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License to be creative

By Lynn Zahorik; courtesy photos

Collabe of personalized license plates

Cars of every shape, color and brand travel the streets and highways of Colorado. What they all have in common is a license plate displaying a series of letters or numbers indicating that the car has been registered with the state. People spend a lot of time in their vehicles, and many look for a way to make their car a reflection of their personality. Personalized license plates, often referred to as “vanity” plates, offer drivers the opportunity to customize their ride with a slogan, abbreviation or phrase. Personalized license plates have grown in popularity and provide a moment of levity and curiosity for other drivers and passengers on the road.

Creative examples of vanity plates are easy to find throughout the Castle Pines community neighborhoods. An east coast girl at heart, Linda Clure’s BSTNGRL license plate declares her devotion to her Boston roots. Snowboarding fan Kathleen Danilchick’s license plate BOARDWP shares her love of cruising down the slopes of Winter Park. A 14 year “vette” owner, John Barringer’s JSTBCUZ license plate sports a witty response to those who inquire “why did you choose a corvette?” Mike Robinson has owned his license plate PRA4SNO for 15 years. He, his wife and his daughter pray for fresh powder for their weekend snowboarding adventures in Vail.

Carol Dilk has enjoyed having a whimsical license plate for many years. TCHRZPT was the first plate she acquired for her 370Z sports car as a high school teacher in Indiana. She would talk about her hobbies and interests on her first day of school and let the students guess what the fun license plate stood for. “It was a great ice breaker and helped them know a little bit about me,” said Dilk. “My students would ask me how fast the ‘Z’ would go, and I’d always say ‘55’ – which was the Indiana speed limit. The kids knew I was kidding.” When Carol moved to Colorado in 2018, she changed professions and is now a realtor. Her latest license plate creation L84AD8 brings a grin to many fellow drivers’ faces.

Jayma Wessling has been an animal rescue volunteer for 16 years. She got her start with the Kansas Humane Society and is now cofounder of Front Range Freedom Rescue. She is devoted to rescuing cats from high in-take shelters and assists with their care before finding them homes. It seems only natural that Jayma would choose CATRSQR as her vanity plate.

“I’ve had cats follow me home since I was a kid,” declared Jayma. “My dream is to open a cute little cat café, where people can sip coffee or tea, and socialize with and adopt cats.”

Personalized plates can be purchased from the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles, however due to COVID-19 closures, they are presently not accepting applications. Customized plates cost $60 upon issuance and an annual $25 fee collected with renewal. These fees are in addition to the Colorado State registration fees. Personalized license plates provide a significant additional revenue opportunity for states.

When contemplating expressing yourself through a personalized license plate, keep in mind the challenges of designing something that no other driver in Colorado has and that the Department of Motor Vehicles must approve your attempt at creativity. For more information on designing and purchasing personalized plates, visit



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