Registering a Car in Colorado
Colorado state law requires you to register any vehicle you purchase before it can be driven. You have 60 days from the date you purchased the vehicle to have it inspected and registered with the DMV. If the car was purchased from a dealership, they will normally file the paperwork for you (check with the salesperson first though, as not all will automatically handle this step for you). If you purchased it from a private party, you will have to register it in person at the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.
Registration for a Recently Purchased Vehicle
It is relatively easy to register your car or truck in Colorado. With Colorado vehicle registration being valid for one year, you will only have to do this every 12 months. The initial registration must be done in person at the DMV, but subsequent registrations can be done by mail or online. Colorado’s vehicle registration fees are decided on the weight, taxable value, and the purchase date. The sales and ownership taxes are based on the vehicle’s net purchase price and the vehicle’s taxable worth when it was new. The best way to tell how much your specific registration fee will be is to see if there is an estimator on your county website, or make an appointment to visit the DMV in person to ask.
For a Colorado car registration appointment, you will need to bring with you:
- The vehicle’s title or current registration certificate
- Valid form of ID
- Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (Form DR 2698) (this verifies your vehicle’s VIN number, and must be filled out by a licensed car dealer, officer of the law, or a licensed CO emissions testing technician)
- Proof of passing an emissions test (applicable only in certain counties)
- Proof of minimum liability insurance for the vehicle
- Enough cash to cover your registration fees (though some counties also accept credit cards)
New Colorado Residents Registration
You are considered a new resident if you work or own a business in Colorado or if you have lived in the state for 90 days. Once your residency has been confirmed, you will have to go to your county DMV office with your VIN verification form and follow the steps outlined above for recent vehicle purchases. If you keep driving your out-of-state registered vehicle in Colorado without updating the registration, you can have your license suspended and late fees applied until the registration is made current.
Vehicle Registration for Military Members
If you are serving in the military and have been stationed in Colorado, you have two options for registering a car in Colorado. If you are only going to be here for a short period of time, you can leave your vehicle registered with your home state. If you decide to register your vehicle, simply bring a copy of your military ID, along with your current military stationing orders. You will also need to bring a copy of your current leave and earnings statement, and your VIN verification form. If you are stationed in and live in Colorado, simply follow the standard vehicle registration process.