Types of Special License Plates in Colorado

SUMMARY: Types of Specialty Colorado License Plates

Your Colorado vehicle can have specialty license plates such as personalized plates with custom messages and tags for charities and other groups. If you're eligible, you can also display U.S. military license plates or historic vehicle tags.

Keep reading to learn more about your specialty license plate choices from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Personalized Colorado License Plates

A personalized plate allows you to create a custom tag number.

Your number/letter combination can be:

  • Up to 7 characters.
    • Motorcycle plates are limited to 6 characters.
  • A combination of letters, numbers, spaces, dashes, and periods.

Your custom tag request will be denied if:

  • You don't explain the meaning of your tag.
  • The combination is misleading or offensive.
  • The combination already exists.

You can put multiple choices in order of preference on the application in case some of your desired combinations are already taken.

You must pay a personalization fee PLUS the standard registration fee. Contact your county Colorado DMV office for specific fee information.

Visit our CO Applying for Specialty License Plates page for application details.

Designer License Plate

The CO designer license plate features a background of green mountains and a blue sky, and is available ONLY as a personalized license plate.

The cost includes:

To renew, you'll pay $25 PLUS regular renewal fees.

Charity & Group Plates in CO

The Colorado DMV offers a number of specialty license plates, including plates for:

  • Charities and other special groups.
  • Colleges and universities.

Charity and Special Group Plates

Most Colorado charity and special group plates are available to anyone who pays the required fees and/or donation. Examples include license plates for:

  • Pet adoption.
  • The Boy Scouts.
  • State parks.
  • Wildlife.

Some of these plates, however, are limited to members of specific groups, including the Firefighter and Emergency Medical Services plates.

Fees for Special Group Plates

Plate fees vary and are paid IN ADDITION to standard vehicle registration fees. In many cases, you'll also be required to make a minimum donation to a specific charity or organization.

Examples of required fees and donations include the:

  • Adopt a Shelter Pet license plate:
    • $80 initial fee ($30 goes to the Pet Overpopulation Fund).
    • $25 renewal fee IN ADDITION to regular renewal fees.
  • Support the Troops tag:
    • $50 initial tag fee.
    • $25 donation to American Military Family.
  • Kids 1st license plate:
    • $50 tag fee.
    • Donation of $30 to the Rocky Mountain Research and Prevention Institute.

For a complete list of charity plates, fees, and donation requirements, see the CO DMV website.

You'll find application details by visiting our Applying for Specialty License Plates page.

Alumni License Plates

Several college and university license plates can be ordered from the Colorado DMV, including plates for:

  • The Air Force Academy.
  • Colorado State University.
  • Western State College.

NOTE: You DO NOT have to be a student or alumnus of the college, but you do have to make a donation to the college to get the tag.

The total fees for alumni license plates consist of:

  • A license plate fee.
    • Ex: $50 fee for an Air Force Academy plate.
  • A minimum donation to the college or university.
    • Ex: $100 donation required for the Colorado State University plate.
  • Standard vehicle registration fees.

License plate fees and donation requirements vary. Check the specific requirements of the plate you want on the CO Division of Motor Vehicles website.

If you're ready to apply, visit Applying for Specialty License Plates.

Military Honor Plates in Colorado

The CO Division of Motor Vehicles, offers many military license plates, including plates for:

  • Military branches, such as the:
    • U.S. Air Force plate.
    • U.S. Army plate.
  • Honors, including the:
    • Silver Star license plate.
    • Navy Cross tag.
  • Wars and conflicts, such as the:
    • Veteran of Afghanistan War plate.
    • Vietnam Veteran tag.

To be eligible for a military license plate, your service record must reflect your status, participation, or involvement. Proof of your eligibility may be required, such as:

  • Your discharge papers.
  • Your military ID.
  • A verification letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Fees for military plates vary and may be charged IN ADDITION to your usual registration fees. For example, the U.S. Air Force plate fee is $50.

Some plates, that reflect military honors or awards, are free.

Check eligibility requirements and fees on the Colorado DMV website.

Historic, Antique & Classic Plates

If you have a qualifying vehicle, you can order one of the following specialty historic license plates from the Colorado DMV:

  • Collector Passenger plates for vehicles that:
    • Were made in 1975 or earlier.
    • Are at least 32 years old.
    • Are grandfathered in as a collectors' item.
  • Horseless Carriage plates for vehicles that are at least 50 years old.
  • Street Rod license plates for vehicles made in or before 1948.

Having historic license plates may restrict how you can use the vehicle, such as:

  • Having an annual mileage limit.
  • Requiring that the vehicle be driven only for events and exhibitions.

Fees for Colorado historic plates vary and may be charged IN ADDITION to standard registration fees.

Visit the CO DMV website for more information about the each plate's requirements, restrictions, and fees.

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