Colorado began its first major plate replacement since the late 1970s this year, and by December 31, 2003, all 4.5 million plates should have the new designs. Although most people will get the standard white plate with green numbers and letters (which takes the place of green plates with white letters), there are actually 74 different kinds of plates, almost all of them showing the signature mountain range in the background: Military plates have a blue background, firefighter plates have a red background, Knights of Columbus plates have a yellow background, pioneer plates have a maroon background, etc. There was almost a Columbine High School remembrance plate that would have read "Respect Life," but many people thought it sounded too much like an anti-abortion slogan, and the state legislature voted it down. The sportiest new plates, however, are the designer version (formerly called "denim"). Featuring a blue sky, a snowcapped purple mountain range, a grassy green foreground and the state's symbolic red and yellow "C," the designer plates cost $25 a year -- but they sure are pretty. See them all online at www.mv.state.co.us/titlereg/registration/plates/alphalist.html.