Colorado

Colorado License Plates

The state of Colorado issued its first license plate in 1913.  Prior to this time, cities issued numbers and motorists were required to make their own plates.  These plates came in a variety of styles and materials used included porcelain, leather and even metal kits plates sold in hardware stores.  The 1913, 1914, and 1915 license plates were porcelain.  Numbers on 1919 and 1920 plates were individually cut pieces and they were spot welded on the heavy license plate blank. A tab showed the year on these plates.  The 1920 Colorado license plates were the first state issued stamped or embossed type.  In 1920, most license plates in larger cities measured 6" X 14" with numbers 5/8" wide and 4" tall.  County numbers first appeared on 1932 license plate issues.

The slogan: COLORFUL was first embossed on Colorado’s license plates 1955 and continued to 1955.  Colorful did not appear on 1956 and 57 but reappeared in 1958 together with an embossed skier on the right hand side of the license plate.  To mark the 100th anniversary of Colorado’s statehood, the word CENTENNIAL appeared on 1975 and 1976 Colorado license plates.   The next graphic on Colorado’s license plates appeared in 1975 with a motif of Colorado’s mountains screened on the license plates.  However the first embossing of a mountain on Colorado’s license plates was the year 1960 and this style is in use today.

Colorado issued its first retro-reflective license plates in 1971 and this continues today to follow mandate by the United States Department of Transportation.  The most popular Colorado license is the 1971 issue used in the movie Vanishing Point with number OA-5599.


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