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Driving You Crazy: Is it illegal to have license plate stickers outside the assigned corners?

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Posted at 4:23 AM, Jan 21, 2020
and last updated 2021-08-30 11:31:05-04

Leslie in Denver writes, “What's driving you crazy? Is it illegal to place plate stickers on the plates on other than the assigned corners for Colorado residents? If so, does a person have to get another sticker and place it on the correct corner and remove the wrong placed sticker, do they get a ticket, what's the recourse?”

The simple answer Leslie is yes, it is technically against Colorado State Statute to put the stickers in the wrong spot on your license plate. However, it isn't a major offense. In Colorado, it is a Class B traffic infraction, so a fine and no points.

I see license plates with stickers in the wrong spot all the time. Most times drivers put the month sticker where the year sticker should be or they put the stickers in the top corners of the plate instead of the bottom corners. One of the worst offenders I've seen put stickers, year and month, all over the plate in random spots. The correct placement of the stickers is the year on the bottom right, the month on the bottom left. Most of the law enforcement I’ve spoken with say they care more about you having your registration up to date more than having the stickers in the right spot. But improperly placed stickers can give them enough cause to pull you over.

If you are really concerned that your stickers are not in the right spot and you want a replacement to start over, you can do that. Depending on the type of vehicle you have, there is a nominal fee to buy replacement license plates. Since you are in Denver, I checked with the Denver County Motor Vehicle Department. They state the fee to replace the embossed plates, the regular green and white plates as well as some others like government plates, front & back is $8.06. If you need to replace other designs, since many of them are digital, the cost to replace those per set is $9.92. If you just need one replacement plate, like on a motorcycle or trailer, that will cost $6.17.

MORE: Read more traffic issues driving people crazy

If you keep your old plates and just want new stickers, you can do that too. The replacement fee for new stickers is much, much less. You can get a month tab for just 11 cents and a replacement year tab for $0.17. You have to go into the DMV office to get this accomplished. You can find out some more information about getting replacement plates and stickers at the Denver Motor Vehicle website. For people who don’t live in the city of Denver you need to visit the Colorado DMV to find the branch office near you.

Denver7 traffic anchor Jayson Luber says he has been covering Denver-metro traffic since Ben-Hur was driving a chariot. (We believe the actual number is over 20 years.) He's obsessed with letting viewers know what's happening on their drive and the best way to avoid the problems that spring up. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes , Stitcher , Google Play or Podbean.