Vehicle registration plate of Colorado.

New state law aims to replace faded license plates

December 21, 2021

The state of Colorado is implementing a new law that requires drivers to replace their old license plates with new ones that are more easily readable by law enforcement. License Plate Expiration on Change of Ownership Act of 2021 (SB21-069) is designed to aid police efforts during Amber Alerts or if law enforcement needs to read a vehicle’s license plate number in low-light situations to improve public safety.

Improved reflectivity is extremely important for vehicles that have broken down on the side of the road so that other drivers see them in time to switch lanes. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, “on average, license plates lose 50 percent of their reflectivity within 5 to 10 years of use and the average age of motor vehicles in Colorado is 6 years.”

The law ( only applies to plates for Class C personal property vehicles, including passenger cars, motorhomes, and motorcycles. The bill does not affect personalized license plates and renewals are required for change of ownership.

Most Colorado drivers will see an additional expense of $4.73 to register vehicles, however those wishing to retain their current plate must pay a one-time fee between $68.06 and $118.06, depending on the license plate. The new law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

More information will be available on the Colorado Department of Revenue – Motor Vehicle webpage ( at the end of December.