The Colorado specialty license plate honoring the Girl Scouts is in danger of extinction.
The Colorado specialty license plate honoring the Girl Scouts is in danger of extinction.
Colorado Department of Revenue

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished

More than 325,000 people have so-called special Colorado license plates honoring various groups in the state, with the numbers of the ten most popular ranging from a few thousand to nearly 100,000. Because of rules set up by the Colorado Department of Revenue, fourteen less popular special plates seemed likely to be eliminated either this year or next year because not enough people had requested them. But all of them will survive thanks to a last-minute reprieve.

The reason the state balked is likely due to a fear that the move would anger some of the powerful organizations represented by plates on the chopping block, including three major sports franchises in Denver and the Girl Scouts.

As recently noted by 9News, the State of Colorado set a standard of 3,000 registrations per year to determine whether specific plates would continue to be issued. If a plate fell short in one year, officials typically sent the group behind them a letter informing them that they had one year to boost the total above the minimum standard. Should registrations fall short for a second year, the plate would be retired.

But that changed last Friday, June 30, one day before the July 1 deadline, when state officials determined that the word "may" in front of the word "retire" in statutory language gave them the option of bidding the plates farewell or not. And they chose "not."

Below, see the ten most popular Colorado special license plates, whose registrations through late February (the most complete data available) range from just over 6,000 to 96,000-plus. Then, on page two of this post, see the special Colorado plates that were teetering on the brink. Note that college license plates survive if they attract just 500 registrations — but one school was nowhere close to that number.

Ten most popular Colorado specialty license plates 2017:

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (2)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 1: Columbine

Number of registered plates: 96,144

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (3)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 2: Pioneer

Number of registered plates: 36,372

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (4)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 3: Breast Cancer (Modified)

Number of registered plates: 23,405

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (5)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 4: Firefighter

Number of registered plates: 19,538

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (6)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 5: Broncos Charities

Number of registered plates: 17,985

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (7)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 6: Ski Country USA

Number of registered plates: 17,477

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (8)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 7: Adopt a Shelter Pet

Number of registered plates: 15,664

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (9)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 8: Air Force Commemorative

Number of registered plates: 11,728

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (10)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 9: Support the Troops

Number of registered plates: 9,488

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (11)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 10: Donate Life

Number of registered plates: 6,531

Continue to see the fourteen Colorado specialty license plates that were on the cusp of disappearing before they received a last-minute reprieve.

Colorado specialty license plate that was initially slated to be retired on July 1, 2017, if it didn't reach 500:

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (12)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 1: Fort Lewis

Number of registered plates: 54

Colorado specialty license plates that were initially slated to be retired on July 1, 2017, if they didn't reach 3,000:

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (13)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 1: Support the Horse

Number of registered plates: 2,862

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (14)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 2: Colorado Avalanche

Number of registered plates: 2,277

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (15)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 3: Kids First

Number of registered plates: 2,175

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (16)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 4: State Parks

Number of registered plates: 2,104

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (17)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 5: Child Loss Awareness

Number of registered plates: 1,492

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (18)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 6: Carbon Fund

Number of registered plates: 1,209

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (19)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 7: Support Education

Number of registered plates: 653

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (20)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 8: Denver Nuggets

Number of registered plates: 453

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (21)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 9: Craig Hospital

Number of registered plates: 412

Colorado specialty license plates that were to be given a year's grace period on July 1, 2017, if they didn't reach 3,000:

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (22)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 1: Fallen Heroes

Number of registered plates: 2,931

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (23)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 2: Protect Our Rivers

Number of registered plates: 1,948

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (24)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 3: Colorado Rockies

Number of registered plates: 1,896

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (25)
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 4: Flight for Life

Number of registered plates: 625

Most Popular Colorado Special License Plates and Ones That Nearly Vanished (26)EXPAND
Colorado Department of Revenue

Number 5: Girl Scouts

Number of registered plates: 285

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >