Have you ever noticed that some Colorado license plates have two ribbon-like lines, located right in the middle under the dash? This helix is more than just a random design feature.

Broz1014 via Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0
Broz1014 via Wikimedia/CC BY-SA 4.0

These light-gray wavy lines help Colorado law enforcement visually identify counterfeit license plates.

The technical name for the markings is "Ensure Virtual Security Thread" and the anti-counterfeiting product is made by 3M. The threads use retroreflective sheeting, which is a technology that consists of glass beads or microscopic prisms to return the light. Road signs have been coated with this sheeting for almost 100 years and license plates since the 1940s. It’s the reason that signage and other plates appear to light up when your headlights hit them.

In addition to the spirals, other Colorado license plates may have a different reflective watermark, like a light faint "C" but they still serve the same purpose. If you shine a flashlight on your license plate, the squiggly lines (or whatever the other design is) are easier to see. These holograms help police officers validate a legitimate license plate during a traffic stop.

Twenty-six states, including Colorado, use security threads on license plates.

Oppositely, six states, Connecticut, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New Hampshire have no counterfeiting stamps, seals, or threads on their plates.

Colorado License Plate by Broz1014/ CC BY-SA 4.0

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.

Awesome Designs From Colorado's 133 License Plates

When it comes to getting license plates in Colorado, you don't have to settle for anything. Did you know Colorado currently has 133 different designs to choose from?

The gallery below is barely a dent in the designs from which you can choose. Of course, there are criteria to be met for some designs. Still, you have a wide variety of creative designs to satisfy your special interests.

Gallery Credit: Waylon Jordan

Colorado's Most Popular License Plates in 2023

Before hopping into Colorado’s favorite license plates of 2023, let’s set one ground rule first. For one, we will only be looking through the Group Special License Plate category. These are plates that are initiated by a nonprofit and must need a petition of at least 3,000 people to qualify.
The reason is because, to be frank, if we counted regular license plates, this list would get boring quite quickly. However, one regular plate will be getting an honorable mention, since it took the state by storm this year.
Without further adieu, let’s dive into Colorado’s most popular license plates from 2023.

Gallery Credit: David Damuth

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