Title Transfer Colorado

As long as you have a certificate of title and a few other key documents, you can complete a title transfer in Colorado online.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
If you’re transferring ownership of a vehicle in
, you’ll need to complete a title transfer. You can do this at your local county DMV in-person or through the online portal. Fees differ between counties.

What is a title transfer?

A car title is what dictates ownership of the vehicle. So when you transfer the title of a car, you’re transferring its ownership
Transferring a title consists of two steps—one for the seller and one for the buyer:
  • The seller must release ownership of the car by signing the title
  • The buyer must take the signed title to the DMV, where the state will issue a new title and registration
Some states have a state-wide process, but in Colorado, each county manages its own sales. Depending on your county, you may be required to submit additional paperwork to complete the title transfer process. This might be a bill of sale or transfer of ownership form. 
You will also need to provide basic vehicle information such as the current odometer reading and sale price.

Who does the title transfer?

Here’s where it can get tricky. The responsibility for the title transfer depends on whether you’re buying (or selling) a vehicle privately or from a dealership. 
In a private purchase, the buyer and seller must decide who will complete the title transfer process. On the other hand, when you buy a car from a dealer they will handle all the paperwork and send the title to the proper county DMV by mail.

Reasons for a title transfer

The most common reasons include a change of residency or buying or selling a car
Here are some other reasons for a title change:
  • Donating a vehicle
  • Gifting a vehicle
  • Inheriting a vehicle
  • Paying off a vehicle loan
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Car title transfer in Colorado

In Colorado, you have 30 days after the change of ownership to do the title transfer. Otherwise, you’ll be charged a penalty fee. But don’t worry, you can complete the title transfer process
or in-person at a local county DMV branch.
Here’s what you will need:
  • Proof of insurance (if you plan to register the vehicle at the same time)
  • Secure and verifiable identification
  • Current title or ownership documents properly endorsed by previous owner
  • Completed odometer disclosure
  • Bill of sale for sales tax calculation
  • Get any lien documents from the seller—the document must include vehicle description (year, make, VIN), lienholder’s information (name, address, lien amount), and owner’s signature
  • Payment for the transfer titles fees
If your vehicle was previously titled out of state, then you will need additional documents:
  • Verification of Vehicle Identification Number form. This form can be completed by either:
  • Colorado law enforcement officer
  • Licensed Colorado motor vehicle dealer
  • Licensed Colorado emissions testing station
  • Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin
  • Valid registration or title which states the vehicle’s weight (if it is not shown, you will need a certified weight slip)
You may also need to provide personal information like your DL number.
From there, find your local county DMV using
this map
if you want to visit a branch in-person. If you prefer to complete the process it online, go to the
MyDMV Colorado site
and select Report Release of Liability under Vehicle Services. 
Note that title transfer fees differ between counties in Colorado. Once you’ve submitted all required documentation, you can expect to receive the new title within four to six weeks.
Key Takeaway The MyDMV Colorado portal will walk you through the title transfer process from start to finish—and there’s no lineup!

Registering a car in Colorado

You’re almost done! After a title transfer, you still need to register the vehicle. Whereas title transfer is about ownership, registration is proof that you can legally drive on the streets. 
Colorado car registration
needs to be completed annually. Before you can register, you must be able to show a Colorado title and proof of
auto insurance
that meets the state minimum coverage requirements.
After becoming a Colorado resident, you have 90 days to register your vehicle. If it is owned by more than one person, you must declare intent to have the Certificate of Title issued in Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship.
Like with title transfer fees, counties assess their own registration fees. Fees are partially based on the vehicle’s age and weight. 
When registering a vehicle, you will be required to pay some
additional fees
in Colorado.
Specific Ownership Taxes (SOT)
2.1% of taxable value in first year to 0.45% after the fifth year or older
This does not change throughout the life of the vehicle
Clerk hire fee
This fee is distributed to the County Clerk and Recorder
County road and bridge
$1.50 to $2.50
Fee depends on weight of vehicle and goes to the County Road and Bridge Fund
Funding Advancement for Surface Transportation Economic Recovery (FASTER)
Goes to the Bridge Special Fund and HUTF
Emissions-Area Air Account
Helps fund emissions program enforcement
Emissions Program County Area
All vehicles must pay this fee
Emissions-Statewide Air Account
Helps the state AIR account
Emergency medical services
Excepted are trailers and low-power scooters
Insurance fee
Charged to vehicles that are not exempt from Motorist Insurance Identification Database fee
Motorist Insurance Information Database
Goes to the DRIVES Vehicle Services Account
Peace Officer Standardized Training (POST) fee
Material fees
For year tab, month tab, and license plates
Other fees may apply based on the type of vehicle, fuel type, license plate type, county of residence, or driving record. 
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A title transfer is a little more complicated if the vehicle is still financed. You’ll need to call your lender and ask how to sell a car that has a loan and how the transaction should be handled. They may need to handle the title transfer on your behalf.
Look for a line on the title that says “seller’s signature.” If more than one person is on the title, both people will need to sign on the same line. Buyers sign on a separate line.
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