COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado — COVID outbreaks in our state prisons are impacting the speed with which some drivers can get license plates. The Colorado Division of Motor vehicles announced on Wednesday that the delays primarily affect specialty license plates, like those which feature local colleges, professional sports teams, and branches of the US military.
El Paso County Clerk and Recorder Chuck Broerman explained that the specialty plates are printed after they are requested by a driver. The DMV uses a contract with the state prison system to print and mail out the plates.
"Citizens can still get their green and white plates for their vehicles, but if somebody wants the 10th Mountain Division or the US Air Force Plates or one of 140 other plates that we offer in the State of Colorado, that availability has been severely restricted because of COVID concerns," Broerman said.
The current delays are long enough that temporary tags on a new vehicle purchase may expire before the new plates arrive in the mail. Broerman said customers facing this situation can request an extension on their temporary tag or ask for a letter from the DMV that can be provided to law enforcement during a traffic stop.
"That letter gives you consideration with law enforcement if you get pulled over so that they have a more complete picture of what the situation is," Broerman said.
As with many businesses, DMV offices have had to reduce capacity to abide by the state's COVID dial framework. In-person visits to their motor vehicle offices require an appointment. With virus activity declining, Broerman hopes the county will soon expand the capacity limits.
In the meantime, he recommends that drivers take advantage of the many online services that are available for like license plate renewals and fee payments. Multiple locations in Southern Colorado also have kiosks that can be used without needing to make an appointment. In Southern Colorado, the kiosks can be found at motor vehicle offices in Custer, El Paso, Fremont, and Pueblo Counties.