The bolts holding on my rear license plate don't seem to want to come free. They just spin when I try to remove them. They are 10mm bolts. There is very clearly a nut of some kind on the inside that I can't get to and is why I can't remove the bolt.

I sprayed the bolts with PB Blaster to try to loosen them bit it didn't help. The vehicle is a 2007 Toyota Prius.

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    It looks like somebody replaced the normal screws with those nuts and bolts. You'll have to get to the backside of the panel by pulling off the interior hatch trim, same procedure as changing the lights, check out youtube.com/watch?v=n3EJpG59rhw it's not too bad, like 30 seconds of work. You might want to pick up a bag of clips at the parts department (they're usually super cheap) in case you bust one. – Jason C Apr 3 '17 at 0:17
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    I will when I'm not on my phone I don't like posting an answer with just a link and I want to look up part numbers on the clips and stuff. Also to anybody else: feel free to expand on that in an answer, no hard feelings, lol. – Jason C Apr 3 '17 at 0:20
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    Yah, it looks like you can see a split washer in the second picture. That definitely isn't stock, lol. Good call @JasonC – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 3 '17 at 0:38
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    Considering the stock stuff probably wouldn't work any more, I'd highly suggest you get something like a nutsert which rivets a nut into place for you. It's more of a permanent fix. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Apr 3 '17 at 1:04
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    You definitely do not want to leave those nuts inside; they're gonna rattle like crazy. – BillDOe Apr 3 '17 at 1:41

After advice posted to the comments of this question, I ended up looking at the backside of the bolts to size up the situation by pulling off the hatch paneling (how-to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3EJpG59rhw) and found this: Back of the license plate bolts

I tried to hold the "nut" with a pliers while turning the bolt but was unsuccessful. Instead, I used a Dremel tool and a cutting wheel to completely remove the bolt from the front:

Bolts and "nuts" after cutting them off

Then I found a replacement kit from my local Napa auto parts store: Replacement bolts

I had to slightly increase the existing hole diameter to fit the replacement mounts, but they fit snug and I'm not too concerned with them falling out anytime soon:

Replacement mounts

The finished mounted plate:

Mounted plate

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    Good job with the follow-up – Zaid Apr 4 '17 at 3:24
  • I recognize that plate! A fellow Minnesotan, I see – Cullub Apr 4 '17 at 14:00

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