by Armando Martinez

License Plate Transfer Process in Colorado

In Colorado, the license plates expire upon transfer of the owner’s title or interest in the vehicle and need to be removed from the vehicle and turned into the County Motor Vehicle Office. Find your local office by visiting  However, as a seller, you will retain the priority right to use the same combination of letters or numbers from the expired plates when registering a new-to-you vehicle. To do so, the owner must apply for personalized plates, at an additional cost after returning the license plates. The old plates will no longer be valid for use. License plates will then be printed and mailed to the vehicle owner like newly issued license plates.  You'll need to provide a bill of sale and the title with the transfer section filled out to transfer ownership to the buyer. The buyer will need to register the car in their name and obtain their own license plates within 60 days of purchasing the vehicle.

To register the car, the buyer will need to bring the following documents to the Colorado Department of Revenue:

- The vehicle's title with the transfer section completed

- A bill of sale

- Proof of insurance

- Payment for registration fees

License Plate Fees in Colorado

The license plate fees in Colorado can vary based on several factors, such as the type of vehicle, type of license plate desired, and the county in which it will be registered. Here are some of the fees you may need to pay:

- Title fee: $8.20

- Registration fee: $3-$450

- License plate fee: $4.73-$60

- Sales tax: Varies by county

In addition to these fees, you may also need to pay emissions testing fees, late fees, or other fees, depending on your situation.


If you're selling a car in a private party sale in Colorado, it's important to understand the license plate reissuing process and associated fees. Keep in mind that the license plate numbers can belong to the owner and be placed on a new personalized plate. Originally issued plates are not valid for use by the new owner when the vehicle is sold. For more information about the Colorado License Plate reissuance program requirements, visit or email  Also, be prepared to pay various fees, including title fees, registration fees, license plate fees, and sales tax. By following these steps, you'll be able to transfer ownership of your vehicle smoothly and avoid any headaches along the way.

This article was written by Armando Martinez. Armando Martinez is among the nation’s experts on automotive titling, registration, DMV services and document operations. With nearly two decades of experience across a broad range of financial services functions and some of the largest names in auto, from Wells Fargo to Uber, Armando combines vision and ingenuity with a wealth of information so auto shoppers and sellers can learn from his experience.

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