Colorado law governs the fee structure for all vehicle registrations. Most fees are uniform statewide and administered by the Department of Revenue through the County Clerk.
Registration/License Plate 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 (if the registration is not expired). Plates, proof of sale, and registration must be provided.
License fees are based on the empty weight and the type of vehicle being registered. Additional fees may include:
- $2.00 for the emergency medical fund
- $0.50 for an insurance database
- $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 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.
Click Here for New/First-Time Vehicle Registration Fee Estimator
Douglas County Motor Vehicle accepts the following forms of payment:
Collector vehicles, farm trucks/farm tractors, and horseless carriage registrations may follow a different fee schedule.
A late fee of $25 is 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).
Specific Ownership Taxes on Vehicles
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% of the MSRP (Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price); for trucks, the taxable value is 75% of the MSRP.
Ownership tax is in lieu of personal property tax. The tax is assessed for the time period in 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