Colorado License Plate History
1913 - Black Numbers on White Background
1946 - Federal Yellow on Black (1 plate)
1913 was the first year the State issued license plates. Prior to this time, cities issued numbers and you made your own.
1913, 1914, and 1915 license plates were porcelainized.
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. 1920 plates were stamped like the rest.
Plates for the larger counties during the 1920's were very large. Some measured 5 1/2" X 16", while others measured 6" X 14" with numbers 5/8" wide and 4" tall.
|The word "COLO" and year 1922 plate was:|
The 1931, 1932, 1933, and 1934 plates were stamped of very heavy metal, very difficult to bend.
County numbers first appeared on plates in 1932.
1948 license plates were made of aluminum and were very easily damaged.
1950 license plates had a very thin layer of paint and the slightest dust or sand storm immediately chipped off the plate.
"Colorful" first appeared in 1950, dropped in 1956, reappeared in 1958, dropped in 1959 and reappeared in 1973.
The outline of the Colorado Rocky Mountains appeared on the 1960, 1962-1972, and 1974 plates.
|The picture of the Skier appeared in 1958 and disappeared in 1959.|
County numbers disappeared from license plates in 1959. A combination of letters designates counties. Example: RS - Jefferson County
1971 license plates began the era of reflectorized material on the coating of the license plates.
For the years 1975 and 1976, a special Centennial-Bicentennial license plate was issued.
The special issue had the State Centennial-Bicentennial emblem, and the colors were red, white and blue for the license plates.
In 1977, Colorado began issuing license plates on a staggered, year around basis. The white on green reflectorized plates were a multi-year plate with validating tabs that were issued each consecutive year. The outline of the Colorado Rocky Mountains appeared across the top of the plate and "Colorado" appeared across the bottom. These plates are still in use at the present time.
In 1989, Colorado began issuing Designer license plates. These plates are blue on white and are a multi-year plate with validating tabs that are issued on a staggered, year around basis.
The plate has "Colorado" silk screened at the top with the red and yellow Colorado "C" symbol. In July, 1992, personalized plates in Colorado were allowed to utilize seven (7) positions on the plates and the "denim" background replaced the white background used on the "designer" license plates.