Menu

Paperwork When Buying a Car in Colorado

Buying a Used Car?

It's a Good Time to Compare Used Car Finance Options!

To complete all of the necessary steps to title and register your vehicle in Colorado following a purchase, you will need certain documents from the seller.

Use this guide to learn more about what paperwork the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires to:

  • Buy a car.
  • Register and title that car.

Paperwork for Colorado Car Buyers

To avoid fines or penalties, you must register and title your car in Colorado within 60 days following a purchase. The paperwork you receive when buying a car will differ based on whether you purchased your new vehicle from a dealership or a private party.

Paperwork from Dealer Purchases

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, the dealership will submit all the required paperwork to the DMV for you for titling and registration. You should receive a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) if your car is brand new, or the existing title if it is a certified pre-owned or used car.

Paperwork from Private Vehicle Purchases

For cars bought from a private seller, make sure you receive the following documents before completing the sale:

  • The certificate of title, with all transactional components filled out—this includes:
    • Signatures from you and the seller.
    • The vehicle's:
      • Purchase date.
      • Sale price.
      • Odometer reading.
  • A bill of sale.
    • When transferring ownership of a vehicle, the Colorado DMV requires a bill of sale. The Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale (Form DR 2173) can be obtained through specific vendors in Colorado . Be sure to include:
      • Time and date of sale.
      • The purchase price.
      • The vehicle's details:
        • Year.
        • Make.
        • Model.
        • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • An emissions certificate, if you live in a county where emissions testing in required.
  • For information, visit our guide to CO smog inspections.

What If No Title Is Present?

If the seller does not have a title, they must apply for a duplicate title before ownership can be transferred.

The process for applying for a duplicate title includes:

CO Car Registration Paperwork

After buying a car, you will have 60 days to title and register it at your local DMV office.

You'll need the above-mentioned paperwork that you received from the seller, be it a dealer or a private party. Bring these documents with you to complete the process:

  • The vehicle title, properly filled out.
    • If the vehicle is being titled for the first time, you may also need:
      • A manufacturer's statement of origin.
      • A document that specifies the weight of the vehicle.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • An emissions certificate.
  • A completed Application for Title & Registration (Form DR 2395).
  • A bill of sale.
  • Lien documents, if applicable.
  • An odometer statement.
    • Usually recorded either on the title or bill of sale.
  • Payment for the required fees.

Visit our Car Registration in Colorado page for a complete outline on registering your newly-purchased car with the DMV.

Forms

Duplicate Title Request and Receipt - DR 2539A

Request a duplicate OR corrected Colorado vehicle title.

Application for Title and/or Registration - DR 2395

Application to title AND/OR register a vehicle with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.

Related Content

Provide Feedback

DMV.org BBB Business Review
11,242

Number of Organ Donors who registered through DMV.org

14,236

people in the United States need a liver transplant

3,936

people are waiting for a heart transplant.

Looking for Paperwork When Buying a Car in Another State?