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Old 05-20-2011, 11:38 PM
 
152 posts, read 209,355 times
Reputation: 230

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It seems that everyday while I'm sputtering down the freeways and surface streets I notice a new Colorado license plate. Most people seem to have the standard green 6-characters on white mountains. Others have white 7-character plates on green mountains. Some people just have completely green plates, with no mountains. Some people have the blue plates with the county name on them.

Then you have the vanity plates! I was cut off by someone with a "Support the Horse" plate! Really? Horse supporters have their own plate?! I know Coloradans love their heritage, so I understand the Pioneer plate. I just don't understand why I've seen 3 different versions of the Pioneer plate?

I have seem the general green designer plate with the mountains on top, the popular anti-abortion "Respect Life" plates (usually the most reckless drivers on the road), Firefighter, Disabled Veteran, Support Education, Share the Road, Ski Country, Support the Troops, Boy Scouts, various military plates, Breast Cancer, and Adopt a Shelter Pet plates!

Why in the world are there so many plates? I would think that the highway patrol gets dizzy trying to figure out where all these plates are from? Can anyone with an agenda rally to get their own plate? How does that process work?
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,470 posts, read 14,391,104 times
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I agree with you that designer/vanity plates are totally stupid. However, almost all the Colorado plates with the exception of the main designer one (most of the plate has the light green grass in the foreground, with some shallower mountains and a thin blue sky at the top), all have the same exact mountains in the backdrop, and the different visual elements on the plate are arranged in the same exact way, just with different colors, a different clip art picture in the middle, and different slogans.

What gets me is the "Italian-American" plate-- nothing against Italians, but if we're going to allow special license plates for that, then why not "African American," "Hispanic American," "Asian American," "German American"... when does it ever end?

Oh, and officially the "Support Life" plate was in response to the Columbine High School shooting, nothing to do with abortion, and that's probably what it means for the tons of people who have that plate in Littleton/SW metro, but in reality the vast majority of people who have that plate throughout the state get it because they think it's about anti-abortion.

You should see how many designer plates Arizona and Nevada have-- and each one looking completely different from the others with no common element at all.
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Old 05-21-2011, 08:08 AM
 
777 posts, read 1,435,837 times
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I don't understand why our standard plate has a green sky, rather than a blue one...

On another note,I'd like to see some useful plates. For example, how about an orange one with the logo "illegal and uninsured"?
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:47 AM
 
Location: Western Colorado
5,248 posts, read 4,570,633 times
Reputation: 8151
State makes money off those goofy vanity, Pioneer and Horse Lover tags. I was told in Colorado you never have to turn your old tag in, that's why you'll see a really old plate with the county name on a new car. Here's a link to all the license plates here.

Department of Revenue - Division of Motor Vehicles:License Plates
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:13 AM
 
17,373 posts, read 24,625,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I agree with you that designer/vanity plates are totally stupid. However, almost all the Colorado plates with the exception of the main designer one (most of the plate has the light green grass in the foreground, with some shallower mountains and a thin blue sky at the top), all have the same exact mountains in the backdrop, and the different visual elements on the plate are arranged in the same exact way, just with different colors, a different clip art picture in the middle, and different slogans.

What gets me is the "Italian-American" plate-- nothing against Italians, but if we're going to allow special license plates for that, then why not "African American," "Hispanic American," "Asian American," "German American"... when does it ever end?

Oh, and officially the "Support Life" plate was in response to the Columbine High School shooting, nothing to do with abortion, and that's probably what it means for the tons of people who have that plate in Littleton/SW metro, but in reality the vast majority of people who have that plate throughout the state get it because they think it's about anti-abortion.

You should see how many designer plates Arizona and Nevada have-- and each one looking completely different from the others with no common element at all.
Oh yee of little faith.

I once had a 92 LeBaron ragtop (Lemmmonnnn!) with vanity plates that read "AIR MALE," a play on words....for those old enough to remember when you had to buy a separate, more expensive postal stamp to be sure your letter went by air mail.

As far as "when does it ever end?" how about a plate that says PLAIN OLD AMERICAN.
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Old 05-21-2011, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Denver
203 posts, read 325,647 times
Reputation: 150
I like all of the unique plates.
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Old 05-21-2011, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,820 posts, read 3,113,079 times
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I actually like the standard, default plate the most. I don't care for the newer ones that have the flat, non-raised lettering, so I'm glad that I'll be able to keep my current plates as long as I'm in Colorado.
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Old 05-21-2011, 04:26 PM
 
Location: CO @ 8300'
1,605 posts, read 2,544,479 times
Reputation: 1876
I'm with TechMike. I like them.
For a long time the only plates were the green and white ones. The "designer" or specialty plates didn't come into being until (fairly) recently. I don't know exactly when it started here, but Colorado was far behind many other states. Now EVERY state has so many different ones it's difficult to know where they are from.
Check out this old thread showing many of them: Which state has the best license plate?
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:35 PM
 
8,177 posts, read 16,200,501 times
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You can call it "mission creep." Back when, Colorado only had around a half-dozen different classes of plates--car, truck, farm, motorcycle, trailer, etc. They were all the same color--green and white. The color of the mountains and sky was reversed whenever a new full issue of plates was made, usually every year or two years. All plates were county-coded as to the county of issuance. A "vanity" plate was considered having a plate number in the first one-hundred or one-thousand in a county letter designation. Typically, though not always, the first few plate numbers in a county were reserved for county officials or district judges. Also typically, the holder of a "low-number" plate was allowed to retain the number year-after-year, even when new plates were issued. Thus, those old-line natives and long-time residents that so many on this forum love to hate were easily spotted by their low license number (and, yes, my family and I had some of those low numbers, my Dad having "AA-2" on a truck at one point). The Governor's limousine had Denver auto plate "AA-1." Until 1959, the county designation was a number, and the county number was in order of county population from the 1920 census. So, Denver was "1," Pueblo was "2," Weld was "3," etc. When a two-letter designation replaced the number in 1959, the letter sequence followed the same order, so Denver was "AA-GN," Pueblo "GP-HX," Weld was "HY-JW," etc. There are still a few of those old plates on vehicles. Briefly there was a three-alpha county designation used, the sequencing of which bore no resemblance to the prior plates. Finally, around 1999 or 2000, the county designation system, sadly, was retired from license plates in Colorado.

Beginning before then, and grossly accelerating since, has been a proliferation of "special interest plates," now numbering over 100 different plate types. Law enforcement hates it--color used to be a key identifying plate characteristic, and Colorado's green and white was very unique.

Older Colorado license plates with county coding:





Note how the plate colors reverse from one year to the next. When these plates were issued, everyone got new plates every year, a practice that stopped in the mid-1970's. I still remember my county codes. The top plate was was issued in Jefferson County (RS-TD), County Seat Golden; and the next one in Chaffee County (XH-XK), County Seat Salida.



Not all states have followed Colorado's lead. Wyoming, for example, still has a county number on its plates and very limited number of different plates. Uniquely Wyoming, state law there REQUIRES the trade-marked "cowboy on bucking bronco" symbol to appear on the license plate.

http://www.dot.state.wy.us/webdav/site/wydot/shared/Motor%20Vehicle%20Services/web-sample.jpg (broken link)
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:38 PM
 
601 posts, read 623,254 times
Reputation: 387
It appears that many of the special plates have donations you give to a particular agency to show your support. Many of the colleges request about a $50 or a $100 donation to that school, done through the plate purchase. Some others will donate to the cause that you support.

The supporting horse one gives $30 to "colorado horse development agency" but the italian american one is just if you want it. Some of the plates cost extra, some of them don't.
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