SummaryOn our Colorado Car Registration page, you’ll find information about car registration in Colorado, including details about registration renewals, late fees, emissions tests, car registration fees, changing an address on Colorado vehicle registration, and acceptable payment methods for vehicle registration.
Registering a Vehicle in ColoradoYou may register your vehicle or trailer in person at your nearest Colorado DMV office. Driver and vehicle services are administered by the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Below are important requirements for vehicle registration in Colorado, you must register:
- Within 60 days of your new car purchase.
- Within 90 days of becoming a Colorado resident.
- Within 45 days after returning to the United States.
- If you are the owner of a foreign vehicle in Colorado.
- If you are a nonresident who operates a business in Colorado with a motor vehicle trailer, semi-trailer, or trailer coach.
WHAT YOU NEED AT THE DMV
- A vehicle title assigned in the owner’s name OR an unexpired out-of-state registration.
- VIN Verification, if your vehicle has an out-of-state title.
- Acceptable documents to prove your identity, such as:
- Any Colorado Driver License.
- CO Driver Permit or CO ID Card (current or expired less than 1 year)
- Out-of-state issued photo driver’s license or photo ID card, or photo driver’s permit (current or expired less than 1 year).
- U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card.
- NOTE: For a full list of documents, you may visit the CO DMV website.
- Proof of Colorado Vehicle Emissions, (if applicable).
- Gas or Diesel – See Emissions Testing below to read more.
- Proof of Car Insurance.
- Fees for your vehicle registration (varies by vehicle)
- See Vehicle Registration Fees in CO below for more information.
Emissions Testing for Car RegistrationThere are specific counties that require an emissions test in Colorado for vehicle registration (gas vehicles). Those counties include: Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, Portions of Addams, Portions of Arapahoe, Portion of Larimer, and Portions of Weld. To find out specifically if your county requires an emissions test prior to submitting your vehicle registration application for either a gas or diesel vehicle, please contact your nearest Colorado DMV office.
Renewing Your CO RegistrationYou can renew your Colorado vehicle registration online or in person at your local Colorado DMV office. To be eligible, your registration must expire within 1 month and your vehicle must not have a hold. Late fees apply after it expires for 1 month. Be sure to have your license plate number, VIN and current Colorado Car Insurance available. You may also need to have a current vehicle emissions report.
Renewal Notices for CO Car RegistrationFebruary Renewal Cards are delayed 3 weeks. If you have a vehicle with registration that expires in February but do not know if your vehicle requires an emissions test, the Colorado DMV recommends that you first try to renew your vehicle registration online. For specific questions about Vehicle Registration in your situation, you may need to contact your nearest Colorado DMV county office.
Replace Colorado Vehicle TabsYou can replace your Colorado tabs online or in person at your nearest DMV location. You’ll need to have the following information available:
- License plate number
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Payment with an acceptable credit card or check
Out-of-State Registration Transfers in Colorado
You can register your vehicle in Colorado as soon as you establish your residency.
You’ll need to bring your out-of-state vehicle title and/or registration for the vehicle (no more than 6 months expired), your driver’s license, proof of Colorado insurance, and complete a VIN verification at your nearest CO DMV office location.
To find out if your county requires a current Colorado emissions test, you’ll need to speak with your nearest CO DMV office in your county.
Changes to Your Colorado RegistrationNOTE: You must change the address on your car registration within 30 days of moving to your new address. You can change the address on your Colorado car registration online, by mail or in person at your local Colorado motor vehicle office. Changes Online You may change the address on your vehicle registration in Colorado online. Be sure to have your customer identifier number. Changes By Mail To change the address on your CO vehicle registration, you must submit a completed Change of Address Form (DR 2285) and mail it to:
Transfer Your Vehicle Plates in ColoradoTo transfer your current plates to your new vehicle, it must meet the following criteria:
- At least 1 owner must be shown on both car registrations.
- The vehicle must be eligible for the plate type.
Vehicle Registration Fees in COFees are based on the empty weight and vehicle type. In Colorado, vehicle owners are subject to various car registration fees including:
- Sales tax – based on the net purchase price of the vehicle.
- Licensing fee – based on vehicle weight, date of purchase, and taxable value.
- Ownership tax – the Colorado DMV charges a personal property tax based on the vehicle’s original value (85% of MSRP).
Late fees?If you do not register your new vehicle within 61 days of purchasing, there will be vehicle registration late fees. you must pay a $25 per month late fee for up to 4 months. Normally there is a grace period of 1 month for most registration after expiration.
Payment MethodsThe Colorado county motor vehicle offices normally accept cash, check (payable to DOR), Master Card, Visa, Discover and American Express. To be certain of the acceptable payment method at your county motor vehicle office for vehicle registration, you’ll need to contact your nearest Colorado DMV office location.
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