Colorado Department of Revenue
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Colorado License Plate History

1913 - Black Numbers on White Background
1914 - White on Blue
1915 - Black on Yellow
1916 - White on Black
1917 - Black on Pink
1918 - White on Black
1919 - Gray on Maroon
1920 - Validating tab, same plate
1921 - Silver on Blue
1922 - Black on White
1923 - White on Black
1924 - Black on Gray
1925 - White on Maroon
1926 - White on Green
1927 - White on Black
1928 - Red on Beige
1929 - Orange on Black
1931 - Black on Orange
1932 - Orange on Black
1933 - Black on Orange
1934 - Yellow on Black
1935 - Black on Yellow
1936 - White on Navy Blue
1937 - Black on Silver
1938 - White on Turquoise
1939 - Yellow on Black
1940 - Black on Yellow
1941 - Yellow on Black
1942 - White on Maroon
1943 - Federal Yellow on Black (1 plate)
1944 - Validating tab, same plate
1945 - White on Black (1 plate)
 

1946 - Federal Yellow on Black (1 plate)
1947 - Black on Federal Yellow
1948 - Black on Aluminum color
1949 - Black on Yellow
1950 - Green on White
1951 - White on Green
1952 - Validating tab, same plate
1953 - Green on Federal Yellow
1954 - White on Black
1955 - Black on White
1956 - White on Black
1957 - Black on Yellow Orange
1958 - Dark Green on Light Green
1959 - White on Dark Green
1960 - Dark Green on White
1961 - Validating tab, same plate
1962 - White on Dark Green
1963 - Dark Green on White
1964 - White on Dark Green
1965 - Dark Green on White
1966 - White on Dark Green
1967 - Dark Green on White
1968 - White on Dark Green
1969 - Dark Green on White
1970 - White on Dark Green
1971 - Green on White (reflectorized)
1972 - White on Green (reflectorized)
1973 - Green on White (reflectorized)
1974 - White on Green (reflectorized)
1975 - Red on White & Blue (Centennial)
1976 - Validating tab, same plate
1977 - White on Green (reflectorized)
1978 to present - Validating tab, same 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:   TR 1922 License Plate

 

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.

 

 

  TR Skier License Plate  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.