Handling The Paperwork for Selling a Car in Colorado

In Colorado, selling a vehicle involves several key steps to ensure the sale is recognized legally by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The primary focus is to transfer ownership from the seller to the buyer, which requires completing specific forms and documents.

Prepare the Necessary Documents

Certificate of Title

The certificate of title, often simply referred to as the title, is the legal document that establishes the ownership of the vehicle. To transfer ownership in Colorado, the title must be free of liens, meaning any outstanding loans or claims against the vehicle have been satisfied. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Ensure the title is clear: Verify that there are no existing liens on the vehicle. If there is a lien listed, you must obtain a release from the lienholder.
  • Complete the seller and buyer sections: Both parties must fill out their respective sections on the back of the title. This includes names, addresses, and the sale date.
  • Odometer disclosure: For vehicles less than ten years old, the odometer reading at the time of sale must be documented to prevent odometer fraud. This section is also located on the title document.
  • Sign and date: Both the seller and the buyer must sign and date the title to validate the transfer of ownership.

Bill of Sale

The Bill of Sale is an additional document that records the transaction details, providing further legal protection for both parties. Colorado provides a form (DR 2173) that includes:

  • Vehicle information: Make, model, year, VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), and the vehicle’s current mileage.
  • Sale information: The sale price and the date of the sale.
  • Seller and buyer information: Names and signatures of both the seller and the buyer, confirming the agreement to the terms of the sale.
  • While not mandatory for all vehicle sales in Colorado, completing this form is highly recommended as it serves as a receipt and can be useful for tax purposes or any future disputes.

Odometer Disclosure Statement

For vehicles that are less than ten years old, federal law requires that the seller provide an accurate odometer reading at the time of sale. This disclosure helps to ensure buyers are aware of the vehicle’s true mileage. In Colorado:

  • Integrated in the title or Bill of Sale: The odometer disclosure is typically part of the title. If the title does not have space for this information, the Bill of Sale (Form DR 2173) can be used to document it.
  • Accuracy is crucial: It’s important to provide an accurate reading. Tampering with or providing false odometer readings is illegal and can result in severe penalties.

Emissions Inspection Certificate

In certain areas of Colorado, emissions testing is required before selling a vehicle. The requirements vary based on the vehicle’s model year and the area in which you reside.

  • For emissions testing information: Visit the “Emissions Testing” section on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website or the Colorado DMV website for details on testing locations, requirements, and how to obtain your certificate.

Notice of Vehicle Sale

After selling your vehicle, it’s important to notify the Colorado DMV of the sale. This step is crucial for releasing you from future liability for the vehicle.

  • For notifying the DMV: Check the Colorado DMV website for the “Notice of Vehicle Sale” procedure. This can typically be done online through their specific services section.

By following these steps and utilizing the official Colorado DMV website as your primary resource, you can ensure that all paperwork and legal requirements are correctly handled for the sale of your vehicle. Remember, the Colorado DMV’s website is the most authoritative source for forms, procedures, and up-to-date information regarding vehicle sales in the state.