Paperwork When Buying a Car in Colorado

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Paperwork Required to Buy a Car in Colorado

When buying a car in Colorado, you must be sure that you have the necessary paperwork to title and register the car.

If you buy a car from a dealership, the dealer will generally handle all of the paperwork for you.

However, if you buy from a private seller, you'll need to be sure that you get the certificate of title and complete all of the paperwork to title and register the car with the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Colorado Paperwork for Car Buyers

When you buy a vehicle from a private party, get the following from the seller:

  • The certificate of title with the name of the seller(s) signed and printed. If you are purchasing a car or truck that has been around for some time, the title might require notarization of the signatures. The state has a Statement of Transfer (Form DR 2445) that allows the notary process to be skipped. Also, make sure that the "buyer's box" on the title has your name and address listed in it as the new owner.
  • A bill of sale listing the buyer's name, agreed upon purchase amount, vehicle identification number (VIN), and the year and make of the vehicle. This document might need to be notarized if it does not contain a signed perjury statement.
  • An odometer reading. This can just be written into the box provided on the back of the title.

You will also need:

Buying a Vehicle Without a Title

Generally you cannot buy or sell a vehicle without a title, because the title proves ownership and is necessary to re-title and register the vehicle in your name.

A couple of exceptions do exist, but only when buying vehicles from Canada, where the registration document serves as proof of ownership. The other exception is when you buy from a dealership and receive a certificate of origin, which you can use to register the vehicle until the title is processed.

If you buy a vehicle without a title, you need to establish ownership via a surety bond.

Buying From a CO Dealer

When you purchase a vehicle (new or used) from a dealer, they will complete all the necessary paperwork and include the cost of filing those papers in your cost of the vehicle.

Bill of Sale

The importance of securing a bill of sale, can't be emphasized enough. It serves as your proof of purchase and protects you down the road should any questions arise over vehicle sales tax fees. You can easily download one from our Bill of Sale page.

Colorado Title and Registration

When you title and register the vehicle, you will need:

  • The certificate of title, signed and completed.
  • The emissions certificate for the vehicle, if applicable.
  • Your identification, such as your Colorado driver's license or ID card.
  • Proof of car insurance.
  • Payment for taxes and fees, which vary based on the price, type, and weight of the vehicle.

Vehicle History Reports in Colorado

To avoid cars with long-term problems, odometer fraud, and other issues that can arise when buying a used car, consider buying a vehicle history report for any vehicle you are interested in buying.

These reports provide important information about a vehicle's past, such as its accident history, damages, and involvement in flooding or theft. The report can also include an odometer reading.

Many dealerships provide vehicle history reports, but you'll need to order one yourself if you're buying from a private seller.


DR 2445

You can complete this form IN ADDITION to the title instead of having the title notarized.

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