Andrea from Denver writes, "What is driving you crazy? People who put their plate tags on the wrong place on their license plate! Can’t they get a ticket for that??”
The short - short answer Andrea is Yes. The short answer I received from the Colorado State Patrol was also yes, adding that Colorado Revised Statute 42-3-202(I)(b) clearly states where the validating tabs are to be placed. “The current month validating tab or sticker shall be displayed in the bottom left corner of the rear license plate. The current year validating tab or sticker shall be displayed in the bottom right corner of the rear license plate.”
The State Patrol wanted to remind car owners that when the Department of Motor Vehicles issues validation tabs to an owner, the envelope provided has the instructions right on the front telling owners exactly where and how to mount the tabs.
Your question is very similar to another I received from Curt from Buena Vista who writes, “What is driving you crazy? Colorado law requires license plates clearly visible. Every time I'm in my car is see numerous cars with bicycle racks on the rear of the car completely obstructing the license plate. Why isn't the law enforced?”
The Colorado State Patrol tells me that too is an enforceable offense under the same Colorado Revised Statutes code, 42-3-202 section (I)(b). It reads, “The tabs or stickers shall be visible at all times”.
The Colorado State Patrol tells me that they do contact vehicles where license plate visibility is an issue, including when bikes or snowboards or mud or anything else blocks part or all of the license plate, including the tags.
Separately, if you are wondering about the legality of those covers you see over license plates, they are not allowed by Colorado law. Typically, those covers are used to obscure the plates from being read by photo radar cameras. Colorado Revised Statute 42-3-202 (III)(b) clearly states, “A person shall not operate a motor vehicle with an affixed device or a substance that causes all or a portion of a license plate to be unreadable by a system used to automatically identify a motor vehicle. Such a device includes, without limitation, a cover that distorts angular visibility; alters the color of the plate; or is smoked, tinted, scratched, or dirty so as to impair the legibility of the license plate.”
If you see a car with one of those covers, that owner is committing a class B traffic infraction and would face a citation and fine. The CSP says if you can always report violations to them by calling *CSP (*277) on your cell phone.
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 and Twitter or listen to his Driving You Crazy podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and Podbean.