License Plates

history of the colorado c.o.p.s. license plate

Over 3,000 signatures of interested citizens were gathered to demonstrate to the state that there was an interest from the public for this type of license plate.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 12-1023 on April 26, 2012 in a ceremony at the Colorado Capitol, establishing a Colorado Law Enforcement Fallen Heroes License Plate. Larimer County Sheriff's Office Deputy Basil Marciniak originated the idea for the license plate in response to the death of Weld County Sheriff's Deputy Sam Brownlee. Northern Colorado legislators B. J. Nikkel and Steven King sponsored the legislation.

Justin Smith, who was then the Larimer County Sheriff, attended the ceremony with the Governor, and said, "This is an opportunity for citizens to recognize and remember the ultimate sacrifices many law enforcement officers have made and the risks officers face on a daily basis."

Like most of the northern Colorado law enforcement community, Deputy Marciniak was deeply affected by the death of Deputy Brownlee. He contacted Colorado C.O.P.S., an organization dedicated to assisting families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, with an idea to create the specialty plate. In conjunction with Colorado C.O.P.S. and Deputy Marciniak, a license plate was designed and donated by Luke Burton with Huston Graphics and Printing of Windsor.

Instructions for making a donation for Fallen Hero license plates:

1. Use the above “Donate” button to link to PayPal

You don’t need to have a PayPal account and can use your credit card

2. On the payment page click the “Continue” link in the lower left above the picture of credit cards

3. Make your $50 donation to Colorado C.O.P.S. and make sure you print out the receipt from within the PayPal site.

4. Make sure the name on the receipt matches the name of the vehicle owner. Take the receipt to your local Colorado Motor Vehicle office along with your insurance and vehicle registration information.

Thank you for supporting the survivors of Colorado’s fallen law enforcement officers!


When you make a donation to Colorado C.O.P.S. for the Fallen Hero license plates through our PayPal system, the name on your payment must match the name of the person who is registering the license plates. What this means is that if you have a PayPal account for your business or some other purpose that has some other name than the one that is on your identification please use the credit card option so that the clerk at the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, can match the name from your donation to the vehicle registration. Thank you!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Where does my donation go?

All donations go directly to the Chapter and all funds stay in-state, dedicated to supporting survivors of Colorado’s Fallen Heroes.

Is the license plate donation tax deducible?

Colorado C.O.P.S. is a 501(c)(3) public chartity and our EIN is 84-1271759. While donations should be tax-deductible, we advise confirming all deductions with your tax profressional.

My local DMV office asked for an additonal "Certificate" or "PIN" in addition to the donation receipt to register my vehicle, what should I do?

Our PayPal reciept that indicates you made a donation for the purpose of Fallen Hero license plates is our Certificate as per the Department of Revenue. While some organizations issue a PIN for speciality plates, we are not one of them because we issue this Ceritifcate receipt. You may need to ask for a suprvisor to explain this.

I would like spread the message about your plates, do you have anything I can share with friends, family, or co-workers?

Yes, absolutely! Please download our Fallen Hero License Plate Flyer. Thank you again for your support!