A Colorado vehicle registration is required documentation residents of Colorado are required to have to operate a motor vehicle on the state’s roadways.

Step-by-Step Colorado Vehicle Registration Guide

All residents of the state of Colorado must register their vehicles with their local Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The state of Colorado considers individuals residents of CO if they:

  • Own or operate a business in Colorado
  • Resided in Colorado for 90 days
  • Work in Colorado

Registering New Cars in Colorado

New residents of Colorado need to register their vehicle and obtain Colorado license plates at their local CO DMV within 90 days of establishing residency.

Individuals need to go to their local Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles and present:

  • If a VIN certification is required, a certified VIN verification (Form DR 2698) needs to be performed by a sheriff or other law enforcement officer, or licensed car dealer of the individual’s residing county.
    • This verification is only required if the individual’s vehicle is titled in another state and the vehicle was not purchased as a brand-new vehicle.
  • A completed Application for Colorado Certificate of Title or Registration (Form DR 2395)
  • The current registration from the individual’s previous residing state
  • Proof of a valid Colorado auto insurance policy
  • Valid driver’s license or photo ID or US military ID
  • Receipt or proof of payment for all taxes from the individual’s previous residing state
  • Payment of all taxes and registration fees in Colorado (see Vehicle Registration Fees)
  • Proof of passing an emissions test, if applicable
    • The emissions test depends on the county the individual resides in, in Colorado

Colorado vehicle registrations are valid for 1 year (12 months)

Leased Vehicle Registration in Colorado

New residents of Colorado who wish to register a leased vehicle in the state of Colorado have 60 days to register their vehicle with their local DMV.

Colorado residents must visit their local DMV and provide the following documentation and information:

  • A certified vehicle inspection report by a sheriff from the individual’s new residing county
  • The power of attorney from the leasing business that allowed the individual to register the vehicle
  • Contact information for the leasing company, including the address of the business. The CO DMV office will need to contact the company that leased the vehicle to receive the title information
  • A completed Application for a Colorado Certificate of Title or Registration (Form DR 2395).
  • Proof of a valid Colorado car insurance policy
  • Statement of paid sales tax on leasing company’s letterhead
  • Valid driver’s license or photo ID
  • Payment of all registration fees and taxes in the state of Colorado

Registering a Vehicle Purchased from a Dealer in Colorado

Once an individual purchases a vehicle from a dealership in Colorado, they need to visit their local CO DMV and provide the following if the dealership does not file the registration papers on the CO resident’s behalf:

  • Certificate of Origin from the manufacturer that’s signed over to the individual
  • Certified sheriff’s inspection of the vehicle listed on the registration application
  • Completed Application for Colorado Certificate of Title or Registration (Form DR 2395)
    • Individuals will need photo identification for the county clerk to notarize the signature
    • A completed Total Consideration part revealing the total cost of the vehicle for tax purposes, or individuals can submit a dealer invoice or window sticker showing the price of the vehicle
  • Proof of a valid Colorado auto insurance policy
  • Social security numbers for all listed names on the vehicle title
  • Lien statement (if applicable)
  • Payment of all applicable vehicle registration taxes and frees (see Vehicle Registration Fees”)

Purchased Vehicles from a Private Party

Individuals who purchase a vehicle from a private party that is currently titled in Colorado will need to visit their local CO DMV to submit:

  • The vehicle’s title or current registration certificate
  • Proof of a valid Colorado auto insurance policy
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) verification (Form DR 2698), only if the vehicle was titled in a different state.
    • The VIN verification needs to be completed by a law enforcement officer, a licensed CO emissions testing station agent, or a licensed car dealer.
  • Verifiable identification, such as a U.S. passport, valid driver’s license, or valid U.S. military identification.
  • Proof of a passed emissions test, if required (Emissions test requirements depend on the county in which the vehicle is being registered)
  • Payment for all taxes and fees required (see “Vehicle Registration Fees)

Vehicle Registration Fees in Colorado

The state of Colorado has fixed fees for titling and registering vehicles that are based on three principles:

  • License fee – based on the vehicle’s weight, taxable value, and purchase date
  • Sales tax – based on the vehicle’s net purchase price
  • Ownership tax – a personal property tax that is based on the worth of the vehicle when it was brand new

Vehicle Inspections in Colorado

The following Colorado counties require smog check for all its residents:

  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • Jefferson

Certain locations in the following Colorado counties require emissions testing:

  • Adams
  • Arapahoe
  • Larimer
  • Weld

Registering a Motorcycle in Colorado

Before a motorcycle can be ridden in Colorado, individuals must register it with their local Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles.

New Residents of Colorado

Once individuals who are new to Colorado establish residency, they have 90 days to register their motorcycle at their local DMV office.

