Apr 4, 2012 8:41 PM by Matt Stafford

Specialty license plates causing debate

You've probably seen the specialty Colorado license plates on the road; it doesn't take long to spot a few of them.

"There's 119 different options presently," says Tony Anderson; manager for the El Paso County Department of Motor Vehicles office.

Along with the traditional green and white, they try to keep the specialty plates in stock at your local motor vehicle office.

Adding to the list; this year the Colorado Legislature is considering seven more specialized license plates. However, they've also passed a bill which could cut back on future requests. It says proposals must come with at least three-thousand signatures of people committed to buying the plates. It's just waiting on the governor's signature to become law.

The plates stretch from non-profits, to military designations, and to local colleges; but variety isn't always a benefit.

"It makes it a little more difficult to identify them quickly," says Sgt. Rob Kelley with CSPD's Specialized Enforcement Division, Motorcycle Unit.

For officers on patrol, the plates they want to catch up with are often moving fast.

"There are so many of them that we don't focus on the plate until we turn around," says Sgt. Kelley.

"At this distance I can't read those plates," Sgt. Kelley, looking at cars going by several yards away. "So, I'm not too concerned at what plate it is until I get around behind the vehicle, and then I'll come up and look at the license plate."

The variety also seems to be a little much for the El Paso County Motor Vehicle office.

"The Carbon Fund plate isn't as popular here in El Paso County; the Italian-American heritage hasn't been as well," says Anderson, but he also points out that the plates sell differently across the state.

State officials say eventually the goal is, instead of having the plates in stock, the state will print them off and send them out by request; hoping to cut down on inventory. However, they say the state offices are still at very early stages in that process.

Generally, the specialized plates cost $50 extra; with money going towards highway and licensing services funds. Some of the groups charge extra, with the money usually going to the group listed on the tag.

For more information on specialty Colorado license plates, click here.



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