‘Duplicate’ license plate letters open new lines of communication
DENVER – Five years of miscommunication between the state Department of Revenue and individual counties’ motor vehicle departments ended Wednesday, with license plate configurations being the source of all the trouble. Letters have been going out to some drivers in Summit County, Park County and an unknown number of other Colorado counties when they transfer “2-4” plates -two letters followed by two numbers – from an old vehicle to a new vehicle. The letters say the driver has a duplicate license plate and that they need to re-register for a different number.Identity theft and recordkeeping sprung up as concerns for recipients of the letter, but as it turns out, these worries were unfounded. Maren Rubino, operations director for the state Division of Motor Vehicles, Titles and Registration, explained the problem’s genesis. In the “olden days,” as Rubino, calls them, Colorado drivers were issued “2-4” plates. The state issued the same “2-4” configuration for different vehicle types – trucks, trailers and passenger vehicles – and did not consider the plate duplicated if the vehicle type on the plate was different. That all changed in 2002 when legislation was passed that required different configurations for each individual plate, regardless of whether the vehicle type was different. Rubino said that after the legislation was passed in 2002, the new configuration system was implemented in 2003 and should have been completed in 2004. The state held a VIN number lottery – lowest VIN number wins – to determine who kept a “2-4” plate configuration if multiples were in existence. Those who lost out in the lottery were required to get new plates with a new configuration. And with that the strings of the old “2-4” system were tied up – except for the “duplicates” letters issued by some counties when “2-4″ plates from old vehicles were transferred to new vehicles.”This whole thing is really a training issue,” Rubino said, referring to the fact that the county was supposed to call the state and inform them that the new vehicle had the “2-4″ plate (and was a VIN lottery winner) and the old vehicle no longer had the plate configuration attached to it.”They hadn’t taken the option off the menu,” Rubino said, referring to the counties experiencing the problems with “duplicates” letters being issued. Brenda O’Brien, supervisor at Summit County motor vehicles, said she wishes the state had said everyone had to give the “2-4” plates up instead of holding a VIN number lottery because things would have been easier in the long run. Now that the lines of communication are open and clear, records will be updated to align with the 2002 legislation and letters will no longer be issued when a driver transfers a plate from one car to another. Lindsey Krusen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at (970) 668-4620.
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