steaming tools (travel size) as well as many other methods that you can employ to create steam. It has been suggested on a few YouTube videos that using other heat-related items, such as a hair dryer and a heat gun could cause damage to your bumper. Steam on the other hand is the safest, less-risky approach that will not harm your bumper (probably not). Steam does such a great job at loosening the double-sided tape that you will not even need any special chemicals or detailing liquids to clean up any residue. It literally comes off entirely without leaving any mess whatsoever. Tip: as seen in a YouTube video, once you get to this point, pull on the double-sided tape at an angle (similar to removing a 3-M picture hook from a wall).

    Real step 1) Remove the three screws holding the face of the painted plastic portion of the license plate holder. This will loosen the front portion of the holder, however it will still be attached by two troublesome screws from underneath. Locate these two unique screws that are holding the plastic to the car from underneath to get an idea of where you will be cutting in a moment.

    Step 2) Now, gripping from the top of the painted portion of the holder that you just loosened, pull it forward, away from the thick black plastic bracket that is affixed to the bumper of the car with double-sided tape. Then push the painted plastic holder down, creating a decent gap between the holder and your car's bumper. Keep the plastic help down, maintaining the gap. Then while still holding the plastic in place away from the bumper, use the snips to carefully cut the painted plastic license plate holder. Make your cuts somewhat close to the two unique screws underneath. You should have enough of a gap between the car and the license plate holder to maneuver the snips without touching or scratching the plastic of the car. If you do scratch it somehow, don't worry. This surgery you're performing is in the air intake portion of the car, so only you will know there is a mark there. There's really no wrong way to do this part. I do suggest however that you leave at least some plastic around the unique screws so you can grip it for turning purposes. At this point, your result should resemble two separate chunks of painted plastic from the license plate holder still being held to the car with the two unique screws. Of course the thick black portion of plastic will also still be on the car.

    Step 3) You can know easily remove the two unique screws by turning the small portions of the cut plastic that remain around those two screws. Turn each chunk of cut plastic counter-clockwise. Again, your "easy" may be different than my "easy" for this step, however it was quite effortless to get the screws moving once the large portion of the painted plastic of the holder was out of the way. The screws immediately loosened and screwed out when I turned the remaining plastic that surrounding them. No scuffs, no mess.

    Step 4) (This step is optional) Before moving forward, you may use painter's tape to protect the area of your bumper just behind the edges of the black bracket of the license plate holder. Use the tape to create a frame around the bracket. Be sure to slide the tape behind the edges of the bracket, between the bracket and the bumper. Doing so will help prevent scuff marks as you work on pulling the bracket off the bumper. I discovered I probably could have completed the job without the tape since I was quite careful when pulling on the bracket, making sure I worked slowly while also keeping steam on the area while I pulled.

    Step 5) Use steam to heat the double-sided tape that is holding the thick black plastic bracket portion of the license plate holder to the car. Apply steam directly to the bracket as well as from underneath, and the sides and top if you can, allowing as much steam as possible to get behind the bracket. I spent a good 5 minutes heating everything up before I started pulling.

    Step 6) Use a thick glove or a towel around your hand to avoid the heat of the steam and begin to gently pull the bracket away from the bumper. Once you get it going, it comes off quite easily. Be sure to continue using steam as you pull the bracket from the bumper. I was quite impressed as to how well the steam worked on disabling the effectiveness of the double-sided tape. Completely remove the bracket from the bumper. Some double-sided tape may remain. 90% or more of the tape came off with the bracket in my case. For the double-sided tape remaining on the bumper, pull it away on an angle and it should peal right off like a regular sticker without any residue being left behind. I actually had a little residue from the painters tape that I has used to protect the bumper, however with a little steam, that residue came right off as well.

    Step 7) Wipe off the condensation from the bumper, clean the area of the floor around your car being extra certain that you pick up any of the five screws that may have rolled away while you were working. Put your tools away before you get too distracted by the sweet result of your handy work.

