The old adage that reads, "ignorance of the law excuses no one" reminds us that it's absolutely vital to know the basic laws when operating a motor vehicle in Colorado. One of those laws states that the majority of licensed vehicles in the state must display license plates on both the rear and front of the car, truck, etc.

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So, just how illegal is it to only display a rear license plate in Colorado? Keep scrolling to find out.

What Does the Colorado License Plate Law Say?

The law that makes it illegal to operate a vehicle without a front license plate in Colorado is CRS 42-3-202 which states:

“the owner shall attach the number plates assigned to a self-propelled vehicle, other than a motorcycle, autocycle, or street rod vehicle, to the vehicle with one in the front and the other in the rear.”

So, as we see here there are a few exceptions, but the law encompasses the vast majority of licensed motor vehicles in the state.

Why is this Colorado License Plate Law in Place?

The purpose of CRS 42-3-202 is to make it as easy as possible for law enforcement to identify a vehicle, especially when one is involved in a crash, hit-and-run, or other infraction. In addition, the law makes it much easier to identify a vehicle involved in a hit-and-run that resulted in the loss of the front bumper.

What Happens if You're Caught with Only a Rear License Plate in Colorado?

Unless you're driving one of the aforementioned vehicles that are exempt from the law, driving with only a rear license plate will likely get you pulled over by the police, ticketed, and fined anywhere from $15 to $100. 

It should also be noted that the front license plate must be attached to the exterior of the vehicle and placing it in the windshield is not adequate.

Funny + Obscene Banned Colorado License Plates Will Make You Giggle

Road rage is bad enough. Imagine if you had to pull up behind a car with a license plate insulting you. Luckily, the state of Colorado has banned some of these license plates to make the roads a happier place.

Colorado Banned These 'Offensive' License Plates in 2022

Check out some of the 'offensive' license plates that Colorado banned in 2022.

Gallery Credit: Nate Wilde

Rejected License Plates in Colorado From 2021

Here are just a few of the more than 23,000 rejected personalized license plates in Colorado from 2021.

Gallery Credit: Matt Sparx

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