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Colorado Buying a Vehicle

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Colorado requires vehicle owners to title and register them before driving them on public roads. The Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) processes vehicle titles and registrations within the state. The following will help you to better understand the process.

Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Car Dealership

Whenever you buy a vehicle from a dealership in Colorado, the dealership likely has the ability to process DMV title and registration requests on the spot. You need to insure the vehicle so that the dealership can initiate the title transfer and registration process. The dealership likely can provide you with either a license plate or a temporary registration. You can display the temporary registration until receiving your Colorado license plate from the DMV. The dealership can take care of the processing of all taxes and fees and include it in the selling price.

Obtaining a Title and Registration for a Vehicle Bought from a Private Seller

When you obtain a vehicle from a private seller, you will need to insure it before you can obtain a registration. The seller should give you a signed title that includes his or her name listed on it by the DMV. You can obtain a title right away by … If the vehicle is more than 6 model years’ old, it needs to pass an emissions test before you can register it. Once that is done, you can register as well as title the vehicle. You only can title a vehicle at a local DMV service center and must bring the signed title from the seller. If you are registering the vehicle as well as obtaining a title, you will need to provide proof of insurance. The successful emissions test likely was reported electronically by the emissions testing center. But you also can bring a paper copy of the successful emissions test. You also need to bring a bill of sale that indicates the selling price for the vehicle, which the state will use that to determine the tax. A properly completed Colorado Application for Title and/or Registration can help to ensure you have all you need to obtain your title and registration.

Filling Out the Title

The title should include the name of the owner or owners and the location where it will be parked. You will need to provide an odometer reading, which helps to prevent fraud by accurately tracking mileage from one owner to the next. The title also will include the year, make, model and VIN number for the vehicle and list any lienholders that might have a financial interest in your new vehicle.

Registering the Purchased Vehicle

Once you have the state-mandated insurance minimums on your titled vehicle and it passes an emissions test if required , you can apply for a registration by submitting a completed Application for Title and/or Registration and paying the appropriate fee.

Submitting Payment

You can pay with a credit card, debit card, personal check, money order or cashier’s check at a local DMV service center when you submit the application for a title and/or registration.

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Last Verified:
Aug 10, 2022