Level 2 Fire Restrictions in effect for western areas of Boulder County. No fireworks, fires, open flame, or shooting (see map and flyer).

Many County services are being offered online. Additionally, a variety of resources are available for those impacted by COVID-19.

Buying and Selling a Vehicle
3 pictures: family buying a car, man holding a For Sale sign, and young woman in a convertible

Buying & Selling a Vehicle

Buyer Beware

Purchasing a vehicle from an individual can mean you get a good deal, but you need to be cautious. Be sure to check the vehicle’s VIN to learn the history before you purchase the vehicle. Take the following steps to protect yourself:

  1. Confirm the vehicle has not been reported as stolen
  2. Research the vehicle’s history
  3. Make sure the vehicle has not been declared a total loss (Salvage or Junked title)

Our Motor Vehicle clerks can also verify the title of the vehicle you’re purchasing in the nationwide database. If the title indicates “salvage” or “junked” it cannot be registered. Please contact us with any questions before purchasing.

Buyer's Checklist - Purchase from a Private Party:

  • The seller must provide you with a Bill of Sale.
  • The bill of sale must be signed by the seller. Getting it notarized is optional.
  • A new emissions inspection is required when a vehicle changes ownership.
  • If you are buying a vehicle that requires emissions testing, the seller must provide you with a new passing emissions certificate at the time of sale.
  • You will need a new certificate even if the old one has time remaining on it.

You must register your new vehicle within 60 days of purchase by visiting one of our three DMV branch locations. In order to legally drive your vehicle, you must register it as soon as possible.

  • The seller’s license plates are not transferable to the buyer.
  • If you purchased the vehicle at a time when our offices are closed (on a weekend, legal holiday, or between 5pm and 8am), you may legally drive the vehicle from the seller’s place to your home (or wherever you intend to store your vehicle). You must carry the Bill of Sale and Proof of Insurance in the vehicle.
  • Visit a Motor Vehicle Division office on the next business day to register the vehicle.
  • If you need more time before registering your vehicle, you may apply for a temporary permit.

Please see our Vehicle Registration page for additional items required to register your vehicle.

Seller's Checklist:

  • Be careful to properly endorse the title. The title must be filled out correctly to be valid.
  • Please review these instructions for how to transfer a title to a new owner.
  • If you make a mistake on the title or have lost/damaged your title, you must apply immediately for a Duplicate Title.
  • Complete TWO Bills of Sale – one for the buyer and one for your records.
  • The bills of sale must be signed by the seller. Getting it notarized is optional.
  • A new emissions inspection is required when a vehicle changes ownership.
  • When you sell a vehicle that requires emissions testing, you must provide the buyer with a new passing emissions certificate at the time of sale.
  • You need to provide a new certificate even if the old one has time remaining on it.
  • You must remove your license plates when you sell your vehicle (in Colorado, the plates belong to the seller, not the vehicle).
  • The buyer can legally drive without plates (within 36 hours of the sale) to the local motor vehicle office or to their residence (if after-hours or on the weekend). They must carry the Bill of Sale and Proof of Insurance and register the vehicle as soon as possible.
  • You can reuse your plates when you register a new vehicle or turn them in when renewing a different vehicle.
  • If the plates aren’t expired, you can receive credit for the remaining time on the tabs and/or save the material fee for the plate if it’s issued to another vehicle.
  • The vehicle will continue to show you as the owner until the new buyer goes into their local Motor Vehicle office to change the title.
  • To remove your liability for the buyer’s actions involving the vehicle after the sale is complete, you may voluntarily report a transfer of ownership online within five days of sale ((C.R.S. 42-6-109(3)).

Contact Us

Motor Vehicle Division

Hours: 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. M-F
motorvehicle@bouldercounty.org

Phone: 303-413-7710

Fax: 303-413-7725 (Boulder office)
Fax: 303-413-7002 (Lafayette office)
Fax: 303-678-6126 (Longmont office)

Location

Boulder: 1750 33rd Street
Map & Directions

Longmont: 529 Coffman Street
Map & Directions

Lafayette: 1376 Miners Drive
Map & Directions

Mailing Address

1750 33rd Street, Suite 100
Boulder, CO 80301