License plate reissue program | Department of Revenue (2023)

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About the License Plate Reissue Program

Colorado's license plate reissue program, implemented in January 2022, aims to improve safety for first responders and motorists by ensuring drivers have reflective and legible license plates.

Under the new program, the process for transferring license plates has changed. License plates for Class C motor vehicles will now expire upon transfer of the owner’s title or interest in the vehicle. Tax Class C motor vehicles include passenger vehicles, motorhomes, and motorcycles. However, the owner will retain the priority right to use the same combination of letters or numbers from the expired plates when registering a new vehicle. To do so, the owner must apply for personalized plates, at an additional cost after returning the license plates. The old plates will no longer be valid for use. License plates will then be printed and mailed to the vehicle owner like newly issued license plates.

The license plate reissue program enhances public safety by ensuring registered vehicles in Colorado have serviceable license plates that are reflective and visible in low-light environments by removing older plates from circulation, which allows first responders to more easily identify license plates. Additionally, motorists benefit from the program since license plates are often the only highly reflective element on vehicles, which is critically important for motorists to see if a vehicle is stalled on the roadside during low-light periods.

License plate reissue program | Department of Revenue (1)

License Plate Reissue Program Fees

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Fees for the License Plate Reissue Program vary, but Coloradans can expect to pay between $4.73 to $118.06 depending on the desired license plate and in addition to standard registration fees, whether it’s personalized and whether it has the same new license plate number.

Contact your County motor vehicle office for more information!

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Standard Plates

These are the current green (mountains and letters) and white (background) plates issued by County motor vehicle offices throughout the state. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

Replace Standard Plate with a Standard Plate that has a new license plate number, this means you will NOT retain your old plate number with this option:

  • Cost to issue - $4.73
  • Renewal - No new fee

Replace Standard Plate with a Personalized Standard Plate (flat) that has your plate’s current license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $68.06 for materials
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

Replace Standard Plate with a Personalized Standard Plate (flat) with a new plate number of your choice when approved:

  • Cost to issue - $68.06
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

More on license plates!

Designer Plates

These plates feature a more detailed and artistic background than Standard Plates. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

Replace Designer Plate with Designer Plate that has a new license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $33.06
  • Renewal - No new fee

Replace Designer Plate with a Personalized Designer Plate with a new plate number of your choice when approved:

  • Cost to issue - $93.06
  • Renewal - $50 designer personalized renewal fee

Replace Designer Plate with a Personalized Designer Plate that has your plate’s current license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $93.06
  • Renewal - $50 designer personalized renewal fee

More on license plates!

Historical Plates

These plates feature white mountains and letters and a green background. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

Replace any license plate with a Personalized Historical Plate that has your plate’s current license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $118.06
  • Renewal - $75

Replace any license plate with a Personalized Historical Plate that has a new plate number of your choice when approved:

  • Cost to issue - $118.06
  • Renewal - $75

More on license plates!

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Specialty Plates with the same design

These are specially designed plates that feature a background honoring a specific group or organization. Specific eligibility requirements must be met to be issued. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

Same Design

Replace Specialty Plate with a Specialty Plate of the same design that has a new license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $8.06
  • Renewal - No new fee

Replace Specialty Plate with a Personalized Specialty Plate of the same design and with a new plate number of your choice when approved (Specialty logo is removed):

  • Cost to issue - $68.06
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

Replace Specialty Plate with a Personalized Specialty Plate of the same design that has your plate’s current license plate number (Specialty logo is removed):

  • Cost to issue - $68.06
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

More on license plates!

Specialty Plates with a new design

These are specially designed plates that feature a background honoring a specific group or organization, represent a Colorado university or college, or honor military service. Specific eligibility requirements for the license plate must be met to be issued. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

New Design

Replace Specialty Plate with a different Specialty Plate design that has a new license plate number:

  • Cost to issue - $58.06
  • Renewal - No new fee

Replace Specialty Plate with a different Personalized Specialty Plate design and with a new plate number of your choice when approved (Specialty logo is removed):

  • Cost to issue - $68.06
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

Replace Specialty Plate with a different Personalized Specialty Plate that has your plate’s current license plate number (Specialty logo is removed):

  • Cost to issue - $68.06
  • Renewal - $25 personalized renewal fee

More on license plates!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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I want to transfer my current license plate to a vehicle I will buy soon. Can I do this?

Yes, you can keep your current plate configuration but not the license plate. You will need to apply for a personalized plate after surrendering the license plate.

How much will it cost to keep my current license plate?

Fees will vary depending on what type of plate you have. Coloradans wishing to keep their current license plate configuration will need to pay $68.06. The most expensive fee is $118.06 and is for Coloradans wishing to obtain a historical plate and its current configuration. Fees listed are in addition to the standard registration fees based on the age, taxable value and weight of your vehicle.

I don’t want to keep my current license plate configuration. How much will it cost for a regular green and white plate with a random configuration?

That is the most inexpensive option and costs $4.73 in addition to the standard registration fees.

Why the change?

It is due to the License Plate Expiration On Change Of Ownership Act of 2021, which aims to make Colorado highways and byways safer for all motorists and first responders.

How exactly will it help?

Colorado lawmakers took action to improve safety for first responders while also creating a way to fight congestion. The new law establishes a license plate reissue program that enhances public safety by registered vehicles in Colorado having a serviceable license plate that is reflective and visible in low-light environments.

On average, license plates lose 50% of their reflectivity within 5 to 10 years of use and the average age of motor vehicles in Colorado is 6 years.

Will I lose any remaining credit for registration fees and taxes?

No, only the license plate is required to be replaced. Any credit of registration fees and taxes can be transferred at the county motor vehicle office and used on the new vehicle.

I want to transfer my current plate from one of my vehicles to another vehicle I own. Can I do that?

  • Yes, if your original vehicle has not been sold and new plates are being requested for that vehicle.
  • No, if the original passenger vehicle has been sold or transferred.

I am conducting a private sale of my vehicle. Should I leave my current plates on the car?

No, please take your plates off before the transaction is completed. You cannot transfer your plates to the new owner. If you leave your plates on the vehicle, you would be responsible for any fines/tolls accrued while the vehicle has your plates.

Can you transfer your existing vanity plate?

Yes, vanity plates are not required to be replaced with SB21-069.

Do I get a credit for the old plate toward the new plate if I sell my vehicle?

Yes, you will receive a credit for the time remaining on your previous plate. This credit can be applied to any new plate that you are eligible for.

Is this just for the regular green and white plates or all plate types?

This is for all plate types.

Do you have to pay the fee again for the veteran plates?

Only when a new veteran plate all fees apply (e.g., U.S. Army to Honorably Discharged Veteran), but not if the plate being replaced is the same veteran plate (e.g., U.S. Army to U.S. Army).

Who should I contact if I have questions about the new changes?

If you have questions about registering your vehicle, please contact us at dor_trcustomerservice@state.co.us

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