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E-470 Public Highway Authority

Colorado Senate Bill 90: Temporary License Plate Legislation

E-470 Public Highway Authority

Award Category: 
Administration & Finance
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This program was intended to improve the overall effectiveness of Colorado's temporary license plates by creating a standardized tag design, specifications for placement of the tag on the vehicle and a database for vehicle owner identification.


Three main objectives were to reduce leakage (lost revenue) resulting from inability to read temporary tags in the rear window due to misplaced tags, damaged/unreadable tags, tinted windows, fraud, etc.; increase safety measures for law enforcement by making the temporary license plate easier to identify at a distance, and by creating a database for vehicle identification and reduce the ability to counterfeit the temporary license permits/tags.


For the Customer

The new standardized process helped eliminate customer confusion surrounding temporary tags. The new database is streamlined and provides the Authority more accurate address information meaning the customer receives a bill in a timely manner.

For the Authority

The initiative reduced the gross revenue lost due to the inability to read the paper tags by $6.7M when comparing the six quarters before the program to the six quarters after implementation of the newly designed tags and the streamlined database that allowed for improved identification of the registered owner of the vehicle.

For the Community

Local law enforcement agencies are now able to read the plate and complete a plate lookup before approaching the vehicle, increasing officer safety. Auto dealers received an updated, cloud-based vehicle registration and temporary license plate application that improved customer service at the time of vehicle sale. In addition, the new temporary tags provide a streamlined design and set requirements for the mounting of the tag on the vehicle.

For the Government

The Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles received a cloud-based temporary registration permits application that was available to county clerks and DMV offices that provided an improved searchable database integrated with the permanent license plate and registration database. This improved efficiencies and enhanced effectiveness.

This initiative is now being considered for use in Texas by the Texas DMV and the Texas Auto Dealers Association. In addition, this Colorado Legislative effort was used to model a similar temporary license plate program by the California DMV. This program has been used as a model within the toll industry because it is a true testament to what teamwork and collaboration can mean for a statewide initiative aimed at improving safety and enhancing business efficiencies. In the end, this program has benefited everyone from toll authorities to law enforcement agencies to government entities to customers. It demonstrated that a local toll authority (Colorado political subdivision), was able to partner with several state agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies, statewide local governments (64 county clerks) and private businesses (Colorado's auto dealers) in order to persuade the Colorado State Legislature to pass legislation, which in turn improved the business processes for all key stakeholders. In addition, the local toll authority (E-470), through a one-time grant, was able to spare taxpayers the cost of this project.