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Temporary Permits and Licensing

Secure and verifiable identification is required on all new titles, duplicate titles, new registrations, new temporary registration permits, and new placards. The identification must be provided by the owner of record or a power of attorney presented by the agent. The agent must have secure and verifiable identification to complete the transaction. Commercially owned or lien holder transactions require a letter of authorization.

A late fee of $25 per month up to $100 is required on expired registrations, new purchases not registered after 60 days of purchase date, and vehicles registered 90 days after residency is established.

Also, effect July 1, 2009, Road and Bridge Surcharges will be collected based on the weight of the vehicle. The total of the additional fees will range from $22.50 to $55.00.

Temporary Permits

A temporary permit is a paper license plate which may expire in 60 days. This permit is issued by a Colorado auto dealer when purchase of a new or used vehicle is made through the dealership. When the purchase of a vehicle is made from a private party, the new owner may obtain a temporary permit from our office. A notarized bill of sale or a bill of sale with a perjury statement and a copy of the sellers registration or title, or the properly signed and notarized title is required to obtain a permit. This permit may also be used to take a vehicle from Colorado to another state for licensing.

A second permit may be issued when a problem is discovered in the paperwork necessary for transfer of title to the new owner. A second permit is issued at our discretion and may be issued for less than 30 days.

A temporary permit may not be issued for a passenger car, motor home, bus or motorcycle without proof of insurance coverage. See insurance requirements. The fee for a temporary permit is $6.22 plus applicable sales taxes on a cash transaction. See sales tax information.

A late fee of $25 per month up to $100 is required on expired registrations, new purchases not registered after 60 days of purchase date, and vehicles registered 90 days after residency is established.

Licensing a Vehicle

License plates in Colorado belong to the owner and do not transfer to a buyer upon the sale of a vehicle. License plates are purchased in our office during our normal business hours Monday through Friday.

When you purchase a vehicle, you have two choices for licensing. The first choice is to buy new plates. The second is to transfer Colorado plates which were on a vehicle that you owned and have sold, or are no longer driving.

If you choose to transfer plates from another vehicle, please bring the ownership tax receipt or registration from the vehicle you are transferring the plates from. In addition to the registration or ownership tax receipt, you should bring the license plates from the old vehicle when you are changing vehicle types in your plate transfer. For example, if you are transferring plates from a car to a new pickup truck or trailer, you need to bring in the plates as you will be issued a different type of license plate.

**Please note: License plates can be transferred only when the names indicating ownership are the same on the old and the new vehicle. There are several exceptions to this rule, so if you have questions, please contact our office at (970) 498-7878.

The State of Colorado maintains a database of insured vehicles, based upon information submitted by insurance agents. By law, the Clerk & Recorder's Office is required to verify insurance coverage for any passenger car, motor home, bus or motorcycle at the time of registration, before we can issue license plates to you. If your agent has not submitted your vehicle coverage information to the state database, your record of insurance will not be on the database. You will need to show us proof of insurance for that specific vehicle if verification is not available through the database. See insurance requirements.

The actual cost of the plates is determined by several factors; the weight of the vehicle, the date of purchase, the taxable value, whether or not sales tax will be due, and whether or not the title fee has been paid.

Heavy trucks are calculated on the miles traveled and the Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW).

  1. The license fee is based on the weight of the vehicle. If you transfer plates, you are credited for the license fee you paid previously when you bought the plates for the old vehicle. The credit is prorated by the amount of time remaining on the existing registration. There is always a charge of at least $2.00 for the license fee. If you buy new plates, the fee is based on the hundred pound weight of your vehicle.

    A late fee of $25 per month up to $100 is required on expired registrations, new purchases not registered after 60 days of purchase date, and vehicles registered 90 days after residency is established.

    Also, effect July 1, 2009, Road and Bridge Surcharges will be collected based on the weight of the vehicle. The total of the additional fees will range from $22.50 to $55.00.
  2. The ownership tax is based on the year of the new vehicle, taxable value, and the date of the purchase. If license plates are to be transferred, you will also be given credit for the unused portion of the ownership tax paid on your previously owned vehicle.
  3. If you purchase the vehicle from a Colorado dealer, the dealer will collect state sales tax and, in some instances, the dealer will also collect city tax. If you purchase a vehicle from a private party, the sales tax will be collected by our office.  See sales tax information.

    A notarized bill of sale will be required to verify the purchase price unless there is a place on the title for purchase price.
  4. The title fee of $7.20 is collected when you transfer title to a vehicle.

    Upon registration you will receive a set of two license plates and two tabs to be placed on the rear license plate. One tab, which indicates the month of expiration, should be placed in the lower left corner of the rear plate. The second tab, which indicates the year of expiration, should be placed in the lower right corner of the rear plate. License plates are issued in numerical sequence and requests for a specific number cannot be honored.

    License plate renewal can be done one month before the month indicated by your license tab, during the month indicated by your license tab or one month after your expiration month. For example, tabs indicating an expiration of July may be renewed during June, July, or August.
  5. Emissions tests

    Effective November 1, 2010, Larimer county residents will be required to obtain a certificate of emission control for all vehicle within a designated area of Larimer County.

    If the vehicle is used in the Enhanced areas, (Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Denver, Douglas, Larimer, Weld, and Jefferson county) an Enhanced emissions test is required. Please see the Air Care Colorado website at www.aircarecolorado.com for information.
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