Renewing License Plates

Vehicle Renewal Statement

You should receive a vehicle renewal statement in the mail approximately one week before the month of expiration. If you no longer own the vehicle, please disregard the notice. If you have moved and didn’t change your address within the County you reside, you may not receive a renewal notice in the mail. Renewal notices are a courtesy from the county, and if you did not receive your renewal statement, the timely renewal of your registration is still your responsibility. Contact your County Clerk’s Motor Vehicle Office.

Beginning June 1, 2009, a late fee of $25 will be assessed each month (not to exceed $100) for expired license plates after the one-month grace period has expired.

Auto Insurance

Automobile liability insurance is generally defined as coverage for bodily injury you cause to another person or for property damage you cause to another person’s property through negligent use of your vehicle.

The minimum amount of liability insurance required by Colorado law is as follows:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury;
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and
  • $15,000 per accident for property damage

Additional coverage, such as medical payment coverage, uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive and collision are available, but not required.   As of Jan. 1, 2009, Colorado requires mandatory “med-pay” coverage with all insurance policies. Consumers may refuse this coverage in writing. More information on med-pay can be found at Medical Payment Coverage in Colorado.

Emissions Information

An Emissions test may be required before renewing your license plates. Your vehicle renewal statement will indicate whether or not an emissions test is required. There are rare circumstances when an emissions test expires before renewal cards are printed and renewal cards may display erroneous emissions testing information.

Air Car Colorado has rapid screen emission testing (roadside emissions).  The fee of $25.00 for the rapid screen testing will be added to your registration fees at time of renewal.  There is a message on the renewal card stating your vehicle passed roadside emissions.  For additional information on emissions testing requirements see

Do Diesel-Powered Vehicles Require Inspections?

Yes, but Air Care Colorado stations DO NOT inspect diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel vehicles are inspected at independent diesel emissions testing facilities. Find a list of independent diesel stations here.

The following rules apply to diesel-powered vehicles:

  • Light-duty vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 14,000 pounds or less are exempt from an emissions testing for four (4) years if they are purchased brand new.
  • 2003 and older vehicles are tested every year.
  • 2004 and newer vehicles are tested every two years.
  • Heavy-duty vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 14,001 pounds or more are exempt from emissions testing (if they are purchased brand new) for the first four (4) years, and then tested every two (2) years

Emissions requirements differ from county to county in Colorado. Please call the Motor Vehicle Office at 303.660.7440 for more information.

Renewing Online

Expired license plates cannot be renewed online.

You can renew your plates online by check or credit card. There is an additional admin fee beyond the normal registration fee. The administrative processing fee structure is further explained at  Douglas County will also accept an e-check as form of payment for an additional cost of $1.00.  If information provided is inaccurate it could result in the e-check being returned by the financial institution and considered insufficient funds.

You can renew plates online up until midnight on the last day of the month of your grace period.  Please print out your receipt from the online transaction, as this will serve as your registration for 10 days until you receive your new registration and plates stickers.

For more information on renewing on line visit

Renewing by Mail

  • Mail your check or money order and postcard to the Clerk and Recorder
  • Include a copy of vehicle insurance if it is noted on the vehicle renewal statement
  • Provide us with your new physical and mailing addresses if they have changed
  • Include proof of emissions if it is noted on your postcard renewal notice. Tear off the perforated section of emission form and enclose with your renewal card
  • Return the renewal card with payment in an envelope so that it will reach the County Clerk’s Office before the last day of the grace period (one month after the expiration month). Checks should be made payable to Douglas County Clerk. Driver’s license and phone number should be included on the check.

Renewing in Person

Douglas County Motor Vehicle Offices provide a drop box for your convenience.  The new registration and year sticker will be mailed out within two business days after the renewal are received in the drop box.

  • Bring proof of Colorado insurance
  • Provide us with your new physical and mailing addresses if they have changed
  • Bring proof of emissions if it is noted on your postcard renewal notice.
  • Payment is accepted by check (payable to Douglas County Clerk and a driver’s license number) and credit cards.  There is an administrative fee for use of credit cards.