Car owners must apply for a Colorado DMV license plate whenever they purchase a new or used vehicle from a dealership or a private seller. Motorists must apply for CO car registration plates within 60 days of purchasing a vehicle, or within 90 days of establishing state residency. In any case, drivers may apply for new registration plates through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is operated by the state Department of Revenue (CDOR).

If you are a vehicle owner who already has a registration plate, you must be mindful of when to renew your license plate credentials and obtain car tag decals before your registration expires. Moreover, if your plate has been damaged significantly, you may request to replace it with a new one. To learn more about how to get a license plate, as well as how to renew, replace or transfer an existing one, review the information below.

Types of License Plates in Colorado

When applying for car registration tags in Colorado, vehicle owners may choose among the various different options offered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Common types of DMV car tags include regular license plates, military plates, alumni plates and special license plates. Other types of plates include dealer or manufacturer plates, special plates for farm equipment, as well as plates for horseless carriages or apportioned vehicles. Furthermore, standard car registration plates are available in the following types:

  • Plates for passenger vehicles, motorcycles or light trucks
  • Tags for recreational trucks or trailers
  • Disability plates
  • Designer, digital or embossed plates
  • Temporary permits

How to Apply for a License Plate in Colorado

After purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, drivers may get a license plate by visiting a county DMV office to register their cars in person. After this registration procedure, vehicle owners will receive new CO car tags and decals from the Division of Motor Vehicles.

If you purchased a vehicle from a dealership and financed it, then a dealer will submit all of the paperwork for new registration plates on your behalf. On the other hand, motorists must typically visit a motor vehicle office to submit all of the registration materials on their own if they use cash to purchase a vehicle from a car dealership. In any case, when applying for car registration tags, drivers must submit the following documentation:

  • The vehicle’s current certificate of title or an out-of-state registration certificate
  • Proof of completing a vehicle emissions inspection, if applicable
  • Proof of completing a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification, in the case of out-of-state vehicles
  • A secure and verifiable form of identification
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Payment for registration fees

If you wish to obtain a temporary DMV license plate permit, you must visit a county motor vehicle office and provide proof of auto insurance, as well as a valid proof of identification, such as a driver’s license, state identification card or passport. Moreover, a car dealer will be able to provide you with a temporary permit if you purchase your vehicle from a licensed dealership.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Colorado

Many car owners who already have car tags wonder how to renew a license plate in CO. It is important to note that, in Colorado, only residents of certain counties may complete the vehicle registration renewal process online through the official DMV portal. As an example, drivers may complete an online license plate renewal if they reside in counties such as Denver, Arapahoe, Boulder, Rio Grande or Yuma. When renewing license plate credentials online, motorists must enter their vehicle’s license plate number, verify their address and make sure that their car’s information is accurate. Then, applicants must provide an acceptable payment method for the applicable fees.

If a driver in Colorado resides in a different county and cannot renew car tags online, he or she must request this renewal procedure in person or by mail. In order to apply for a car tag renewal by mail, vehicle owners must send their registration renewal notice and all of the supplemental documentation to the state DMV’s appropriate mailing address. Otherwise, they may visit a county motor vehicle office to complete this procedure in person.

How to Replace License Plates in Colorado

Under state law, you must replace license plate credentials or validation decals if you lose or damage them. When replacing license plate stickers or permits, you must complete the appropriate application form and submit it to your county DMV office. You must also provide the department with proof of insurance and a photo identification. If you need to replace Colorado car tags that were stolen, you must also file a police report with local law enforcement and provide the DMV with a copy of the report.

How to Transfer License Plates in Colorado

Upon the purchase of Colorado car tags, your license plates belong to you, and will not transfer to a new vehicle owner after you sell the vehicle. For this reason, you may buy car registration plates after purchasing a new or used vehicle, or you may transfer your old license plates to that new vehicle.

If you wish to transfer your current CO DMV car tag to your new vehicle, you may do so as long as the license plate is eligible for a transfer. Furthermore, you must transfer your car registration tags when registering the new vehicle with the DMV. When completing the transfer, you must submit your previous vehicle’s registration certificate or an ownership tax receipt.

Colorado License Plate Fees

Colorado DMV car tag fees vary by vehicle type and weight. Additionally, these fees are different depending on the type of license plate you are applying for. Furthermore, the date and county of purchase may also affect these costs. In addition, when applying for new registration plates, car owners must also pay ownership taxes depending on the year that the vehicle was manufactured.

Standard license plates are issued when you register your vehicle in Colorado, so they are included in the registration fees. Designer license plates cost $50.00

License Plate Lookups in Colorado

Before purchasing a new or used vehicle and applying for a DMV license plate in Colorado, you may perform an online license plate lookup to learn more about that car’s history. After completing a DMV car tag lookup, you will learn more about the vehicle’s previous owners and manufacturer. In addition, you may discover important recall and/or safety information about the car.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.