A VIN verification in Colorado is required whenever a new or used car is transferred to the state or a newly-acquired vehicle is being registered for the first time. Unless you qualify for an exemption, you must verify VIN number details at an approved location before a car registration can be issued in your name. As such, this is an important procedure that must be conducted in a timely manner through the Department of Public Safety (DPS). For instance, new state residents are given 30 days to register and title their vehicles before penalties apply.

During a vehicle verification in CO, an inspector will make sure that the vehicle identification number (VIN) given by an applicant matches the one that is displayed on the car. This procedure is conducted in an effort to identify whether or not a car has been stolen. Each VIN number will be verified through state and national databases, checking for wanted or stolen vehicles. Generally, a VIN inspection does not take very long and helps to reduce the number of auto theft across the United States.

When is a Colorado VIN verification required?

As a general rule, a Colorado DMV VIN verification form must be filled out by an authorized inspector before a car owner can obtain a title and registration in the state. A car verification is important in order to ensure that stolen and wanted vehicles are not being brought into CO and re-registered under new owners. However, there are a couple of exceptions to this requirements. For example, a vehicle VIN verification is not required if:

  • The car was purchased from a dealership or out-of-state seller as a brand-new vehicle. Thus, it does not have any previous owners.
  • You have a manufacturer’s certificate of origin, a bill of sale or a receipt from the dealership that you purchased the vehicle from. This document states that the car was purchased as new.

In many cases, you will be required to have an inspection performed if you:

  • Purchase a vehicle outside of Colorado.
  • Transferred a car on a purged bill of sale.
  • Require a correction to the description on your vehicle’s title.

If a VIN number validation is required, be mindful that you must perform this procedure in a timely manner. Driving a vehicle without proper insurance is illegal in Colorado, and may result in severe penalties.

Where can I go to obtain a VIN inspection in Colorado?

A new vehicle inspection is not generally required in Colorado, even if you purchased the brand new car outside of the state and are moving into CO. However, in all other cases, such as completing registration procedures or correcting titles, it is important to learn where to conduct an inspection in a timely manner.

Numerous car inspection stations are located throughout the state, and are available to vehicle owners who are not required to have a certified inspection performed. Moreover, depending on the county where you reside, you may be able to have an inspection performed by:

  • Denver Motor Vehicle locations.
  • Centralized Air Care Colorado emissions inspection stations.
  • Independent emissions inspection stations.
  • Certain motor vehicle dealerships within the state.
  • Certain Colorado County Clerk and Recorder offices.
  • Certain law enforcement agencies.

Because a state car inspection is not always offered in every county, it is advisable to call your preferred branch beforehand and make sure that inspections are offered there. In addition, by contacting the location in advance, you are able to identify whether you need to make an appointment for the inspection.

In some cases, a certified VIN verification may be required. Should this be the case, it is important to know that certified inspections can only be performed by a Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified inspector. Moreover, it is important to note that these inspectors are only available through the Colorado State Patrol, and you must make an appointment before the inspection can occur.

What to Bring to a VIN Number Verification in Colorado

When preparing for your vehicle inspection in Colorado, it is important to make sure that you have all of the necessary documents needed to complete your inspection. In general, the following paperwork is required for inspections to take place:

  • An acceptable payment method for the inspection.
  • Proof of identification, such as with a driver’s license or a state identification card.
  • Proof of ownership of the vehicle, such as with previous registration or vehicle title.

Furthermore, the inspector will provide you with a completed vehicle inspection form once your inspection has been completed.

What to Do After Completing a VIN Inspection in Colorado

After undergoing a Colorado VIN verification, you will be provided with a completed form that verifies that an inspection was performed on your vehicle. This form must be presented when:

  • Registering a vehicle in Colorado after moving to the state.
  • Purchasing a used vehicle outside of Colorado.
  • Transferring a vehicle on a purged bill of sale.
  • Requesting a correction to a vehicle’s current vehicle title.
Last updated on Monday, March 9 2020.