How Do I Register My Car in Colorado?

If you are new to the State, or if you are a resident who has recently purchased a new or used car, you must register your vehicle with the State of Colorado. If your vehicle is already registered in Colorado and you need to renew your registration you can do so at your county title and registration office, or you may be able to complete your renewal by mail or online. Details regarding registering new and used purchases, out-of-state registration, and registration renewal are provided below.

In Colorado, motor vehicle registration fees are administered by individual counties. If you don’t know in which county you reside, you can find out here. The following links will take you to motor vehicle information websites for selected Colorado counties. If your county isn’t listed, you can find its website by clicking here.

Adams County
Arapahoe County
Boulder County
Broomfield County
Denver County
Douglas County
El Paso County
Jefferson County
Larimer County
Mesa County
Pueblo County
Weld County

New or Used Car Purchase from a Dealer:

If you are a Colorado resident and have recently purchased a new or used car from a dealer, you must title and register your vehicle within 60 days following the purchase, C.R.S. §42-3-103(1)(a) (2011).

Generally, the car dealership will provide you with all of the documents you will need to complete the title and registration process. If you financed your purchase, the dealer should send the paperwork to the motor vehicle office in the county where you reside. If you paid for your vehicle in full, you may receive documents to take to your county motor vehicle office, or the dealer may forward the documents for you. You should always confirm the process with your dealer.

For an example from Denver County of how to title and register a new or used vehicle purchased from a dealer, click here.If you are unsure about which documents are required in your county, you should contact your county title and registration office. For a complete listing of county vehicle registration offices, click here.

Used Car Purchase from a Private Individual:

When purchasing a used car from a private individual, you will need to title and register the vehicle in the Colorado county where you reside.

Before heading to your county title and registration office you will need the following documents:

For an example from Denver County of how to title and register a used vehicle purchased from a private individual, click here.

Note: Some counties require proof of Colorado Vehicle Emissions compliance. The requirements for emissions testing vary from county to county. You should check with your county for specific emissions requirements. For a complete listing of county vehicle registration offices, click here.

New to the State:

If you have recently moved to Colorado, you must apply for a Colorado title and registration for your vehicle within 90 days from establishing Colorado residency, C.R.S. §42-6-140 (2011). Colorado residency is established when one of the following criteria is met:

  • You are gainfully employed in Colorado.
  • You own or operate a business in Colorado.
  • You have resided in Colorado continuously for 90 days.

(Out of state students may be exempt from this requirement. Click the Colorado residency link above for more information.)

To register an title an out-of-state vehicle, you must bring the following documents to your county title and registration office:

For an example from Denver County of how to title and register your vehicle if you are a new Colorado resident, click here. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your county title and registration office. To locate the closest title and registration office in your county, click here.

Please note: Some states require you to return the old vehicle license plates. Contact the State Motor Vehicle Department where your vehicle was previously registered and plated to determine their requirements.

Colorado Resident Registration Renewal:

Colorado residents have several options for completing registration renewals. Depending on where you reside, you may have the option of renewing your car registration in person, by mail, or online. Counties will generally send out registration renewal postcards near the end of your registration period. The postcard will include the registration fee for the next year as well as instructions on how to pay the fee and complete other steps (e.g., emissions testing), if necessary.

If you don’t receive a renewal postcard, it is your responsibility to contact your local county clerk or title and registration office. Contact information for all Colorado title and registration offices can be found by clicking here.

After you receive your renewal card, you generally have the option of mailing your payment or bringing the card with you to your county title and registration office to pay in person. If you have questions regarding the renewal process, you should contact your county title and registration office.

In some Colorado counties, car registration renewals may now be completed online. Visit the State of Colorado Online Vehicle Registration Renewal website for a list of participating counties, explanation of fees, general instructions for completing online renewals, and other important information. Click here to visit the Colorado online registration renewal website.

Helpful Links

The following links provide additional information concerning Colorado vehicle registration. If you don’t find the answer to your specific question, please contact your county title and registration office for more information.