Colorado Car Title Transfer and Registration

Vehicle registration is required for all Colorado car owners in order to legally drive on CO roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.

If you recently established Colorado residency, you have 90 days to register your vehicle and obtain Colorado license plates.

The state defines residency as:

  • You own or operate a business within Colorado.
  • You’ve resided in Colorado for 90 days.
  • You work in Colorado.

If you do not register your vehicle within the required 90 days, the state will issue a late fee.

Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process

Once you establish residency, visit the DMV registration office in person in the county where you reside with:

  • Vehicle identification number (VIN) verification (Form DR 2698), if your vehicle was titled in another state.
    • This must be completed by a law enforcement officer, a licensed car dealer, or a licensed CO emissions testing station agent.
  • Either the car’s title, or current vehicle registration certificate if you are making payments to own on your vehicle.
  • Secure and verifiable identification (e.g., U.S. passport, out-of-state photo driver’s license, or valid US military ID).
  • Proof of passing an emissions test, if applicable.
    • This will depend on the county you reside in.
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Payment for your CO vehicle registration fees

Colorado vehicle registration is valid for 12 months.

To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at the CO DMV, visit, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.