Does my car need a front license plate in the State of Colorado?
Here at Prestige Imports, we are very aware that many of our customers would prefer not to display their front license plate, as in some situations it can be detrimental to the “lines” of the vehicle and can even interfere with the car’s aerodynamics. Unfortunately, the State of Colorado does not share this position, and neither will the police officer writing your ticket.
Please be aware that all of our Porsche and Audi vehicles come standard with front license plate brackets, and it is our expectation that these brackets will be installed at the time you receive your license plates from the state of Colorado. If you do not have the tools, expertise or desire to install the bracket yourself, please contact our service department to schedule an appointment. Typically the license plate bracket can be installed right on our service drive at no charge.
If you are considering driving your car without the front license plate, a word of warning … recently, we have seen a significant uptick in the instances of our customers receiving tickets for this infraction. This is especially the case if your vehicle is parked in downtown Denver or Boulder. A ticket for a missing plate will often be written even if the meter is not expired.
So our advice would be to stop by Prestige Imports as soon as possible, get your front license plate bracket installed, and head off this minor, but possibly expensive, legal issue.
For your reference, we have provided the full text of section 7.9 of the Colorado Driver Handbook as well as the pertinent sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes (bold is ours) …
Colorado Driver Handbook: Section 7.9
Any motor vehicle owned by a Colorado resident cannot be parked or driven on a public street or highway unless it is properly registered in Colorado and displays Colorado license plates. If you own a motor vehicle, you must register the vehicle in the county in which you live. (See the county office locations in the Service Center Guide.)
The signed registration card must be carried in the vehicle or in the possession of the operator whenever the vehicle is being operated.
The license plates must be fastened horizontally, in a manner to prevent swinging, at a height of at least 12 inches from the ground. They must be clearly visible and kept clean and legible. Vehicles must have plates attached to both the front and rear of the vehicle.
Exceptions: Motorcycles, trailers, and semitrailers must have one plate attached to the rear, semi-tractors must have one plate attached to the front. Temporary (paper) license plates should be attached in a place clearly visible on the rear of the vehicle.
Any change of address or name must be reported within 30 days to your local county motor vehicle office.
If you are moving into Colorado, you must obtain new license plates within 30 days of establishing Colorado residency. (C.R.S. 42-2-107 (a)(b))
EMISSIONS TEST REQUIRED: Colorado’s “AIR” Program requires emissions tests for gasoline and diesel vehicles registered in the following counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas and Jefferson. Emissions tests are required for diesel vehicles only in El Paso, Larimer and Weld counties. Check with your county clerk or call (303)456-7090.
Colorado Revised Statutes: Title 42 – Article 3 – Part 2
Vehicles and Traffic – Taxation – Registration Taxation and License Plates – License Plates – 42-3-201. Number plates furnished – style – periodic reissuance – tabs – rules
(1) (a) (I) The department shall issue to every owner whose vehicle is registered two number plates; except that the department shall issue one number plate for the following:
(A) A motorcycle;
(B) A street rod vehicle;
(C) A trailer or semitrailer;
(D) A vehicle drawn by a motor vehicle;
(E) An item of special mobile machinery; or
(F) An autocycle.
(II) At the discretion of the executive director of the department, the department may issue one number plate for any vehicle not listed in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a).
Vehicles and Traffic – Taxation – Registration Taxation and License Plates – License Plates – 42-3-202. Number plates to be attached
(1) (a) The owner shall attach the number plates assigned to a self-propelled vehicle, other than a motorcycle, autocycle, or street rod vehicle, to the vehicle with one in the front and the other in the rear. The owner shall attach the number plate assigned to a motorcycle, autocycle, street rod vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, other vehicle drawn by a motor vehicle, or special mobile machinery to the rear of the vehicle. The owner shall display number plates during the current registration year, except as otherwise provided in this article.
(b) If the department issues a validating tab or sticker to a motor vehicle pursuant to section 42-3-201, the current month validating tab or sticker shall be displayed in the bottom left corner of the rear license plate. The current year validating tab or sticker shall be displayed in the bottom right corner of the rear license plate. The tabs or stickers shall be visible at all times.
(2) (a) Every number plate shall at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle to which it is assigned, so as to prevent the plate from swinging, and shall be horizontal at a height not less than twelve inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of such plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible, and shall be maintained free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible.
Editor’s note: This version of paragraph (a) is effective until January 1, 2016.
(a) (I) The owner or driver of a motor vehicle shall securely fasten the license plate to the vehicle to which it is assigned so as to prevent the plate from swinging.
(II) Except when authorized by this article or rule of the department, each license plate must be:
(A) Horizontal at a height not less than twelve inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of the plate;
(B) In a place and position to be clearly visible;
(C) Maintained free from foreign materials and clearly legible; and
(D) At the approximate center of the vehicle measured horizontally.
(III) Except when authorized by this article or rule of the department, the rear license plate must be mounted on or within eighteen inches of the rear bumper.
The information in this article is based on research and personal experience, but should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult with a legal professional on any legal matters.
Did you find this article helpful? Did we miss anything? If you have questions or comments, just click the button below. We are here to help!
Questions or Comments >>