How to Place Vin Plate on a Homemade Trailer

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You are proud of the trailer you just made. You have sent all the required information to the state Department of Motor Vehicles and finally received your VIN plate in the mail. The last thing you need to do to get it licensed is put the VIN plate on.

Items you will need

  • VIN plate

  • Electric drill

  • Drill bits

  • Pencil

  • Screws

  • Screwdriver bit

  • Clamp

  • Workbench

  • Safety glasses

Placing your VIN Plate

By federal code, the VIN plate needs to be on the front half of the left side of the trailer in a place where it can be seen without having to move anything. Determine where, on the front half of the left side of your trailer, you will place the plate.

If the VIN plate already has holes, go to step three. If there are no holes in the VIN plate, use a clamp to firmly hold your VIM plant. Use a small pilot drill bit to drill a hole in each of the four corners. Using a pilot drill bit will minimize the damage to the reverse side of the plate. Depending on the size of the VIN plate, you may also wish to drill a hole in the middle of the VIN plate at the top and bottom.

Using the VIN plate's holes as a template, mark on the left front side of the trailer where to drill, with a pencil through each hole.

Hold the drill at a right angle to the trailer at one of the pencil points. Drill a starter hole for a screw. Repeat for each of the holes.

Change the bit on the drill to the screwdriver bit.

Screw the VIN plate onto the trailer.


  • Wearing safety glasses or goggles prevents random splinters of metal from flying into your eyes. Some people also wear gloves.


  • Match the type of screw used to the type of trailer you have--wood screws for wood-sided trailers, metal screws for metal-sided trailers. To avoid corrosion, use screws manufactured for outdoor use. Some people prefer to permanently affix the information onto the tongue of their trailers by hammering metal stamps to make the impression.
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