Coloradans invited to participate in state’s 150th anniversary commemorative license plate design contest


Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) visited Shelton Elementary School on Oct. 19 in Golden to help a class of third-graders with their Historic Colorado Contest license plate designs.

The Historic Colorado Contest gives residents and students a shot at designing Colorado’s 150th anniversary license plate, plus $1,000. The contest is accepting submissions until Wednesday, Nov. 30, and has two divisions — 13 and older, and under 13.

“When Shelton Elementary asked if we could speak with their students about the Historic Colorado Contest, we were more than happy to help,” DMV Communications Manager Derek Kuhn said. “We’re always looking for ways to engage Coloradans, and this was a fun and unique way to do just that.”

After introductions, DMV staff members provided feedback and suggestions to the children, who are finalizing their license plate designs. 

“The students did a fantastic job,” said DMV Vehicle Services Inventory Manager Chris Hochmuth, whose team oversees license plates. “The creativity and passion for our great state was inspiring — the students were just so enthusiastic about Colorado.” 

Shelton Elementary School Principal Tracy Krug said she was happy the DMV was able to help her students understand the finer points of license plate design.

“Our students have been working very hard on their designs and to have DMV staff here giving feedback was phenomenal,” Krug said. “The contest is a fun and unique way to teach Colorado history and art and I hope other school’s can follow our example in making history engaging with the DMV.”

Not to be left out, the DMV is sharing the tips it gave to Shelton Elementary third-graders when designing an entry:

• Use contrasting colors — this will help the design stand out.

• Do not be afraid to use white space — this can help graphics pop.

• Keep text short and sweet.

• Read all of the instructions to ensure your design is within the guidelines.

• Remember, each Colorado resident or student can submit three entries. 

About the Historic
Colorado Contest

Up to 10 finalists per division will be selected by a committee with a final, public vote on the top three designs. The winners will get huge bragging rights, the DMV will feature the artists in all media releases and the winners will each receive a special commemorative license plate and a $1,000 grant.

Entries will be judged on how well the artwork captures Colorado and its history, the artistic quality and its originality, and how well that design translates into becoming a Colorado license plate.

The Historic Colorado Contest is free to enter and must enter the participant’s original artwork. Coloradans interested in participating in the Historic Colorado contest can visit for complete information, terms and conditions, and templates for drafting submissions. 

The DMV will accept a variety of file formats such as EPS, SVG, AI, PDF and high resolution TIFF and JPEG (3.375 in x 2.125 in at 600 dpi) for entries, and asks that submissions not have any watermarks. Coloradans should email their designs and entry form to 

The Historic Colorado Contest is a low-cost effort to honor Colorado’s history and 150th anniversary with a commemorative license plate. Voting for the winning designs is anticipated to begin in early 2023.