Vehicle Code in Colorado

The Colorado Vehicle Code

Do not expect Tolstoy when you begin wading into the massive government document known as the Colorado Revised Statutes. While it may rival the girth of the wordy Russian's works, this volume is pure legislation. Although, like so much literature, it is difficult to read, in this case you can thank legal writers.

The statutes reflect the combined efforts of elected lawmakers during their annual jaunt to Denver in January. Thus, new laws are continually added and current ones modified or updated with the times (hence the name "revised" statutes).

You may assume that judges, lawmakers, and lawyers (and those associated with them) are the only people to ever slog through the document that governs Colorado, but there may be times when you find yourself needing to understand the law in its basic form.

Title 42: Vehicles and Traffic

The book is divided into 43 chapters (titles) and the section concerning motor vehicle laws and regulations is Title 42: Vehicles and Traffic. Perusing this section may be especially important to one who is preparing for a suspension hearing or an appeal of some type. Most likely, if you are facing a charge or a series of charges that have resulted in a license suspension or revocation, the hearing officer will utilize the statutes as a guide for determining a sentence.

The statutes are also an invaluable resource for understanding the rights of consumers when dealing with the manufacturer of automobiles and those who sell and repair them.

Reading the Law

Each statute is given a number code and a title. For instance, 42-2-307. Change of Address. The number is translated into the Title (chapter), the Article (section) and Part (sub-section). In this case the Title is 42, the Article is 2 (Driver Licenses), and the Part is 307 (Change of Address).

After the number and title, the body of the law is presented:

Any registrant who acquires an address different from the address shown on the identification card issued to the registrant shall, within thirty days thereafter, notify the department in writing of the registrant's old and new addresses. The department may thereupon take any action deemed necessary to ensure that the identification card reflects the proper address of the registrant.

Obviously, some laws are written in a more convoluted manner than others, but if you are defending yourself against a hearing officer and your license is on the line, it is a good idea to understand what will be used to determine the eventual outcome.

The following is a brief synopsis of what you will find in Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statues.

Article 2 Driver Licenses

  • Part 1 Driver Licenses
  • Part 2 Habitual Offenders
  • Part 3 Identification Cards
  • Part 4 Commercial Driver Licenses

Article 3 Registration, Taxation, and License Plates

Article 4 Regulation of Vehicles and Traffic

  • Part 1 Traffic Regulation
  • Part 2 Equipment
  • Part 3 Emissions Inspection
  • Part 4 Diesel Emissions Program
  • Part 5 Size-Weight-Load
  • Part 6 Signals-Signs-Markings
  • Part 7 Rights-of-Way
  • Part 8 Pedestrians
  • Part 9 Turning-Stopping
  • Part 10 Driving-Overtaking-Passing
  • Part 11 Speed Regulations
  • Part 12 Parking
  • Part 13 Alcohol and Drug Offenses
  • Part 15 Motorcycles
  • Part 16 Accidents and Accident Reports
  • Part 17 Penalties and Procedures
  • Part 18 Vehicles Abandoned on Public Property
  • Part 19 School Bus requirements
  • Part 20 Hours of Service
  • Part 21 Vehicles Abandoned on Private Property

Article 5 Automobile Theft Law

  • Part 2 Vehicle Identification Number Inspection

Article 6 Certificates of Title, Used Motor Sales

Article 7 Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law

  • Part 1 General Provisions
  • Part 6 Uninsured Motorist Identification Database Provisions

Check Your Driver's License Status

Whenever you need or want to check the status of your driver's license, you can order a driving record report. This record will spell out if your driver's license is currently valid. Should your license have been revoked or suspended, the report will indicate that according to what's on record at the DMV. This report will also show points against your license and, in some cases, information on any accidents you have had.

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