So you are in a state that requires you to have a front license plate or maybe you are traveling there.
In either case, I researched like crazy to find the best front license plate mount for your Model Y that will give the best bang for your buck.
If you need a quick guide through their installation process, I also got you covered.
Let’s get right into it.
Top 5 Model Y Front License Plate Installation Options
Number plates — which can literally be a vinyl wrap instead of a plate in California — can be put on your Model Y in several ways, but here are five of the most popular ways to do it:
- Stick-on Tesla OEM license plate holder
- Front grill mounts—either the vertical stripes or the horizontal stripes
- Arm stretching into the front grill
- DIY mount (for temporary use when you are traveling to a state that requires a front license plate)
- Vinyl wrap
Overall Best Grill Mounted Tesla Model Y License Plate Holder: Quick Bandit
This license plate holder uses the front grill to mount itself in place.
Not only does it look awesome, but also it will make it much easier to clean your Model Y, which is much more intimidating with the stick-on plate that comes from Tesla.
The reason why Quick Bandit is among the popular choices for number plate mounts is because of its ease of use and sturdy fitment without drilling any holes.
As the name suggests, it’s easy to mount and remove, which makes it prone to theft.
So these quick release and quick mounting abilities are only good for the times when you are traveling and need to get past states that require you to have a front license plate.
Then comes the hefty price tag. Quick Bandit is one of the most expensive license plate holders you can get.
However, the price is not just for the sake of charging the customer; it does come with premium quality.
On top of its quality, you also get lifetime warranty, which is insane. You don’t have to worry about anything at all.
The clearance of this mount is also very reasonable, and even when forcibly pushed inwards, it does not damage the front bumper as there is adequate room.
Because of its innovative design, the holder stays in place even at highway speeds, with no rattling issue.
The sensors on the front are also not affected by the front license plate holder.
Quick Bandit provides ease of use with its quick-release mechanism, but it’s not like you can’t use it as a permanent license plate holder.
It does appeal more to be a temporary option, but you can use it as a permanent option as well.
✅ Lifetime warranty
✅ Premium quality
✅ Looks awesome
✅ Sturdy fitment
✅ Easy to mount and remove (best for temporary application)
✅ Great clearance
✅ No rattling
✅ No hindrance to any of the sensors
❌ Not the best in theft-proofing
Environment-Friendly Grill Mounted Tesla Model Y License Plate Holder: SnapPlate
This is the holder that comes close to the hearts of Tesla owners — it helps save the environment by leaving little to no carbon footprint.
The patent design of this holder is pretty unique. It comes with special anti-theft screws that can only be opened by a special tool that comes with it
Overall, this product is pretty solid, but the price is a little too high.
When you look at its quality, it’s not bad.
However, there are others with better quality and price, not to mention a warranty on top, which this product didn’t seem to have.
This leaves me to say that aside from the fact that it’s environmentally friendly, there is no other reason the price can be justified.
Its installation is not hard, but it’s also not easy. It’s a bit tricky to get the mount in place.
✅ Environmentally friendly
✅ Has anti-theft screws (with a special tool to unscrew)
❌ Installation can be challenging for some
❌ No warranty
Runner-Up Grill Mounted Tesla Model Y Number Plate Holder: ThatGrin Slipstream Bracket
This product has been widely accepted by the Tesla community.
I mean it’s made of aircraft-grade aluminum, so it has to be something, right?
The warranty on this product probably varies because it often says to ask the dealer directly, so when you are buying online, make sure to ask the seller about the warranty.
The main problem with the ThatGrin license plate holder is its installation process.
Installing this holder can be a little challenging if you’re worrying too much about grill damage.
You would have to push your way through and bend the flexible fins of the grill and push in the extensions one side at a time. With adequate force and by bending the grill up to an extent and pushing way back, it will come back in place, giving you the satisfaction of the day.
Overall, the design is pretty solid. If you’re looking for a permanent license plate for your Model Y, this is it.
The clearance of this holder against the front bumper is okay — but not as good as Quick Bandit.
It does not interfere with the sensors on the front. Plus, there is no hindrance with Autopilot.
✅ Comes with warranty
✅ Best permanent solution
✅ Solid design
✅ Does not interfere with any of the sensors
✅ Does not rattle
❌ Installation can be challenging
Tesla OEM License Plate Holder
This holder gets the job done.
Its installation is straightforward, and its durability is something to compliment about.
Tesla recommends using genuine Tesla parts and accessories and has provided a thorough guide on how to install the OEM holder. You can learn about it in detail here.
However, some things tend to give you some trouble — when washing, the crevices around the license plate are almost impossible to clean properly.
Another problem is the marks left in the long run as they are attached to the bumper with double-sided tape.
If not removed and renewed every now and then, the tape can peel off the paint itself.
To remove the gunk left by the tape, you need to use a heat gun and slowly wipe it off with a clean microfiber cloth and soapy water — and be patient with it.
If you had your Model Y vinyl wrapped or are thinking of having it wrapped, the OEM holder is not going to work as the double-sided tape would damage the vinyl wrap.
So it’s best to go for the one that doesn’t stick directly on the front bumper. The same damage is true in the case of PPF.
If your whole bumper is PPF-ed, the OEM front license plate mount will damage the layer.
