Recently Purchased Vehicles

How to Register a Recently Purchased Vehicle

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Colorado Dealership

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Private Party Purchase

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Customer receives vehicle title from motor vehicle clerk

Out-of-State Dealership

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Purchase from a Colorado Dealer

You should register your vehicle within 60 days of purchase (before your temporary tag expires).

Financed Purchases

  • Verify with your dealer or lender how they will submit the paperwork – whether it will be directly to our office or to you as the buyer. In most cases, the dealer will send the title paperwork to the Motor Vehicle Division for financed or leased vehicles. You will then receive a white postcard (Title Complete Notice) when the paperwork is completed. At that point, you can register your vehicle online. Note: Tesla often gives the paperwork directly to the buyer instead of sending to our office. Once you have the paperwork and before coming into our office (or scheduling an appointment), please be sure to confirm the Security Agreement from the lender is in your paperwork. If is not, obtain this from your lender and bring it with you when titling and registering your vehicle.
  • If you are still waiting for your Title Complete Notice, you can also check the status of your title paperwork online or contact our office.
  • Re-using License Plates: If you wish to transfer plates from a previously owned vehicle, you will not be able to register your vehicle online. You will either need to make an office visit or contact us to handle the registration remotely.

Cash Purchases

Registration Checklist

Provide the following to register a vehicle purchased from a Colorado dealer:

  • Secure and Verifiable ID
  • Financed purchases only: Title Complete Notice – postcard from the Motor Vehicle Division
  • Cash purchases only: Complete paperwork from the dealer, including vehicle title and dealer invoice/bill of sale
  • Proof of Insurance
  • License plates and/or current registration from previously owned vehicle, if applicable (you can receive credit for reusing plates and/or for any time remaining on your current registration)
  • Proof of emissions test, if required (dealer will provide a passing emissions test or a test voucher good for 3 days)
  • Payment for registration fees & taxes

Estimated Fees

You can estimate your registration fees online (note that this estimate will not include applicable taxes). Be sure to enter the original MSRP (usually different from your purchase price). You may need to look this up online. Fees cannot be estimated over the phone or by email.

License Plate Information

Colorado offers many license plate options. Plates must be renewed every 12-months. You can renew your registration anytime during your registration month or the month after (known as the one-month grace period).

Late Fees

Colorado law requires residents to pay late fees of $25 per month, not to exceed $100. Late fees are not charged if the vehicle has a temporary permit (even if the permit is expired). However, please note that your registration fees will be calculated from the date of purchase.

Vehicle Purchased from a Private Party

You must register your vehicle within 60 days of purchase to avoid late fees. You will need to gather the items below and then visit one of our branches. Click here to make a registration appointment.

In-State Private Party Purchase Checklist

Provide the following to register a vehicle purchased from a private party in Colorado:

  • Secure and Verifiable ID
  • Vehicle Title
    • Make sure the title is properly endorsed (this includes an Odometer Reading if the vehicle is under 10 years old)
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Bill of Sale (in rare circumstances, such as when proper ownership documents are missing, please contact our office for alternative Bill of Sale paperwork)
  • Financed vehicles only: complete paperwork from the lien holder (if not sent to the Motor Vehicle Division) – including security agreement/loan documents
  • License plates and current registration from your previously owned vehicle, if applicable (you can receive credit for reusing plates and/or for any time remaining on your current registration)
  • Proof of emissions test, if required (seller must provide a new passing emissions certificate at the time of sale, even if the old one has time remaining on it)
  • Payment for registration fees & taxes, including Colorado Sales Tax

Out-of-State Private Party Purchase Checklist

Provide the following to register a vehicle purchased from a private party outside of Colorado:

Estimated Fees

You can estimate your registration fees online (estimate will exclude applicable taxes). Be sure to enter the original MSRP, which is usually different from your purchase price. You may need to look this up online. Fees cannot be estimated over the phone or by email.

Registration Timeline

You must register a vehicle purchased from a private party within 60 days of purchase by visiting one of our three DMV branch locations. In order to legally drive your vehicle, you must register the vehicle as soon as possible or apply for a temporary permit.

