If you own a Tesla car in Colorado, you will recently have received a rather scary letter in the mail telling you that you will be in big trouble if you fail to switch over your car license plates from whatever type they were before, to fancy new EV plates. But perhaps like me you already have amateur call letter plates because you have an amateur radio license. If so, how do you make it work with these fancy new EV plates?
The answer, I learned today, is you can’t. If you have amateur call letter plates, an example of which is shown at right, it is impossible (in the Colorado license plate system) to make them into EV plates.
It will be recalled that amateur call letter plates are a bargain at a mere $2 per year above and beyond the other costs of the license plates. You fill out a form once, hand it in, get the amateur call letter plates, and then you never have to think about it again. It’s just that every year the money you have to pay for the license plates is $2 more than it would otherwise be. A report on the state of Colorado web site says that right now there are 2044 amateur call letter plates, representing 0.033% of all Colorado plates. Another way to say this is that in Colorado, about one license plate out of every 3030 license plates is an amateur call letter plate.
It will also be recalled that if you switch to EV plates, there is a one-time cost of $8.06 but there is no recurring cost.
I spoke by phone with the local county motor vehicle office and asked about getting an EV plate that is also an amateur call letter plate. They said they would have to check with somebody in the central office and get back to me. Later I heard back that no, it is impossible to do both.
This means, of course, that according to Colorado state law, I am supposed to display an “EV decal”. This is so that a law enforcement officer would be able to see that my Tesla car is an electric vehicle.