Tabless License Plate Frames

By Bill "BillaVista" Ansell
Photography: Bill Ansell
Copyright 2018 - Bill Ansell
(click any pic to enlarge)


I love everything about this car. Especially her rear end. It's just gorgeous! And I find myself feeling much fussier about all sorts of things that I'd never really paid much attention to before. One of those things is the look of the license plate. Now, on my boring daily-driver Kia, such details are completely inconsequential. But on the beautiful Spider? Details matter - all of them.

And so it is that I wanted to find a nice, clean, minimalist solution to mounting the plates.

Here's what I came up with...

Here are some of the things I hate about the average cheap license plate frames that either come with the car or that are typically used by many.

I hate the slotted tabs protruding. I hate the empty space created by the slot - it just screams generic and imprecise...not the right look for this car at all.

I hate the look of the exposed screw heads.

I hate the empty slots where no screw is makes it look like installing the plate on the car was some half-assed job - 2 out of 4 screws...meh...good enough. Not on this car!


I researched a lot of different options, but eventually decided on the Carshow Automotive Products 77401 Plateguard, Tabless License Plate Frame and Holder/Bracket, Black.

You can check it out on their website here.


I bought a pair from Amazon for $12 US a piece, since I need to run a front plate as well as a rear.

The listing details the following features:

  • Totally 100% no obstruction on the plates Numbers, Letters, Stickers, Slogans and State name.
  • Street legal license plate frames for all 50 states
  • Lessens vibration and rattling sound of plates.
  • No ugly front mounting tabs for maximum license plate visibility.
  • Clean, simple and slim looking.
  • Durable and rust proof.
  • One-piece license plate frame and mounting bracket/holder.
  • Eliminates plate from scratching paint.

At the same time, I purchased a Stainless Steel License Plate Frame Screw Kit from Amazon.

Not only did I want the stainless steel screws but also the little black caps to cover the screw heads.

This kit contained way more than I needed, but it was only $12 US and contained a lot of screws of various lengths, so I reckoned it would be sure to contain everything I needed.

The listing details the following features:

  • If you don't know what size of screws to use to fasten your license plate or frame to your car - This kit has everything that will be needed to install the front and rear mounting bracket/tag to any vehicle.
  • The screws and lock-nuts made of high quality Stainless Steel, Rust Resistant, will never rust.
  • Designed to fit all American and Import cars license plates and frames. (Will fit all American, German, Japan, South Korea cars)
  • Includes Machine screws thread size: (4) M5x10, (4) M5x20, (4) M6x12, (4) M6x20
  • Self-tapping screws thread size: (4) M5x16, (4) M6x20 + 8 Black Matte finish screw caps, 4 SS Flat Washers, 2 spacers, 2 lock-nuts, 2 white Square nuts and screwdriver.
Here's the front side of the Plateguard Tabless License Plate Frame.
And this is the back side.
There are two little tabs on either end, which are key to how it works. We'll see how shortly.
These are the instructions included.
First, insert the plate into the bracket by sliding it in with the frame face down.
Plate installed in frame.
Remember those little tabs? Make sure the plate is captured under the two tabs on both ends.
These are the black screw head caps and white plastic cap retainers.
Screw head caps and cap retainers seperated..
Insert the stainless steel screws through the cap retainers like so.

Drive each screw into place with the cap retainer under the screw head.

For the two upper screws, there are dimples in the back of the car. I drove those two screws first, and then drilled a couple of small pilot holes through the bottom holes in the plate / frame.


All four screws installed with cap retainers.

By installing 4 screws, the frame and plate are held nice and secure against the car, which will prevent rattling and rubbing against the paint.

Finally, snap the black screw head caps over the white cap retainers.
The result is a nice clean installation.


Plateguard from Amazon

Carshow Automotive Products

Stainless Steel License Plate Frame Screw Kit



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