How to Apply for a Car Registration in Colorado
You must obtain a Colorado DMV registration from the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after buying or acquiring a car. The state’s vehicle registration requirements apply to new and used cars or trucks regardless of how you obtained the vehicle. For example, you must still maintain a valid registration for a vehicle even if you inherited it or received it as a gift.
There are different processes for registering dealer-bought cars versus cars acquired through a private sale.
The Colorado DMV allows state residents 60 days to obtain a new registration after purchasing a car, while new residents have 90 days to switch their CO auto registration to their new home state. Continue reading to learn how to properly register a vehicle in Colorado.
Colorado Vehicle Registration Requirements
When you buy a vehicle from a car dealership, the dealer usually handles the new car registration in CO. This means that the dealer will submit your vehicle registration records and paperwork on your behalf, eliminating the need to appear in person at the DMV. For your protection, make sure that the dealer has done this before you leave the dealership with your new vehicle.
If you buy your car from a private seller, or receive a vehicle through an inheritance or a gift, you must visit the DMV to submit your registration request in person. If you are a new Colorado resident, you must switch your out-of-state Colorado vehicle registration in person at your county’s local DMV office.
The DMV requires registration applicants to bring some of the following documents and information:
- Your vehicle title or current vehicle registration
- A valid form of photo ID
- The emissions inspection form, if required
You may need to provide additional documents depending on the situation. Download our free, helpful guide to find out everything you will need to complete the application process.
Colorado car registration requirements are somewhat different for military members who are stationed overseas, or for active duty military members stationed in Colorado. Service members may be exempt from paying certain taxes in Colorado, but must be able to provide a copy of their orders as proof of being stationed at a military base within the state.
Where to Get a Colorado DMV Car Registration
If you are wondering, “Where can I find car registration near me?” it should be easy to find a DMV office nearby. Colorado vehicle registration services are offered statewide at the Colorado Department of Revenue’s network of county offices.
Note that there is a separate network of CO driver license offices and registration services may not be available at these locations. Furthermore, the department has kiosk locations for car registration renewals but you cannot obtain a new registration or transfer an out-of-state registration at a DMV kiosk.
Colorado Vehicle Registration Fees
DMV car registration fees in Colorado are primarily based on the type of vehicle being registered and its weight. Additional fees may be applied by the county of residence and the type of license plate you choose. Colorado also has specific ownership taxes based on the vehicle’s year of manufacture and its original taxable value.
Ways to Pay Car Registration Fees in Colorado
Colorado DMV registration fees must be paid at the time you submit your registration paperwork. Every Colorado county motor vehicle office accepts payments by cash or check.
Most counties also accept MasterCard, Visa and Discover cards. Only Weld and Yuma counties accept American Express cards as a payment option when registering a vehicle.
Download our in-depth guide for step-by-step instructions on getting your car registration.