Before individuals can register their motorcycle, they need:

  • A Colorado title for the motorcycle or out-of-state registration
  • Proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection (Form DR 2698)

Individuals who wish to register their motorcycle in Colorado have 60 days from the purchase date to so. Individuals need to submit the following documents to their local CO DMV office:

  • A completed Application for Colorado Certificate of Title or Registration (Form DR 2395)
  • Out-of-state registration and title
  • Photo identification
  • Proof of paid sales or usage tax in the previous residing state and proof of a valid Colorado motorcycle insurance policy

Registering a Motorcycle Purchased from a Dealership

CO residents who purchase a motorcycle from a dealership are issued a temporary motorcycle registration before leaving the dealership. Individuals will also receive the motorcycle’s title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO).

Once either of these documents is provided, individuals can either grant the dealer permission to title their motorcycle with their local Colorado DMV.

Registering a Motorcycle Purchased from a Private Sale

Individuals who purchase a motorcycle from a private party must register the motorcycle themselves at their local CO DMV by:

  • Fill out the title form and assign it over to the buyer
  • A completed:
    • VIN verification (Form DR 2698) ONLY if the motorcycle has an out-of-state title.
  • Proof of a valid Colorado motorcycle insurance policy
  • Proof of identity
  • Payment for all applicable registration fees

Motorcycle Registration Taxes and Fees in Colorado

The exact total for the fees that are required when registering a motorcycle in Colorado may vary depending on the motorcycle’s:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Purchase date
  • Taxable value
  • Type of license plates

The total amount an individual owes the Colorado DMV varies from motorcycle to motorcycle. Information regarding fees individuals owe will not be provided by phone.

Colorado residents who wish to know the total amount they owe to CO Division of Motor Vehicles can visit a local CO DMV branch in person.

Registering a Boat in Colorado

Before CO residents can enjoy boating on Colorado’s waterways, they may have to register their boat with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Boat Requirements and Exemptions

The state of Colorado requires its residents to register:

  • Motor-powered boats
  • Sail-powered boats

Colorado residents are not required to register:

  • Boats that are currently registered in a different state that is intended for use on Colorado waters for less than 60 days.
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks

Titling and Registration for Boats in Colorado

After a CO resident purchases a boat, they have 30 days to title and register it with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife by providing this required documentation:

  • A completed Motorboat Transaction Record or Application for Registration and/or Title (Form REGIS1102).
  • Proof of ownership documentation, which can include:
    • The Manufacturer’s Certificate/Statement of Origin
    • The vessel’s title (for new boats, the title must be properly assigned to the new owner).
      • Individuals who are transferring ownership of a boat that was previously owned in a non-titling state, the boat’s most recent registration certificate must be submitted instead.
  • Bill of Sale
  • Photo identification (identification card or driver’s license)
  • Payment for all applicable title and registration fees.
  • Previous registration certificate
  • Court-issues documentation regarding ownership of the boat
  • Certificate of title
  • Payment for all applicable registration fees

Residents of Colorado can take the above-stated documentation in person at their local CO Parks and Wildlife office or mail them to:

Parks and Wildlife
Registration Unit
13787 S. Highway 85
Littleton, CO 80125

Colorado residents are assigned a Colorado registration number that must be painted or attached to each side of the bow of their boat. These numbers must be at least 3-inch block letters and contrast with the color of the vessel to ensure visibility.

Colorado boat registration renewals are valid from January 1 to December 31, regardless of when CO residents obtain their registration. Residents of Colorado can renew their registration online or by mail. The boat title and registration documentation must be kept on board whenever the vessel is being operated.

Vessel Title and Registration Fees in Colorado

Title and registration (or registration renewal) fees for boats in Colorado are as follows:

  • Less than 20 ft: $35.25
  • 20 ft to 30 ft: $45.25
  • 30 ft and longer: $75.25

All persons operating on Colorado waters are required to purchase an Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS) stamp. Residents of Colorado who are applying or renewing their registration will have this stamp fee added to their registration automatically.

Non-residents of Colorado who wish to use their boat on Colorado water can purchase an ANS stamp online.

ANS Stamp Fees:

  • Resident fee: $25
  • Non-resident fee: $50

Boat Registration Renewals in Colorado

Boating Qualifications in Colorado

To legally operate a boat in the state of Colorado, individuals must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age


  • Have completed a state-approved boater safety course if individuals are 14 to 15 years of age

Accepted Forms of Payment

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles accepts:

  • Cash

Some CO DMVs may accept:

  • Visa
  • Master Card
  • Discover

Individuals need to check with their local Colorado DMV to ensure they have a type of payment that is acceptable.

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