✅ From Tesla
✅ Installation is straightforward
❌ Hinders the cleaning process
❌ Damages the paint in the long run
❌ Won’t be a good choice if you want to go for a vinyl wrap or PPF
License Plate Frame: ZXFOOG
When you’re looking for a simple and neat way to mount your front number plate, you might also want to take a look at this silicone holder.
It isn’t the best-selling one on Amazon — its best seller is not that good — but it gives you all the necessary hardware, plus a cover so you can keep the year sticker protected from thieves.
This one also comes with a three-year warranty, and I did not find any other product that gives such a warranty on their frames.
Plus, you have a lot of different color options for the frame and the sheet cover.
The major downside to this product is that it’s not UV protected, so you will see yellow discoloration on the clear sheet.
I would recommend using your own UV protection sprays so it won’t discolor.
Another drawback would be its size and fitment, which can be a problem for some.
As these products are manufactured on a large scale, they’re only good for one kind of fitment. It may work for the license plates of some states, but a different-size plate of a different state may not work.
Make sure to check the dimensions of your license place according to your state.
This product is 12.3 x 6.3 x 0.3 inches. So if your license plate is just about this size, you won’t have a problem.
I would recommend going for the clear sheet option. The smoky ones wouldn’t look good.
✅ Comes with all the installation hardware
✅ 3-year warranty
✅ Color variety
❌ Limited fitment
❌ Smoky version doesn’t look good
❌ Not UV protected
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DIY Tesla Model Y Front License Plate Mount
If you’re unsure about the expensive aftermarket number plate holders, you can work your way through and make one yourself.
You can use the same front grill that most aftermarket license plate mounts use.
If you’re the wrenching type, then this is your section. But if you’re not, I would suggest you get help from a friend or family member who is.
Now let’s get to some license plate modifications.
There are two routes that you can go: You can either have the OEM holder that comes from Tesla or use a different one. However, it would require some more modifications.
Note that the first three depend on one another as to how thick they should be.
- Two 5-inch bolts that fit the ¼ drill bit holes
- ¼ wing nuts
- ¼ drill bit
- Soft padded tape
- 3M double-sided tape
With all the materials in hand, the process is pretty straightforward. If the holder is held in place properly, you might also be able to use it as a permanent holder.
- Start by drilling holes in the OEM holder or any that you are able to find at a good price. The holes should be on the median line, two on both sides.
- Put padded tape on top of the license plate where it would touch the bumper.
- Use double-sided 3M tape on all sides to make sure that it has a snug fit and wouldn’t move freely.
- Insert the bolts. You should see them crossing the front grill.
- When you’re sure where you would like to mount (the centerline is determined by the T of Tesla on the hood), you can bolt on the wing nuts.
- Insert the bolt with a wing but horizontally into the front grill — both of them at the same time to avoid misalignment.
- Rotate them 90 degrees and tighten the bolts. As the bolts are tightened, the wingnuts will keep coming closer to the front grill from the inside, finally grabbing hold of the front grill.
- Then you’re done. Congratulations!
Here’s a video by Tesla Tips & Trips YouTube channel to help you understand the process even better.
With this method, you can easily save about $100, given that you have a drill. If you don’t have a drill, you would have to take into account the price of the drill as well.
DIY Vinyl Number Plate
Now one of the simplest ways to have a license number is to stick it on your bumper as a vinyl wrap.
This option costs around $50, and the installation is as simple as applying the vinyl wrap.
However, there is a lot of debate as to whether or not you can have it legally. So make sure that you know your particular state’s requirements.
If you do get a green signal, you also have the option of printing it yourself for about $5.
But keep in mind that before you go for the sticker option, you have to make sure whether or not it’s legal in your state.
And even if it’s legal, you would have a problem when traveling to other states.
Frequent Buyers’ Concerns
Does Tesla Model Y need a front license plate?
Yes and no. It depends on the state you live in. If the state law requires you to have a front license plate, you must have one. If not, you can keep a temporary mount for when you’re traveling to states that require you to have one.
Does Tesla Model Y come with a front license plate holder/mount?
No, it does not come with a holder or mount. You have to contact a Tesla service center, and they will send you one through the mail, or you can make an appointment and have it mounted.
Can I install the Tesla Model Y front license plate myself?
Yes. It’s an easy DIY job that doesn’t require a lot of wrenching experience — although some holders/mounts are a bit difficult to install. Quick Bandit is the easiest to install, while Slipstream is the most difficult. You can also make the holder yourself if you’re the wrenching type.
Our Tesla Model Y Front License Plate Holder of Choice
If you’re the type of person who likes challenges, then I would suggest going for the makeshift number plate mounts and saving yourself about $100.
If, however, you’re not the wrenching type, you can go for the partial makeshift number plate holder, which uses the Tesla OEM holder.
Just drill some holes and order some hardware, and you will get a good number plate holder for only $10. This method, however, is for temporary use.
If you live in a state that requires you to have a number plate by law, you need to have a permanent solution.
Going for the stick-on Tesla OEM holder is a reasonable choice; however, it damages the bumper paint in the long run.
Most of the Tesla community agreed on ThatGrin being the best permanent Model Y front license holder for this reason.
Zac LudicrousMechanical engineer by profession. TSLA shareholder before the hype. EV enthusiast all day long. Zac enjoys learning about the future of battery technology, autonomy, and EVs. He considers Tesla Model 3 the most important vehicle of the 21st century -- and is in a quest to improve the ownership experience of every Model 3 owner he possibly can.
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