If you are a Denver County resident who has recently purchased a vehicle (car, truck, SUV, or motor home) from a private party, you have 60 days to register your vehicle at one of our Denver County DMV branch locations. If you are not a Denver County resident, please visit the State of Colorado DMV website to locate your branch office.
Inspect Your Title
Before you purchase a vehicle from a private party, be sure to inspect the front of the original title document to be sure it is clear of lienholders on the front of the title and properly signed by the seller.
You must register in person at a Motor Vehicle office in the county where you reside. For information about where to register outside Denver County, visit the State of Colorado DMV Website. Visit our DMV branch offices page for Denver County DMV locations, hours and directions.
To shorten your wait and ensure same day service at the counter, please come prepared with the following documentation:
☑️ New owner identification (secure and verifiable) or designated power of attorney.
Anyone other than a named owner must present a completed and notarized Form DR2175 Power of Attorney and their own identification (secure and verifiable).
☑️ Vehicle title.
Vehicle title must be properly endorsed by the previous owner.
1. Sign title. Once you have closed the deal on the sale of a vehicle, you must transfer the title to the new owner by properly endorsing the title.
2. Remove plates. The seller must always keep their license plates (per Colorado State Law). If plates are left on the vehicle when transferred to a new owner, the seller could be liable for traffic tickets and other legal problems connected with the plate number. If you forget to remove your plates, report them lost or stolen.
If you are buying a car from a private party, you may first want to learn as much as you can about the history of the vehicle and its title, before you sign any documents, by obtaining a vehicle history report online. Within 60 days upon sale of a motor vehicle, the buyer must either register the vehicle ;or present the certificate of title with an application for title to the Denver County DMV (we serve Denver residents only).
1. Endorse title. Make sure the seller properly endorses the title over to you in order to avoid problems at the DMV.
2. Complete Bill of Sale. Have the seller provide you with a signed and dated Bill of Sale, including your name, the purchase price, the VIN, and the year and make of the vehicle.
3. Obtain temporary tags. Obtain temporary tag (permit) in order to operate your newly purchased vehicle on roadways legally. See below for more details on the operation of an unregistered vehicle.
4. Operation of an unregistered vehicle. A buyer of a vehicle may operate a vehicle on the highway prior to registering the vehicle or obtaining a temporary permit under the following conditions:
- The buyer has purchased the motor vehicle within the last 36 hours from a person who is not a licensed motor vehicle dealer.
- The vehicle was purchased either on a Saturday, on a Sunday, on a legal holiday, or between 5p.m. and 8 a.m.
- The vehicle is being driven from the place where the seller stored the vehicle to the place where the buyer intends to store the vehicle.
- The buyer must carry in the vehicle the bill of sale that identifies the vehicle by year, make and VIN and shows the time and date of sale signed by both the buyer and the seller.
- Proof of insurance.
5. Register your vehicle.
NOTE: To register a new or used vehicle you just purchased, you will need to supply additional information such as proof of insurance, enhanced emissions test and other crucial documents.
☑️ Bill of sale.
Bill of sale is recommended but not required unless there was an alteration to the purchase price or purchase date listed on the title.
☑️ Emissions test.
When you purchase a vehicle through a private party, or receive a vehicle through family inheritance or as a gift, you are required to have a new emissions test, even if the current inspection report still has time on it. Visit Air Care Colorado for exceptions to this rule. For emissions testing locations visit Air Care Colorado.
☑️ Odometer reading.
If you plan to register a vehicle and transfer a title into your name, you must provide a current and accurate odometer reading. For vehicles older than 10 years, an odometer reading is not necessary.
☑️ Proof of automobile insurance coverage.
Insurance card, copy of insurance policy or letter from your insurance company on the company's letterhead including a description of the vehicle with the following information: year, make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN), effective date and expiration date of the policy.
☑️ Vehicle identification number (VIN) verification.
A VIN verification is required if the seller has an out-of-state title. or the vehicle is purchased outside Colorado. A VIN inspector must complete a Verification Vehicle Identification Number form (DR 2698 from Colorado Department of Revenue). Denver Motor Vehicle will perform VIN verifications for $20.00 per vehicle.
☑️ License plates.
When purchasing a vehicle from a private party, the seller must by Colorado State Law retain their own plates. Learn more about about how to obtain a temporary tag, or how to operate a vehicle prior to registering a vehicle.
Learn more about title and registration fees so that you arrive to our office prepared. Also see fees for specialty and personalized (vanity) plates.
**Note: Expect your new Colorado title to be mailed to you within 4 - 6 weeks upon registration of your vehicle.