About Replacing a Car Registration in Colorado
A damaged, stolen or lost car registration in Colorado can be a costly inconvenience, especially if it results in being ticketed for driving without proper credentials. You should replace any lost vehicle registration card, license plate or validation tab as soon as you notice it is missing or damaged. Every driver is responsible for carrying valid registration documentation.
Note that when you request a new copy of registration documents or license plates, the process for each type of request will vary. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) provides several methods of replacing registration documents. For more information on replacing your car registration, review the sections below.
Replacing a Lost Car Registration in Colorado
If you need replacement car registration credentials, there are several ways of taking care of this issue. Many drivers find it easiest to order registration replacement cards online through Colorado’s DMV website.
To get a duplicate car registration in CO, you must provide certain pieces of information, including:
- Your license plate number.
- Your vehicle identification number (VIN) or DMV verification code.
You must also pay the replacement fee using a credit card or an eCheck.
It can take several weeks to receive your replacement card in the mail. With this in mind, it is best to print the confirmation page to carry as proof of registration until your new card arrives.
“Can you print your car registration online?” is a commonly asked question. At this time, you cannot. You must wait for it to arrive in the mail.
The Colorado DMV encourages drivers to use the online system whenever possible. However, you may also apply for a CO auto registration replacement card in person at your county’s motor vehicle office. Note that each county may have a slightly different application process for registration replacements.
If it is inconvenient to visit a DMV office in person, you can ask your local DMV office for instructions on how to submit your paperwork by mail.
Note: If you want to replace your registration due to a name or address change, you must perform a completely different process.
Download our free, helpful guide to find out more about obtaining a duplicate car registration.
Getting a Colorado Copy of Registration Stickers or License Plates
If you need a DMV copy of registration tabs (stickers), you can request these in one of three ways in most counties: online, in person or by mail. However, residents of Crowley or Hinsdale counties cannot order new tabs online.
To replace tabs online, the steps include visiting the Colorado online DMV portal, entering the required information and paying the applicable fees. You will receive your new tabs by mail within a week or two.
Lost registration license plates can be replaced online or in person. However, personalized or vanity license plates must be obtained in person. License plates ordered through the state’s online DMV portal will have a standard configuration featuring a different number than your originals.
You will need to submit your license plate number and other details about your vehicle. You will also need to verify that you have the correct mailing address on file because this is the address where your new plates will be sent. It can take up to three weeks to receive your new car tags by mail.
Replacing Car Registration Tags After Theft
There are additional steps if you need to replace car registration license plates that have been stolen. Each DMV branch office has a special affidavit form that you must sign to verify that your plates were stolen. At least one of the vehicle’s owners must sign the affidavit. Submitting the form is required to cancel the license plates. You must also contact your local law enforcement agency to report the theft.
Download our helpful guide for more tips on what to do after damaging or losing your car registration.