What Fuse Controls The License Plate Lights?

License plate lights might seem like a small detail, but they are crucial in ensuring road safety and compliance with the law. These unassuming bulbs illuminate your vehicle’s license plate, making it visible at night and in low-light conditions. 

Many drivers need to pay more attention to the significance of license plate lights, not realizing that they serve a dual purpose. Firstly, they enhance the visibility of your license plate, aiding law enforcement in identifying your vehicle. Secondly, they contribute to overall road safety by making your car visible to other drivers during nighttime and adverse weather conditions. 

When you need to replace your license plate light fuse, how do you identify it? In the following paragraphs, we will explore the functions of automotive fuses, provide insights on locating the license plate light fuse, and guide you through the steps to address issues with this vital component.

Importance of License Plate Lights

License plate lights are not just an aesthetic addition to your vehicle; they serve an essential role in ensuring safety and compliance with the law. These small yet powerful lights are designed to make your license plate visible during nighttime hours, as well as in adverse weather conditions. When functioning correctly, they help law enforcement, security cameras, and other drivers identify your vehicle. 

Non-functioning license plate lights can lead to traffic stops, citations, and even fines. These seemingly insignificant lights play a vital part in promoting road safety and ensuring that every driver follows the rules of the road.

License Plate Light Components

Bulb: This is the actual light source, often an incandescent or LED bulb, which emits the light.

Lens Cover: The bulb is enclosed in a protective lens cover that shields it from the elements and prevents damage.

Wiring: Electrical wiring connects the light to the vehicle’s electrical system, allowing it to receive power.

Locating the License Plate Light Fuse

Locating the License Plate Light Fuse

Finding the license plate light fuse is the first step to resolving any issues with these lights. The fuse box in your vehicle houses all the fuses that control various electrical components. To locate the license plate light fuse.

Consult Your Vehicle’s Manual: The owner’s manual provides crucial information about the fuse box’s location and the position of specific fuses.

Inspect the Fuse Box: Open the fuse box cover, which is usually located under the dashboard or in the engine compartment. Check the inside of the cover for a fuse layout diagram or label that identifies the license plate light fuse.

Use a Test Light: If the fuse box label isn’t clear, you can use a test light to check each fuse. Simply touch the test light to the metal tabs on top of each fuse, and if the test light illuminates on one fuse but not on others, you’ve found the correct one.

Determining the Correct Fuse

Once you’ve located the fuse responsible for the license plate lights, it’s important to ensure that you’re selecting the correct replacement fuse. To determine the correct fuse.

Consult Your Vehicle’s Manual

The manual typically provides the fuse type, amperage, and location. It’s essential to match these details precisely when selecting a replacement fuse.

Inspect the Fuse Box Label

If your fuse box has a clear label, it should indicate the amperage and function of each fuse. Make sure the fuse matches the amperage and is labeled for license plate lights.

It’s crucial to use the correct amperage fuse, as using one with a higher or lower rating can lead to electrical issues or damage to the lights.

Checking and Replacing the Fuse

Once you have the correct replacement fuse, it’s time to check and, if necessary, replace the old one. Here are the steps to follow.

Safety Precautions: Ensure the vehicle is turned off, and the key is removed from the ignition for safety. 

Remove the Old Fuse: Using a fuse puller or a pair of needle-nose pliers, gently grasp the old fuse and pull it straight out. Be cautious not to damage the surrounding fuses or the fuse box.

Inspect the Old Fuse: Check the old fuse for any visible signs of damage, such as a broken filament or a discolored appearance.

Install the New Fuse: Carefully insert the new fuse into the same slot as the old one. Ensure it is securely seated.

Test the Lights: Turn on your vehicle and check if the license plate lights are functioning properly. If the lights are now working, you’ve successfully replaced the fuse.

Replace the Fuse Box Cover: After confirming that the lights are functioning, replace the fuse box cover and secure it in place.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

License plate light issues can stem from various factors. Here are some common problems and troubleshooting tips:

Burned Out Bulbs: If your license plate light bulbs have burned out, you can simply replace them. This is usually an easy DIY task.

Corroded Contacts: Corrosion can occur on the bulb socket or wiring contacts. Use a wire brush or electrical contact cleaner to remove the corrosion, ensuring proper electrical connections.

Wiring Problems: If the issue isn’t the bulb or fuse, it might be a wiring problem. In this case, consulting a professional auto electrician may be necessary.

Faulty Switch or Dimmer Control: The switch or dimmer control that activates the license plate lights may be malfunctioning. It may need repair or replacement.

Preventive Maintenance

  • Periodically inspect your license plate lights to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  • Replace license plate light bulbs as soon as they burn out to prevent traffic stops and fines.
  • When changing other fuses or performing maintenance, conduct a quick check of all fuses to catch potential issues early.
  • If you notice electrical problems in other areas of your vehicle, address them promptly, as they may affect the license plate lights.


The right fuse keeps your license plate lights shining. When they go out, it’s often a simple fuse issue. What Fuse Controls The License Plate Lights? By checking the fuse box and replacing the correct one, you can quickly fix this problem. Don’t forget to use your vehicle manual or the fuse box label to find the right fuse. It’s important to use a fuse with the same amperage.

Regular checks and maintenance help avoid future troubles. License plate lights might seem small, but they’re vital for safety and the law. Keep them in working order, and you’ll drive with peace of mind.

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