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Protect Our Rivers License Plate from Colorado Trout Unlimited - Do you have one yet?

Protect Our Rivers License Plate from Colorado Trout Unlimited - Do you have one yet?

Help the program continue by purchasing yours by June 30th!

We wanted to let you know about an awesome opportunity for you to show off your love for Colorado’s rivers with a specialized license plate. The Protect Our Rivers license plate is the only plate with donations going towards river conservation projects in Colorado. In fact, the license plate has raised over $50,000 for river conservation to date! If you too are interested in sporting a great looking license plate and investing in our rivers, please do so before the end of June 2018 or the plates may no longer be available. We need to get 3000 plates on the road by June 30 - time is running out!

In Colorado, you will also have to pay the state a one-time only $50 fee to get the specialized plate, but after that, the plates are yours forever!  Not yet due to renew your vehicle registration?  No problem!  Your county will pro-rate your registration charge to reflect the months you have already paid on your last renewal.

Help us keep the plates in circulation for the future so that we can help spread the message of river conservation across Colorado and beyond. Get your certificate today here and head over to your local motor vehicle office to claim the plates before the end of June 2018.

Prefer to Read about the Protect Our Rivers License Plate?

Hey everybody, Erik here from basin + bend again. If you've been on Colorado roads here the past few years you may have noticed these plates that similar to the one ones I have here on my family's vehicles that don't look like the typical green mountains that Colorado is known for. You may be asking yourself 'what is the purpose of those plates' or 'what's the cause behind them?'

These are actually a specialty plate program from Colorado Trout Unlimited that is used to generate funds for projects that help conserve, protect and restore Colorado's rivers. The issue we're running into is that the specialty plate programs do have a quota, so we have to have at least three thousand of these plates on the road by June 30th 2018, which is right around the corner, and that's where we need your help.

So how do you participate in this program? You go to and there's a big apply button there. You're gonna fill out the form and make a tax-deductible donation of $25 or more, to Colorado Trout Unlimited, and after you finish that, you're gonna get a document that you can print out and take to your local DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles). At the DMV you're going to have to pay a $50 specialty plate fee to state of Colorado and that part's not tax deductible, but in exchange for that you're gonna get one of these Protect Our Rivers plates which is yours forever. There's no other associated yearly fees or anything along those lines.

The thing to remember is that you don't have to wait until your licenses are up for renewal or you're buying a new vehicle. You can literally swap out these plates at anytime and on any vehicle. So as I mentioned, June 30th is literally right around the corner. So take action today, get on that site,, make that purchase, and provide your support for Colorado's clean, cold water and our rivers with the Protect Our Rivers plate program.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Protect Our Rivers License Plate Program from Colorado Trout Unlimited

General Questions about Colorado Trout Unlimited and the Protect Our Rivers License Plate Program

  • What is Colorado Trout Unlimited? With 11,000 members from 24 chapters across the state contributing over 44,000 volunteer hours annually, Colorado TU is the state’s leading non-profit conservation organization. Colorado TU’s mission is to conserve, protect, and restore Colorado’s rivers.
  • What is the Protect Our Rivers license plate program? In the 2013 legislative session, Senate Bill 224 created a special license plate that would allow drivers to show their support of Colorado’s rivers. Early on, it was decided that the slogan on the license plate would be “Protect Our Rivers” and the phrase was quickly adopted as the name of the overall initiative.
  • How will donations benefit Colorado’s rivers? 100% of the money collected through the Protect Our Rivers license plate program will be used in Colorado TU’s ongoing efforts to conserve, protect, and restore rivers within the state of Colorado.


How to Get the Protect Our Rivers License Plate

  • How much does the Protect Our Rivers license plate cost? To get the Protect Our Rivers license plate, you must make a one-time $25 donation to Colorado Trout Unlimited. In addition, the Department of Motor Vehicles will charge a one-time $50 specialty plate fee.
  • What portion of the cost, if any, is tax-deductible? Colorado Trout Unlimited is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so the $25 donation is tax-deductible. Registration and specialty plate fees are not tax-deductible.
  • What is the renewal fee for the Protect Our Rivers license plate? Once you purchase the license plate, it is yours to keep. There is no renewal fee beyond your usual vehicle registration fee.
  • How do I make the donation to get the license plate? Donations are accepted online at
  • Do I need to be a member of Colorado Trout Unlimited to get the license plate? No, the Protect Our Rivers license plate is available to anyone who makes a $25 donation to Colorado TU.
  • What happens after I make the donation? You will receive a certificate that you will present to the county clerk. The certificate is surrendered to the county in exchange for the plates – you do not get to keep it. Once you submit your certificate and pay the associated fees, the plates are mailed to you.

Vehicle Registration and the County Clerk’s Office

  • Where can I get my Protect Our Rivers license plates? To get the plates, you will need to bring your certificate to your county clerk’s office. See the Division of Motor Vehicles website to find your office. Once you submit your certificate and pay the associated fees, the plates are mailed to you.
  • Do I have to get my plates in person? You must go in person to your local county clerk’s office to submit the certificate and pay the associated fees. The plates will then be mailed to you.
  • Do I have to wait until the registration on my current vehicle expires to get my Protect Our Rivers plates? No, you can get the plates at any time. The DMV will credit you for the unused months in your registration cycle and issue you the new plates with new decals. Your existing plates are yours to keep or throw away – they do not need to be surrendered to the DMV.
  • How do I get Protect Our Rivers plates for a newly purchased vehicle? Bring your certificate and other materials to your county clerk office, just as you would if you were getting standard license plates.
  • What should I take with me to the county clerk when I get my plates? Your certificate from Colorado Trout Unlimited, $50 for the specialty license plate fee, payment for your vehicle registration fee and your renewal postcard, if applicable. Depending on your circumstances, you may also need your driver’s license, proof of insurance, VIN verification, or Colorado emissions test results.
  • What is the $50 special license plate fee? The DMV collects $50 for all special license plates in Colorado. It is a one-time fee at issuance of the plates; you do not need to pay it again unless your plates are lost or stolen. Of the $50, $25 is directed to the Highway Tax Users Fund and $25 is directed to the License Services Cash Fund.
  • What vehicles are eligible for Protect Our Rivers license plates? Passenger vehicles and light truck vehicles that weigh less than 16,000 pounds, motor homes, and motorcycles are eligible.
  • May I keep the same number that is on my current license plate? No, all special license plates are issued with different numbers.
  • Can I order a personalized Protect Our Rivers license plate? Yes, but the river graphic may be replaced by the characters of the personalization.
  • Can I still get a Protect Our Rivers license plate if I live out of state? No, the Protect Our Rivers license plate is available only to Colorado residents.

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