How to register a vehicle in

Colorado

as a non-US resident

Colorado

at a glance

Major cities
Denver
Major ports of arrival
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Registration challenges
In-state address required
Proof of lawful presence required
Average sales tax rate
7.72%

State Overview and Advice

In order to  register a vehicle in Colorado, you need a Colorado address, and proof of  lawful presence (such as I-94 - Arrival/Departure record).

If you do not have a Colorado address, or are arriving on a visa waiver (e.g., ESTA), we  recommend using visitor.us' services to register a vehicle that you buy in Colorado.

The Registration Process

Colorado vehicle registrations are handled by Colorado's counties.

If you buy your vehicle from a dealer and plan to register it in Colorado, the dealer will issue you a 60-day temporary registration and apply for title and registration on your behalf. If you plan to register your vehicle elsewhere, the dealer will issue you a 60-day temporary registration.

If you buy your vehicle from a private party, you can apply for a 60-day temporary registration from from one of Colorado's counties. Some of Colorado's counties (including Denver) will only issue temporary registrations to county residents. If you plan to register your vehicle in Colorado, bring the required items (below) to the county clerk's office of the address where you'll register your vehicle.

For vehicles being registered in Colorado, applicable taxes are payable to the dealer upon sale, or the county upon registration (if purchased from a private party).

Taxes and Fees

Sales Tax

State sales tax

2.90%

Average local sales tax

4.82%

Average combined sales tax

7.72%

Registration fees

Light Vehicle

Fees: $79.20

Specific Ownership Tax: Annual use tax starting at 1.785% of the vehicle's MSRP when new, and decreasing to 0.383% of the vehicle's MSRP after 5 years.

Regional Transportation Tax: 1.10% (only applicable to vehicles registered in the Denver area)

RV

Title Fee: $112.20 - $180.20

Specific Ownership Tax: Annual use tax starting at 1.785% of the vehicle's MSRP when new, and decreasing to 0.383% of the vehicle's MSRP after 5 years.

Denver Transportation Tax: 1.10% (only applicable to vehicles registered in the Denver area)

Motorcycle

Title Fee: $53.20

Specific Ownership Tax: Annual use tax starting at 1.785% of the vehicle's MSRP when new, and decreasing to 0.383% of the vehicle's MSRP after 5 years.

Denver Transportation Tax: 1.10% (only applicable to vehicles registered in the Denver area)

$15,000 car

$1,516

$50,000 RV

$4,923

$5,000 motorcycle

$532

Total taxes and fees

Registration Requirements

Prior owner's title

The vehicle's title must be signed by the owner(s) printed on the title, its odometer reading recorded (if less than 10 years in age), and be free of all liens in order for the prior owner's interest to be released.

Identification

A current, government-issued photo ID is required to register a vehicle in Colorado.

Bill of sale

A bill of sale is required to register a vehicle in Colorado.

Application

DR2395 - Application for Title and/or Registration

Inspection

Emissions (smog)

The following counties require biennial emissions inspections for vehicles newer than 1975 and more than 6 years old: Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson; parts of Adams, Arapahoe, Larimer, and Weld.

Safety

A safety inspection is not required to register a vehicle in Colorado.

VIN

When registering a vehicle with a non-Colorado title, a VIN check (performed by any Colorado law enforcement officer) is required.

Insurance

Colorado's minimum liability insurance limits are 25/50/15.

Residency

Colorado does not require proof of residency to register a vehicle.

Local Address

Vehicles registered in Colorado must be registered to a Colorado address.

The Alternative

When you sign up with visitor.us, this is what you get:

Company Formation

visitor.us forms a Limited Liability Company for you in Montana, the best state for international visitors to register vehicles.

Vehicle Purchase

Complete paperwork and funds transfer with the seller.
The seller will list your LLC and its address as the buyer on the vehicle's title, and visitor.us will arrange for it to be couriered to us for processing.

Insurance

Insurance from a top-rated insurance company that covers you, your vehicle, and your LLC.

Vehicle Registration

You buy a vehicle, we register it in MT. Why?
- MT sales tax: 0%
- Inspections not required in MT

Annual Actions

visitor.us will keep your registration current, and courier your annual decal and registration document to you ('hold at courier location for pick-up' available, if you're on the move).
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