Mike from Northglenn writes, “What's driving you crazy? Fleet license plates. The white plates with red letters that say fleet. I see almost all of them with no expiration stickers, month or year, on them. Most of them are on rental cars. Are they a forever plate that does not have to be renewed every year, or are the companies just not putting them on the license plates?”
Your question, Mike, is one of a group of questions regarding license plates that I get often. Drivers all over Denver send me more emails about expired license plates than any other issue. Many complaints are from people seeing expired stickers, others are expired temporary tags, sometimes well over a year expired. Here are a few previous stories of mine regarding those issues;
- Can you get away with not registering your car in Colorado if the out-of-state license plate “year” sticker is not displayed?
- How has this driver gone this long without getting their permanent plates?
- Are European plates legal in Colorado?
- Is it illegal to have license plate stickers outside the assigned corners?
As for the registration for fleet plates, they are handled under Colorado Revised Statutes 42-3-125. Many times, these vehicles are registered not just for one year but for multiple years. Years in the future where a sticker has not been created yet. The multi-year agreement makes it easier for a business, like a rental car company, to keep a large number of vehicles registered with the state without having to make sure each individual vehicle in the fleet has the correct sticker on it.
In section b of statute 42-3-125, it states, “The department may promulgate rules to establish requirements for a fleet operator to register the operator's fleet vehicles and have them identified by special license plates that do not require an annual validating tab or sticker. Registration fees payable on fleet vehicles under a multi-year agreement shall not be discounted below the otherwise applicable annual registration fees.”
That last part of the statute speaks to the 25 percent registration fee discount given to fleet vehicle owners as well as to a host of other vehicle owners that fall under other special circumstances. If you need something to fall asleep to, feel free to read through CRS 42-3-304 to 42-3-306 and find out what those special circumstances are.
While it may seem that anyone can get a fleet plate and skirt the registration every year, those vehicles have to be legally registered first to receive the fleet plate designation. If the registration is not renewed, then the operator is in violation of the law and can be ticketed and/or face penalties and fines when eventually registering that vehicle again.
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.