Colorado Laws on Selling a Used Car to a Private Party

by Grayson Millar
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Colorado legislation on private-party used-car sales is intended to benefit both the seller and the buyer. The state guidelines sellers and buyers must follow help ensure the transfer of ownership is successful and beneficial.

Seller Responsibilities: The Title

Vital information must be provided by the seller, according to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The DMV guidelines state the seller must have "the Colorado certificate of title, which is in your name, (signed and printed) in the seller's area of the title." If the car has more than one owner, both owners must sign. The name and address of the buyer must also be provided on the title prior to exchange.

Additional Seller Responsibilites

The seller must complete an odometer disclosure ensuring the mileage at the time of sale is recorded in the transfer and the buyer knows the exact mileage. A bill of sale is also required. The Colorado DMV notes the bill of sale "must show the buyer's name(s), purchase price, vehicle identification number, year and make of the vehicle, date of sale and must be signed by the seller(s)." If the buyer lives in an area in which emissions testing is required, the seller must provide the buyer with a current emissions inspection certificate.

Buyer Responsibilities

Before purchasing a used vehicle from a private seller in Colorado, you must verify through the Motor Vehicle Verification System that the car is not stolen. According to the Colorado DMV, you must also "check the National Insurance Crime Bureau to confirm the vehicle has not been declared a total loss." Both resources are accessible through the Colorado DMV's Buying and Selling information page on its website. In addition, you must obtain a temporary permit for the car from the county motor vehicle office in the seller's home county. To acquire the temporary permit, bring documentation provided by the seller (listed in the previous sections), verifiable identification and your proof of insurance to the clerk at the county motor vehicle office.


The Colorado DMV specifies that license plates remain with the seller after the car is exchanged.

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