  • If you purchased the vehicle at a time when our offices are closed (on a weekend, legal holiday, or between 5pm and 8am), you may legally drive the vehicle from the seller’s place to your home (or wherever you intend to store your vehicle) within 36 hours from the time of purchase. You must carry the Bill of Sale and Proof of Insurance in the vehicle.
  • Visit a Motor Vehicle Division office on the next business day to register the vehicle.
  • If you need more time before registering your vehicle, you may apply for a temporary permit.

License Plate Information

Colorado offers many license plate options. Plates must be renewed every 12-months. You can renew your registration anytime during your registration month or the month after (known as the one-month grace period).

Late Fees

Colorado law requires residents to pay late fees of $25 per month, not to exceed $100. Late fees are not assessed if the vehicle has a temporary permit (even if the permit is expired). However, please note that your registration fees will be calculated from the date of purchase.

Vehicle Purchase from an Out-of-State Dealership

You should register your vehicle within 60 days of purchase (before your temporary tag expires).

Financed Purchases

  • If the dealer sends all required paperwork to the Motor Vehicle Division, we will process your title and send you a Title Complete Notice (white postcard).
    • If you receive a Title Complete Notice, you can register your vehicle online. If you are still waiting for your Title Complete Notice, you can also check the status of your title paperwork online or contact our office.
    • We may send you a letter if any required paperwork is missing. In this case, you will need to come to one of our offices to finish titling and registering your vehicle.
    • Re-using License Plates: If you wish to transfer Colorado plates from a previously owned vehicle, you will not be able to register your vehicle online. You will either need to make an office visit or contact us to handle the registration over phone/email.
  • If the dealer mails the paperwork directly to you instead, you will need to visit one of our branches to title and register your vehicle. Click here to make a registration appointment.

Cash Purchases

The dealer will mail the title paperwork to you directly (usually about one month after purchase). After you receive the paperwork, you will need to visit one of our branches to title and register your vehicle. Click here to make a registration appointment.

Registration Checklist

Provide the following to register a vehicle purchased from an out-of-state dealer:

  • Secure and Verifiable ID
  • Financed purchases only:
    • Title Complete Notice, or
    • Complete paperwork from the dealer/lien holder (if not sent to the Motor Vehicle Division), including:
      • Vehicle Title
      • Security agreement/loan documents
      • Miscellaneous documents (e.g., Power of Attorney, Statement of Fact, etc.)
  • Cash purchases only:
    • Vehicle title (notarized if required on title)
    • Odometer disclosure statement if the vehicle is less than ten years old:
      • Disclose on title or secure document
      • Hand-printed names and signatures of buyers and sellers (required)
    • Dealer invoice or Bill of Sale
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Proof of emissions test (if required)
  • VIN inspection (required only for used vehicles)
  • Certified weight slip (if required)
  • Colorado license plates and current registration from your previously owned vehicle, if applicable (you can receive credit for reusing plates and/or for any time remaining on your current registration)
  • Payment for registration fees & taxes, including Colorado Sales Tax. Provide proof of any sales tax already paid to another state.

Estimated Fees

You can estimate your registration fees online (note that this estimate will not include applicable taxes). Be sure to enter the original MSRP (usually different from your purchase price). You may need to look this up online. Fees cannot be estimated over the phone or by email.

License Plate Information

Colorado offers many license plate options. Plates must be renewed every 12-months. You can renew your registration anytime during your registration month or the month after (known as the one-month grace period).

Late Fees

Colorado law requires residents to pay late fees of $25 per month, not to exceed $100. Late fees are not charged if the vehicle has a temporary permit (even if the permit is expired). However, please note that your registration fees will be calculated from the date of purchase.

Contact Us

Motor Vehicle Division

**New as of Jan 4, 2021**
7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Mon-Thurs.
CLOSED Fridays
Online Contact Form
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Phone: 303-413-7710

Fax: 303-413-7725 (Boulder office)
Fax: 303-413-7002 (Lafayette office)
Fax: 303-678-6126 (Longmont office)

Location

Boulder: 1750 33rd Street
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Longmont: 529 Coffman Street
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Lafayette: 1376 Miners Drive
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Mailing Address

1750 33rd Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301