Applying for Special Plates in Colorado
In Colorado, applying for specialty plates is typically done in person at your county DMV. However, some military plates, disability plates, and personalized plates can also be ordered by mail. You must renew your specialty plate annually with your registration. You may also transfer plates to another vehicle you own. Contact your county DMV for information on replacing a special plate. Fees for special plates vary.
The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers several different types of specialty plates.
Often obtaining specialty plates is as simple as registering your car with that specific plate. However, several types of plates have additional steps you must take in order to apply.
Applying for Specialty Plates in Colorado
To apply for most specialty plates in Colorado—including special group and alumni plates—you must visit a DMV office in person (some military plates can be acquired by mail; please see “Military Plates" below for details). Application requirements are typically not given out over the phone, though you can contact your local DMV to see if they can give you information.
Before making your trip, be sure to check the Colorado DMV website to find specific information about your desired plate:
Most CO specialty plates have a one-time fee; others require a donation to an organization (such as with the Support the Troops plate) or proof of association (such as the Air Force Academy plate).
Be sure to meet all requirements and gather necessary documents BEFORE going to the DMV.
In addition to short-term and long-term placards, Colorado offers distinguishing license plates for those with qualifying disabilities.
For more detailed information on how to apply for a CO disability license plate, visit our Disability Plates and Placards page.
Military Plate Applications
Most specialty plates reserved for veterans or active members of the military in Colorado require you to take the following actions:
- Complete and submit an application.
- Provide proof of service.
- Active members may be required to provide proof of service upon every registration renewal.
- Meet specific eligibility requirements. See your plate to find required proof of eligibility.
- Example: Bronze Star of Valor plates require the applicant to prove he or she was awarded the Bronze Star of Valor medal.
- Pay the appropriate fee (see below).
Standard plates and most specialty plates can be personalized. If you wish to apply for a personalized plate, you must:
- Complete and submit a Personalized License Plate Application (DR 2810):
- In person at your local DMV office.
- By mail to the address listed on the form.
- In person at your local DMV office.
- Submit any additional required documents for your desired specialty plate; please visit the state's license plate list for details.
DO NOT send payment for your personalized plate with your application. Once your application is approved, you will be billed by the Colorado DMV.
After you make your payment, the DMV will manufacture your plates and notify you once they are ready for pickup.
NOTE: Personalized disability plates require a separate application. To personalize a disability plate, complete the State of Colorado Persons with Disabilities License Plates Application (Form DR 2497).
Fees for CO Specialty Plates
Fees vary from plate to plate.
Often, one set of military license plates will be exempt from fees. Additional sets will not be exempt from fees.
Some plates require you to make a charitable donation to the organization linked with the plate type.
Check with the Colorado DMV website and click on your desired plate for specific information related to costs.
Renewing Specialty Plates in CO
Your license plate is renewed annually as part of your car's registration renewal.
You may be required to pay an additional plate renewal fee in addition to your standard registration renewal fees.
For more information, visit our Registration Renewal in Colorado page.
Transferring & Replacing Plates
Transferring Special Plates
If you sell your car, it is your responsibility to remove the plates. Do not give your plates to the new owner.
Upon sale of your vehicle, you may:
- Transfer your plates to another vehicle you own.
- Keep the plates.
- Surrender them your local DMV office.
For questions about transferring or surrendering your plates, contact your local Division of Motor Vehicles office.
Replacing CO Specialty Plates
If your plates have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you'll need to apply for replacements in person at your county DMV office. Fees vary by county.
Visit our CO License Plates and Placards page for more detailed information on replacing your plates.