14 Colorado license plates facing extinction

The Girl Scouts may succeed at selling cookies, but they're struggling to sell license plates.

The Girl Scouts may succeed at selling cookies, but they’re struggling to sell license plates.

The non-profit promised – like anyone seeking a group plate -- that 3,000 people would register for their plates by a deadline. For the Girl Scouts, that deadline is July 1, 2017.

But as of February 28, 2017, Colorado’s Department of Revenue had just 285 Girl Scout plates on record.

And they’re not the only ones.

Three big professional Colorado sports teams are having trouble. The Rockies, Avalanche and Nuggets are all below their state required minimums.

“If the specific plate statute says the department ‘may’ stop issuing the plate, the organization is issued a letter stating that the plate is not at 3,000 registered and are given a one year period to obtain 3,000 registered to vehicles,” Department of Revenue spokesman Kyle Boyd said.

That means the Girl Scouts and the Rockies have one more year, but the Nuggets and Avalanche – which received warning letters in 2016 – are weeks away from having their specialty plates retired.

Coloradans have 88 choices when it comes to license plates, although some require you to meet specific requirements like being a lawmaker, veteran or someone who received a specific honor like the Navy Cross or the Medal of Honor.

And we’re about to get one more.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Tuesday creating the Pueblo Chili plate. It will go on sale in January 2018.

That may seem like a lot of licenses plates, but Maryland offers its drivers more than 700.

Any group can try to make a plate in Colorado.

The way it works is a group goes to a state lawmaker with a proposal to create a plate. Sometimes – like the Broncos plate – it includes a donation to a charity. Other times, like the Girl Scout plate, it’s just to raise awareness.

The lawmaker drafts a bill to create the plate which includes the minimum registration requirement, a date when the DMV can start issuing and the deadline to reach the required number of plates.

The group is responsible for the plate’s design costs, so the state doesn’t lose money if the plate isn’t successful.

If 3,000 people don’t register for the plate by the end of the grace period, the state retires the plate. The exception to this rule is military service plates. The state won’t retire those plates no matter how many people register.

The Knights of Columbus, Denver Firefighters and the Olympic Committee have all had their plates retired.

You may still spot those plates on the road. People who have them can keep them.

As for the Colorado Girl Scouts, spokeswoman AnneMarie Harper said the volunteer who spearheaded their license plate campaign is checking on their options.

“This was news to her as well,” Harper said. “She was not really aware we had a minimum.”

In case you’re curious, here are the plates that will be retired if they don’t hit 3,000 by July:

  • Carbon Fund (1,209)
  • Child Loss Awareness (1,492)
  • Colorado Avalanche (2,277)
  • Craig Hospital (412)
  • Kids First (2,175)
  • State Parks (2,104)
  • Support Education (653)
  • Support the Horse (2,862)
  • Fort Lewis (54)*

*College plates have to register 500 rather than 3,000.

Here are the license plates that could miss their first deadline this year and be given a grace year:

  • Colorado Rockies (1,896)
  • Fallen Heroes (2,931)
  • Flight for life (625)
  • Girl Scouts (285)
  • Protect our Rivers (1,948)

And here are some of the rarest plates in Colorado:

  • World War II (132)
  • Navy Cross (4)
  • Medal of Honor (4)
  • Pearl Harbor (16)
  • Prisoner of War Handicap (1)
  • NORAD Handicap (1)
  • Air Force Cross (8)
  • Veteran Iraq War Handicap (1)

 

 

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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