We love cars with wide, air-hungry front grilles, from the new Nissan Z and the upcoming GR Corolla to the GR86 and, well, maybe not the latest BMW M3. Nevertheless, installing a front-mounted licence plate can ruin a perfectly styled front end and involve the traumatic procedure of drilling into your vehicle’s bumper to fit a plate mount. However, the State of California is leading the charge to rectify this problem by introducing a number plate sticker that requires no drilling to a vehicle’s bodywork.
Recognising that license plate mounts can cause damage to a car’s front end, the State of California first passed a bill to develop alternatives to screw-on number plates back in 2014. The latest result of the programme is the sticker we see pictured, which is an official, government-mandated product from LicensePlateWrap.com - the only company currently involved in the trial programme.
According to Jalopnik, the bumper-sticker licence plate was initially trialled on 28 California Highway Patrol vehicles. Following its success, the California State Department of Motor Vehicles has now opened up the sticker plate to all Californian motorists for $85 (£68) plus registration fees. Up to eight different designs can be chosen, including the iconic black plate with gold lettering, and none require any drilling or meddling with your car’s bumper. Hallelujah.
The supplier recommends only applying the sticker to high-quality paint finishes, and we have some concerns over potential damage to the car’s paintwork caused by the sticker. However, the initial signs, or stickers, look promising.
So far, the sticker-plate is still in a pilot programme, and other US states are yet to adopt the new plate tech. However, the number plate sticker has us dreaming of a drill-hole-less future for wide-open grilles. Just imagine the upcoming Maserati MC20 or an Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrofoglio with a lawful licence plate sticker. Let’s just hope we see these stickers permitted in the UK one day.