How to Transfer a Car Title in Colorado

by Robert Moore

It is easy to become overwhelmed when you transfer a car title for the first time. The state of Colorado has specific requirements that you must follow to transfer ownership of your vehicle. If you’re moving from out of state or purchase a vehicle from another state, there are extra steps you have to take. Once you have all of the information you need, fill out the Request for Title Transfer Form at your local motor vehicles office.

The Basics

Any time you transfer ownership of a vehicle in Colorado, regardless of your specific situation, you must supply the following documents and information:

Colorado does not require a state-specific bill of sale form -- it can even be handwritten. Ensure that it includes the year, make, model and selling price and is endorsed by the seller and yourself.

Special Situations

Everybody’s situation is different. Perhaps your car is less than 10 years old or you’ve moved from a new state and are approaching the 90-day deadline to transfer your vehicle’s title. Maybe you purchased your car from a seller in another state. All of these circumstances may require you to provide additional documentation before you can transfer your car's title.

Weight Certification

Weight certification is required for pickup and heavy-duty trucks if you’re transferring an out of state title. This certification can be in the form of a manufacturer’s statement of origin, previous title or registration with the curb weight listed or a certified weight slip from any public scale facility. If you’re providing a previous registration or title as weight certification, it must not be more than six months expired.

Odometer Disclosure

If your vehicle is less than 10 years old, and the mileage at the time of sale isn’t noted on the title, you’ll need to supply an odometer disclosure statement that is endorsed by you and the seller of the vehicle. This from helps prevent odometer fraud on newer vehicles and releases you from liability from any discrepancy of mileage that may arise, if the odometer was fraudulently altered before the purchase or transfer of the vehicle.

Emissions Testing

The state of Colorado requires emission testing every two years in certain counties if your vehicle is a 1982-or-newer model. If your vehicle is a 1981-or-older model, a two-speed idle test is required. If you purchased the vehicle from within the state, the seller is responsible for providing current emission testing or two-speed idle testing results when you purchase the vehicle. The following counties require emission and two-speed idle testing:

  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Denver
  • Douglas
  • Jefferson
  • Adams
  • Arapahoe
  • Larimer
  • Weld

Tip

  • If you live outside the county areas that require testing but commute to or through any of those counties more than 90 days out of a calendar year, you’ll also be required to present emissions-testing documents at the time of registration renewal.

Lien Holder Information

If there is to be a lien placed on your vehicle, you must provide a mortgage document -- also known as a security agreement – at the time of title transfer. This document must be the original document, a carbon copy or a certified copy. It must include a description of the vehicle, the vehicle identification number, lien holder information and your signature.

Tip

  • The title will be mailed to the lien holder once it is processed.

VIN Verification

If you’ve moved from another state, or if you purchased your vehicle from another state, you need to have the VIN verified prior to transferring the title. Fill out the VIN verification form, and have it completed by a Colorado law enforcement officer, Colorado motor vehicle dealer or an agent at any Colorado emissions testing station.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robert Moore started writing professionally in 2002. His career started has head writer and Web designer for VFW post 1224 in Hamburg, Michigan. He has prepared business plans, proposals and grant requests. Moore is a state of Michigan-certified mechanic and is pursuing an Associate of Arts in automotive technology from Lansing Community College.