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  • New to Colorado

    Welcome to the Rocky Mountains.

    So, you're here and you're excited. There is a veritable mountain of things to do―who even has time to unpack? You should make a list: 1,000 runs to ski, 10,000 trails to bike and hike, rivers to kayak, Royal Gorge and the Georgetown Narrow Gauge to witness, and new cities to visit along with their museums and restaurants.

    First Things First

    Who has the time for car registrations when there are mountains to climb? Understandable, but it's important to take care of these issues as soon as you become a resident. Let's get 'em out of the way so you can start seeing Colorado!

    Switching your driver license is just about the easiest thing you can do, but you do need to take a trip to a local driver license office. Check out our detailed instructions on driver licenses.

    Changing your plates is a little more time-consuming and might involve an emissions test if your new abode is situated in an ugly air zone. This is pretty much the entire Denver metro area and a few counties in the mountains.

    Your next stop will take you to a title and registration office to register your vehicle. We provide comprehensive registration and titling information, so you can maneuver through the procedures in no time.

    If you also brought along a boat, or have a garage clogged with ATVs or dirt bikes that you are just itching to throttle up and test on the Colorado trails, those will need to be registered, too. But this chore is the domain of Colorado Parks rather than the Division of Motor Vehicles.

    After that, you are pretty much set, minus unpacking. Now you're ready to head out on some of the most scenic roads in the country.

    Clearing Up Misconceptions

    Colorado is full of surprises, so let's clear up any misconceptions you might have about your new home.

    Take Denver, the Mile-High City. You might think "mile high" refers to those majestic mountains always rising from the western horizon, but you'd be wrong. Denver is actually pretty flat. It's also 5,280 feet above sea level (thus the nickname), so try to keep that in mind as you bustle about town. Drink plenty of water to help your body acclimate to Colorado's thin, dry air.

    The mountains offer a towering backdrop to Denver's skyline, and the city's sprawling suburbs stretch well into the foothills, but not the city proper. There, the secret's out. Denver is located on the Front Range, a colloquial term that signals entrance to the Rockies. Most of Colorado's other major cities―Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Boulder, and Fort Collins―also sit along the Front Range.

    Everything else you might have heard is true: magical, snow-capped peaks (check); world-renowned ski resorts (check, plenty of those); and 300 days of sunshine and clear blue skies each year (triple check).

    Moving to Colorado is a long-held dream for many, from Easterners fleeing the urban malaise, to Californians lured by the seasonal climate and lower cost-of-living.

    You can see that the native Coloradan is something of an endangered species, though a new generation is on its way. With so many different geographies and cultures in the mix, Colorado might surprise you with its cosmopolitan buzz. Add a healthy dose of Brits, Aussies and Germans at the ski resorts, and there's a budding international flair to the state.

    Speaking of buzz, life may not buzz as quickly in Colorado as it does on the coasts, but this has become a pretty hip place to reside, and the Rocky Mountains are quite an added bonus. If you really miss the buzz, just drive I-70 for a few miles.

    New State, New School

    If you have children, one of the most perplexing and difficult decisions you will make is where to send them to school.