    Step 8) Step back, look at your car and smile.

    All the best to everyone.
     
  11. billchase2

    billchase2 Member

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    I have a similar question. I live in Michigan, where there are no dealerships, so unless one opens by the time my Model 3 is ready I'll be picking mine up in Ohio. We do not need front license plates in Michigan, but they are required in Ohio. Will mine come with one by default due to the pick-up location? Or can I specify that I do not need one since I live in Michigan? I obviously do not one want installed as I don't want holes in the bumper.
     
  12. Sawyer8888

    Sawyer8888 Member

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    Very possible that owners will not be required to take delivery of their Model 3 with the front license plate holder attached. Who knows when we'll be made aware of this - possibly not until after the first batch of deliveries.
    • Unless something has changed, you cannot order a Model S without the license plate frame attached to the front bumper. You must take delivery with it attached.
    • Holes? Seems you may have skipped to the end of this thread without reading some of the posts. Not sure where you are hearing or seeing anything about holes. There are no holes created by the license plate holder. It is attached with double-sides tape. Will the Model 3 be different? Maybe. However I cannot foresee Tesla drilling holes into the bumper.
     
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  13. ccutrer

    ccutrer Active Member

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    We'll just have to wait and see. The "old" Model S and the Model X are delivered with a bracket that must be attached by drilling holes in the bumper. Depending on your service center, they may do that for you automatically. The refreshed Model S is always delivered with the front bracket installed, but it connects underneath or something, so you can remove it and not have holes in your bumper. My state is a front-plate-required state, but my X was delivered without the bracket installed.
     
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  14. Sawyer8888

    Sawyer8888 Member

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    Ah, yes. The refreshed Model S does actually have two screws that poke holes into the bumper. Although these holes are out of sight, in the ceiling of the air intake portion of the bumper.

    I also was unaware that the older-model Teslas and the Model X suffer from holes in their bumpers as a result of the license plate holder.

    My apologies to @billchase2.

    Taking this into consideration, Tesla may very well require the holder be attached and holes drilled into the bumper of the M3.

    Tesla may go ahead and conduct their safety crash tests for the Model 3 with the holder in place. Apparently this is the reason/excuse as to why owners of the S are forced to take delivery with the holder affixed to the car.

    Parts of a MS holder... The 2 larger screws do go into the bumper.

    20170328_193339.jpg
     
    • Informative x 1
  15. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    There is a aftermarket no hole mounting system (THE LAW) that works on S and X.

    Best thing to do is ask your delivery specialist is you can have your vehicle delivered without a front plate. They will let you know your specific options.

    My X came with no attached plate, but the mounting frame in the frunk.

    So places in California care little about front plates (mostly the remote ones). In the bigger cities and coastal cities they will ticket you for not having one on display. San Francisco and Newport beach are especially vigilant about tagging no front plate vehicles.

    If your area has toll roads or bridges they most often insist on front plates for identification and billing.

    Tesla seems to try to offer the option of no front plate unless they get heat from the government.

    Many try to get away with no plates, but in some areas it is just a fix it, others have substantial fines.
     
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  16. NeverFollow

    NeverFollow Member

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    Why not using a Tow Hook License Plate holder easier to install or remove:

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. billchase2

    billchase2 Member

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    Thanks for all of the info. So basically, it sounds like we'll need to just wait and see. And when we're working out the details for our pick up we should ask.
     
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  18. eli1

    eli1 New Member

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  19. eschummer

    eschummer Member

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    I used that too, but got mine from the gentleman (on this forum) who 3D printed the part (you really only need one). Much less expensive, and it worked well. I occasionally attach the front plate holder (double sided tape and the screws) when I go on a lengthy trip likely to go through states where they might be more picky about these sorts of things...YMMV
     
  20. rnortman

    rnortman Member

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    How hard is it to put the original plate holder back on (without drilling new holes) if I remove it? I imagine double-sided foam tape would work instead of the glue they use at the factory?
     

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