Fees, Taxes and Payments

Colorado law governs the fee structure for all vehicle registrations. The fees are uniform statewide, and administered by the Department of Revenue through the County Clerks’ Offices.

Payment information

Douglas County Motor Vehicle accepts the following forms of payment:

  • Cash
  • Checks – must be payable to “Douglas County Clerk” for the exact amount
  • Credit Cards – In addition to the payment amount, each transaction will be subject to an administrative fee that covers the cost associated with providing this service. This fee is paid to a third party that provides these services for Colorado.gov and thus is not revenue for the State or County.
  • Effective June 1, 2009, a late fee of $25 will be assessed each month (not to exceed $100) for expired license plates, new purchases not registered within 60 days and/or vehicles being transferred to Colorado that are not registered within guidelines set by C.R.S. 42-1-102(81).


  • Collector plated vehicles (5-year registration) are charged additional fees for one year only
  • Farm trucks & tractors will be charged one-half of the amount listed above
  • Horseless Carriage are exempt from the increase

Late Fees

Colorado Motor Vehicle owners who are late in renewing or registering their vehicle face a late fee of $25 per month up to a maximum of $100.

Specific Ownership Taxes

Specific vehicle ownership taxes are based on the year of manufacture and the original taxable value. The original taxable value is determined when the vehicle is new and does not change throughout the life of the vehicle. Taxable value for passenger vehicles is 85 percent of the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price); for trucks the taxable value is 75 percent of the MSRP.

Ownership tax is in lieu of personal property tax. The tax is assessed for the time period which an individual owns the vehicle. Vehicles do not need to be driven in order to be assessed this tax.

For an approximate figure of the ownership taxes for twelve months you may use the following schedule:

  • First Year = 2.10% of taxable value
  •  Second Year = 1.50% of taxable value
  • Third Year = 1.2% of taxable value
  • Fourth Year = .9% of taxable value
  • 5-9 Years  =  .45% of taxable value or $10.00 whichever is greater
  • 10 + Years = $3.00

Ownership taxes begin to accrue from the date of purchase, or your date of residency when moving into Colorado from another state. The more time that passes between purchasing and registering a vehicle or between becoming a resident and registering your vehicle, will result in additional ownership taxes due.

For example:   If a vehicle is purchased in January, but is not registered until March, then there will be 14 months of ownership tax due at the time of registration.

All the ownership tax is distributed by the County Treasurer to numerous special districts within the county including:

  • 46% to the school district
  • 4% to law enforcement
  • 21% to Douglas County Road & Bridge, Social Services, Debt Service, Capital Expenditures and the General Fund
  • 29% is disbursed to a variety of other districts

License Fees

NOTE: Colorado plates remain with the customer, not the vehicle. If a vehicle is sold or traded, license plates should be removed prior to sale and a pro-rated portion of the remaining time on the registration fee may be credited toward your new vehicle purchase or the renewal of another vehicle registered in the same name, provided the registration is not expired at the time the credit is applied for. Plates, proof of sale and registration should be brought into the office.

License fees are based on the empty weight and the type of vehicle being registered. Additional fees may include:

  • $2.00 for emergency medical fund
  • $0.50 for an insurance data base
  • $10.00 for E470
  • $2.20 for emission fund
  • $1.00 for POST Law Enforcement Training
  • NOT MORE THAN $12.00 for the highway users tax fund

Sales Tax

Sales tax is due on any new vehicle purchase or new lease and is based on the purchase price of the vehicle.  The tax rate is based upon your physical address.