Updated on July 13, 2021
In Colorado, if you’re registering a vehicle that’s out-of-state you need a VIN verification to get your tags. You may also have to show proof of emissions testing if you live in certain counties such as Boulder, Douglas, Jefferson, and a portion of Weld. The emissions requirements also depend on the age of your vehicle. For example, 1988-2014 model years require inspection every two years, while those with collector’s license plates (regardless of age) require a test every five years.
Use eTags© to Quickly Complete Your DMV Service. Renewals, Title Transfers and More, All Online!
If you bought a car in the Centennial State, you have 61 days to get your tags before late fees incur. Continue reading for more details about Colorado registration info.
Colorado Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew A Car Registration In Colorado
Colorado requires that vehicle registrations are renewed each year. The DMV will send a renewal notice before the registration for your vehicle expires. This notice will include:
- Registration fees.
- Requirements for insurance.
- Emissions testing requirements.
This notice will inform you as to whether or not you need to have an emissions test for your vehicle. There are some vehicles that are exempt from this test including the following:
- Electric vehicles.
- Hybrid vehicles.
- Vehicles less than 4 years old.
- Collector vehicles that are over 32 years old.
The fees for emissions tests are $25 for vehicles newer than 1982 and $15 for vehicles made before 1981.
Colorado Online Registration Renewal Options
If you would like to renew your registration online you will need to check your notice to see if this option is available in your county. If it is an option you will need to visit the renewal portal at the Colorado DMV website.
You will be required to provide:
- Your license plate number.
- Your email address.
Renewing Your Colorado Registration In Person or By Mail
To renew your registration in person or by mail you will need the following:
- Registration renewal notice (filled out).
- If applicable, proof of an emissions test.
- Proof of insurance.
How to a Lost Vehicle Registration in Colorado
Do you need a replacement vehicle registration for your Colorado car? We’ve collected all the tips and info you need in this quick FAQ so that you can get the document or plates replaced quickly and without added frustration.
You will be dealing with the Colorado Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles. Check out the website for quick answers to most of your driver’s license, title, and registration needs.
If you would like to talk to a real human being, give them a call at (303) 205-5600 or use one of their webforms for a prompt and accurate response.
Replacing Your Registration vs. Vehicle Registration Renewal
If you received notice that your current vehicle registration is about to expire, you can likely renew it using the state’s online renewal portal. However, if you lost your registration receipt or it is no longer legible, it’s time to get it replaced.
How to Replace a Vehicle Registration in Colorado
You will need to visit your local county motor vehicle office. They will need your driver’s license, the plate number associated with the registration, and a duplicate receipt fee You should be handed your duplicate registration before you leave.
Are Your License Plates Stolen? Get them Replaced
The first thing you do when you notice your plates have been stolen is to report the theft to the police or sheriff. Obtain a police report and bring it with you to the county motor vehicle office. You will need to fill out an official form at the DMV, hand them the police report, and pay a duplicate license plate fee.
You will be issued a new set of plates so that you won’t be pulled over for driving with stolen plates.
If your plates are damaged to the point they cannot be read 50 feet away, you can bring in the plates and request duplicate plates be printed for you. The damaged plates must be turned in. It can take up to 3 weeks for the new plates to be printed.
Where to Go for your Colorado Replacement Registration
There are 103 county motor vehicle offices spread out across Colorado. Use this interactive map to find the one closest to you. Each office has its own phone number and local website. Even if you don’t live in Denver, there is likely an office within an hour of you.
Colorado DMV Office Hours For Replacement Registration
When are the Colorado DMV offices open to replace my vehicle registration in person?
All of the offices that can issue a replacement vehicle registration are open Monday through Friday. However, the hours do vary. The more rural locations may not open until after 9 AM and might close between 3 and 4 PM.
When visiting a smaller location, give them a call ahead of time so you both know to be there. The offices located inside city limits have hours of 8 AM to 5 PM.
Fees to Replace Your License Plate and Duplicate Registration Fees
How much does it cost for a duplicate vehicle registration or license plate in Colorado?
The fee structure varies from county to county throughout the state. Check the main DMV website for state regulations and rates, but you may find an added processing fee or local tax added to your transaction. Calling your local office will get you the most accurate price.
Can I Pay For My Replacement Car Registration With a Credit Card?
Perhaps. Many counties are now processing credit cards, but some still require cash only. Check with your local office or make sure to bring cash with you.
Replacing Your Old Colorado License Plate With Specialty Plates
If you don’t need a Colorado replacement registration but simply want a personalized license plate, you can do that. Colorado now has a print-on-demand program that allows you to add a specialty plate to your current registration number.
After you fill out the application at your local DMV office, it will be reviewed for approval. Then the plates are printed and mailed directly to you.
If you have any more questions about your Colorado vehicle registration, feel free to call your local office or the main branch at (303) 205-5600 or to contact them through the Division of Motor Vehicles website.