Colorado launches online auction for vanity license plates

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DENVER -- Valuable and high-demand personalized plates were being sold in an online auction that started on Thursday. These are plates which have been either long retired or often requested and refused by the state.

Thanks to some smart business folks at Zimmerman Consulting, the state stands to rake in millions from plates such as 2FAST4u, FLYFISH, SWEET, and SPOILED.

While the auction folks worked with the Governor’s Office to come up with a law allowing them to acquire the rights to thousands of vanity plate options, they will use an online auction to get a sense of how much interest there is in some of the numbers 0-99 and letters A-Z.

“We have the rights to all kinds of vanity plates,” said Marty Zimmerman. “Our hope is that people will bid and plates will sell, with a goodly portion of the profits going to folks in the disabled community statewide.”

A citizens committee set up by the Governor came up with the idea in hopes of coming up with a new revenue stream which they think can generate up to a million dollars a year to help folks in between registering and getting their benefits.

“This could be a vehicle to help keep them stay afloat while they await benefits,” said T.H. Mack Sr.

In fact, the first $1.5 million raised will be given to the Disability Benefit Support Contract Committee, which will send the money to charities.

The state will—by law—get the next $2 million. After fulfilling the obligations mandated by a new law allowing for the sale of plates, the monies will still go to help the disabled.

In other states, low numbers sell for a lot of money. In Delaware #11 went for $675,000. In Texas FERRARI sold for $15,000. And in Dubai #1 went for $14.3 million. Here, the auction folks already know plates such as Bronco, #7 & #18 will also be worth big money. Those have been held out of the initial sale.

“We will use this online auction to better understand how to run an online and live [auction] come January of next year,” said Zimmerman.

Here is the list of the first 13 plates to go up for auction and the rest of the info you will need to bid. Bidding starts at $500 for each of the 13 plates.

  • Timing: The online auction runs from midnight on 8/21 until 11:59p on 9/2.
  • How to bid: Interested bidders can visit or download the Handbid app on their mobile devices, then search for the Colorado Plates auction.