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Car theft and other automotive crimes are on the rise. Between the bogus Texas plates and the increase in armed carjackings, it’s hard even to know where to begin to protect yourself and your vehicle. As if we needed another thing to pay attention to on our cars, tag theft has become a bigger problem lately, and this weird razorblade trick might actually help keep your car’s tag sticker on your car where it belongs. 

A wall covered in old license tags
License plates on a wall | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Are people really stealing license tag stickers? 

I should be clearer; we are specifically talking about the little sticker that signifies that your registration is updated with the DMV. This little tag sticker can cost a pretty penny, depending on the state you live in. These tag stickers can cost well into the hundreds of dollars in some states, so it pays to keep them safe. 

If we know these stickers are expensive, then so do thieves. Thankfully, there is a clever trick, if nothing else, making stealing your tag sticker much harder. 

How can a razorblade keep your license tag sticker safe? 

First of all, it is common practice to simply stick your tag sticker on top of the previous one. Some people do this for years. Stacking these stickers makes stealing them significantly easier. 

Start by using your trusty razorblade (or paint scrapper) to peel the old stickers off your license tag. As with all stickers, once you remove the old ones, you must clean the tag surface thoroughly to provide a clean surface to stick to. Having a clean surface will make the sticker adhere far better, already making it harder to steal. 

Once it is firmly stuck on, with no air bubbles or other imperfections, you grab your razor blade and score the sticker in an “X” pattern from corner to corner. According to the Family Handyman, Other patterns can work too, but the “X” is the most effective. 

How does this keep thieves at bay? 


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The truth is, the X most likely won’t be seen, but as someone is working on the sticker to peel it off, the cut sections will make keeping the sticker in one piece nearly impossible. 

Now, this won’t necessarily keep someone from removing the sticker, but it will render it useless to thieves. The goal here is to discourage the thief from continuing their work since it won’t be of value to them. 

How do you keep your license tag from getting stolen? 

As clever as the Family Handyman’s tip is, there is still nothing stopping the baddies from just swiping the whole tag. Most tags are held on by a pair of normal screws, leaving tags mere seconds away from walking off at any second. 

However, there are special screws for sale that come with a specific tool in order to take them out. These “safety screws” provide another step that makes stealing your tag or tag sticker that much harder. 

Remember, most theft can be prevented by making the prized item just a touch harder, slower, or more annoying to steal.