A Colorado (CO) vehicle bill of sale is a document that finalizes the transaction when you buy or sell a vehicle in the state. This legal form authorizes the buyer to transfer the title into their name and claim full ownership of the vehicle in question.
If you are the buyer, you must take the completed vehicle bill of sale to one of the Colorado Department of Revenue’s Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices to transfer the title into your name. You will likely also need the signed title, a valid driver’s license, and other documents to complete the transaction.
The bill of sale not only lets you officially take over ownership of the vehicle, but it also serves as your purchase receipt. On the seller side, this document pairs with the transfer notification to release their liability for the vehicle.
Colorado Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
In Colorado, you must follow certain requirements when completing the vehicle bill of sale or the DMV may not process the transfer request.
Notarization: Bill of sale documents do not have to be notarized in the state of Colorado.
Witnesses: There are no witnesses required, so only the buyer and seller have to sign the form.
Language Requirements: The state only provides a bill of sale in English, but you can write it up in a different language.
Number of Copies: Make three copies of the bill of sale to give one to the buyer, seller, and DMV.
Writing Requirements: Use a black or blue pen to fill out the bill of sale since it is a legal document.
Registering a Vehicle at the Colorado DMV
When you register your vehicle at the Colorado DMV, keep in mind the following info to facilitate the process.
Colorado DMV Offices: Colorado has dozens of DMV offices for you to visit for your title transfer needs.
Deadline : Buyers have up to 60 days to transfer the title into their name or late fees will apply. The late fees increase each month, so you should make an effort to transfer the title as soon as you can.
Fees: The bulk of the title transfer and registration fees depend on your vehicle type, weight, year, make, and model. Small fees are tacked on to the base price to cover the cost of materials, emissions, emergency services, road safety, and other key elements.
Auto/Liability Insurance: You must show proof of automotive insurance if you plan to register the vehicle while transferring the title. The Colorado DMV accepts current insurance cards and other policy documents as proof.
Sales/Excise Tax: Colorado charges Specific Ownership Taxes that are based on the original vehicle value and the vehicle year. This tax is paid when registering the vehicle and at each annual renewal.
Antique/Electric Vehicles: If you buy an antique vehicle without a title, you can register it using a surety bond as long as it is roadworthy. If it is not drivable, then you can get a Rebuilder’s Title instead. While registering your antique or classic vehicle, you can get special collector’s plates for it.
Emissions: Nine counties in Colorado require that you complete an emissions test before registering the vehicle in your name. You may also need to repeat the testing process before renewing your registration as well.
While registering your vehicle with the Colorado DMV, you may need the following documents.
- Driver’s License and Proof of Residence: A current driver’s license confirms your identity, so the DMV employee can process your title transfer request. If you need to make an address change during your visit, be sure to bring along proof of residence, like a paystub or utility bill.
- Application for Certificate of Title/Registration Form: The Application for Title and/or Registration gives the DMV all the info they need to put the new car in your name.
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Verification: The Verification of Vehicle Identification Number form confirms that the VIN on the vehicle is correct and authentic.
- Odometer Disclosure Statement Form: Colorado does not have a dedicated form for the odometer reading. Instead, the current reading should be written on the signed title and verified by the buyer and seller.
- Emissions Certificate: If the vehicle has to go through emissions testing, the test facility will provide an emission certificate upon passing the test. If the vehicle does not pass the test, they will let you know what to do next.
- Seller’s Report of Sale: Sellers can release their liability for the vehicle by filling out a report of sale online through the Colorado Department of Revenue’s myDMV portal.
- Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) Sticker: The MSRP sticker helps the DMV calculate the Specific Ownership Taxes for the vehicle, but it is not required. DMV employees can look up that value through their system if needed.
- Military Service Exemption: The Nonresidence and Military Service Exemption From Specific Ownership Tax Affidavit excuses you from having to pay extra taxes if you are temporarily stationed in Colorado.
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car in Colorado
Whether you’re buying or selling a vehicle in Colorado, it’s important to know how to fill out a bill of sale to avoid complications when it comes to legal ownership of the vehicle.
Step 1: Download and Print out the Colorado Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
Step 2: Write Down Details of the Vehicle
Include the year, make, and model plus the full vehicle identification number. If the seller wrote down the date, confirm their input against the tag on the vehicle.
Step 3: Fill In the Details of the Transaction
Write the date of sale and the total amount paid for the vehicle, as well as the payment method if applicable.
Step 4: Complete and Sign the Form
Make sure to have both parties review the information on the form and sign on the indicated line.
Repeat this process two more times to create a copy for the seller, buyer, and DMV. The buyer should leave with two of the bill of sale copies plus the signed title. The title needs to have the odometer reading written on it to allow for the title transfer process to go through.
Step 5: Register the Vehicle
Upon completing these steps, you can take the bill of sale and other pertinent documents down to your local DMV for processing. They will let you know if you have missed any steps or need any other forms to process your request. If not, then they will transfer the vehicle title into your name and let you register the car to legally drive on the road.