Renewing car registration in Colorado is a process that must be completed on an annual basis. Each year, drivers must renew car registration documents before the registration expiration date. However, different vehicle registration renewal methods are available for registrants to choose from. In most cases, expired car registrations may be renewed by telephone, by mail or in person. Drivers may renew car registration online if they are residents of certain counties, including Boulder and Denver. To learn more about renewing DMV registration in CO, review the sections provided below.
When to Renew Car Registrations in Colorado
Vehicle owners must complete Colorado DMV vehicle registration renewals once per year. Each vehicle's registration expires annually on the last day of the vehicle's registration month. However, there is a 30-day grace period following the vehicle's expiration date. Motorists must renew expired car registration documents within one month of the vehicle's expiration date to avoid penalty fees. In most cases, vehicle owners receive CO car registration renewal notices in the mail 30 days before a vehicle is set to expire. If motorists move to another county since their last DMV registration renewal, they must visit their county clerk's office to update their address in person at least 30 days before their registration is set to expire.
How to Renew Car Registrations in Colorado Online
The online DMV vehicle registration renewal program is overseen by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) under the Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR). Vehicle owners may renew car registration online if they live in counties such as Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, El Paso, Garfield, Jefferson, Larimer, Lincoln, Montrose, Park, Rio Blanco, Summit and Yuma. Currently, the online vehicle registration renewal system is available to residents of 48 counties. Additionally, drivers of diesel vehicles may renew vehicle registration online, even if they must pass an emissions test. However, registrants must have a current address on file with their county's DMV to qualify for online renewal. Vehicle owners can only update their addresses in person at their county clerk's office.
Motorists cannot renew DMV registration online in Colorado if the registration is already expired, if the 30-day grace period passes or if they live in a county that does not offer online renewals.
When completing an online auto registration renewal, applicants must provide the following information:
- The vehicle's license plate number
- Emissions test data must be on file and current (if applicable)
- Proof of current auto insurance must be on file
- Vehicle information, including the vehicle's type, make, year and vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Email address
- Card or checking account payment information
Upon completion of the online car registration renewal, motorists must print their confirmation receipt and use the receipt as proof of registration until new documents arrive in the mail. Registrants receive new registration documents within 15 business days.
Note: Upon completion of an emissions test, drivers may need to wait two to three business days to register using the online system, as it may take several days before the test data appears online.
How to Renew Auto Registrations in Colorado by Phone
In some cases, drivers may complete a Colorado DMV auto registration renewal by telephone if they cannot renew online. For instance, County of Denver residents may renew by telephone if registrants have more than 10 business days remaining in their grace period. However, the process of renewing expired car registrations varies by county DMV office. Drivers who cannot renew auto registration online must refer to the county-specific instructions on their renewal notice. When renewing by phone, registrants must provide a credit card number or checking account information.
How to Renew Car Registrations in Colorado in Person
If drivers live in a county that does not offer online CO DMV registration renewal, then they may renew in person at a local DMV office. However, motorists may only renew Colorado auto registration documents through the county in which they live. A full list of service locations is available under the DMV section of the state DOR website.
How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in Colorado by Mail
When drivers cannot renew car registration online in Colorado, they may renew their registration by mail. However, specific mailing instructions vary by county. To renew expired auto registrations by mail, registrants must refer to the mailing instructions and return address included on the renewal notice. Motorists must submit registration renewals along with a check or money order.
How to Renew a Colorado Car Registration as a Military Member
Military members with expired car registration in Colorado are generally exempt from the manual renewal process if vehicle registrations feature an exempt military plate. In this case, auto registration renewals occur automatically. However, non-exempt military members must renew car registration documents using the same methods of civilian drivers. If military members live in a county that offers online registration, they may renew their registration online. If not, they must renew by mail, in person or by telephone (if their county permits it).
How to Renew a Colorado Vehicle Registration on Someone Else's Behalf
Third-party applicants wondering how to renew car registration documents on behalf of another registrant may do so online (if the applicant's county offers it), by mail, in person or by telephone. However, third-party applicants who need to renew auto registration in Colorado must ensure that the applicant meets all registration renewal prerequisites, including auto insurance and emissions testing (if applicable). Additionally, third-party applicants who need to renew an expired car registration in CO must provide the applicant's license plate number, VIN and other vehicle information.
Colorado Car Registration Renewal Fees
CO DMV auto registration renewal fees vary depending on the vehicle type and the vehicle's empty weight. The vehicle's type includes factors such as its year and the vehicle's original taxable value. Additionally, vehicle registration renewal fees are higher when motorists purchase a specialty license plate, designer plate or personalized plate.