Colorado’s old-school license plates are coming back — for an extra fee

Colorado is going retro with its license plates, bringing back the green-mountain and white-sky design that was phased out in 2000.

Drivers will have to pay an extra fee, though — which will range between $33 to $75 depending on demand, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Council.

The “legacy” plate will return in early 2022, thanks to SB21-69, a bipartisan bill that passed its final chamber Thursday. Bill sponsor Kevin Priola, a Republican senator from Henderson, said Gov. Jared Polis assured him he’ll sign it.

“We’re going back in time. We’re returning to the glory days,” said Rep. Alex Valdez, a Denver Democrat who is also sponsoring the bill. “We’re going pre-2000, showing a little love for the folks who’ve been around here a long time.”

The current white-mountain, green-sky look will remain standard, with the vintage look joining dozens of other specialty plates.

This is just one part of SB21-69, which Priola said he was moved to sponsor in part because some police officers have complained the current standard plates are less readable for their eyes and for cameras that autoscan plates.

Rep. David Ortiz, a Littleton Democrat and another sponsor of this bill, noted that $25 from every sale of the old-style plates will benefit people with disabilities.

“It’s a throwback for a good cause,” Valdez said, “and I’m encouraging everyone to get them.”

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