Motor Vehicle

Washington County Motor Vehicle Office can only title and register vehicles for residents of Washington County   Contact the County Motor Vehicle Office in the county where you reside for information.

The Clerk and Recorder is an agent for the Colorado Department of Revenue for motor vehicle titling and registration services. All motor vehicle title and registration requirements are set by state statutes or set by the rules and regulations promulgated by the Department of Revenue. The Motor Vehicle Department is also responsible for the collection of taxes and fees set by Colorado Law. Registration is required for all passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers, motor homes, motor cycles and special mobile machinery. We also handle vehicle title issuance and transfers, distribution of license plates, temporary permits, registrations renewals, recording of vehicle loans, and disabled placards and plates.

Motor Vehicle Location

Washington County Courthouse Main Floor
150 Ash Avenue
Akron, CO 80720
(970)510-7874 (fax)
Hours: 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday – Friday

All motor vehicles and trailers owned by Colorado residents must be titled and registered within 60 days of purchase or 90 days after becoming a resident of Washington County. Colorado residency is established if you own or operate a business in Colorado, reside in Colorado continuously for 90 days or you obtain employment in Colorado. Late charges are applicable for failure to register vehicles at $25 per month up to $100. (Colorado Senate Bill 09-108)

Washington County Motor Vehicle Office keeps an inventory of only the standard green and white Colorado license plates.

Specialty License Plates – To purchase a specialty license plate, such as designer, alumni, military, special groups or personalized plate with custom letter/numbers, you may register a vehicle and apply for the plates at the Washington County Clerk and Recorder’s Office. Your specialty license plates will be printed by the State and mailed to you within 10 days of your visit to our office. If there are fewer than 30 days remaining on your temporary registration when ordering, you will automatically be issued a new 30-day temporary permit, valid until the specialty plates arrive.

Motor Vehicle Fees

Visit the Colorado DMV website for information on Motor Vehicle fees: https://dmv.colorado.gov/vehicles

Emissions: Washington County does not require an emission inspection.

Title a Vehicle

Colorado is a title issuing state. A title is required to transfer ownership.

  • Title properly signed by all involved parties.
  • Proof of insurance if you are also getting plates
  • Odometer disclosure is required for vehicles less than 10 years old
  • Secure and verifiable identification of the name of the owner
    The following types of identification are Secure and Verifiable:
    • Any Colorado Driver License, Colorado Driver Permit or Colorado Identification Card, current or expired one year or less. (Valid temporary paper license with invalid Colorado Driver’s License, Colorado Driver’s Permit, or Colorado Identification Card, expired one year or less is acceptable.)
    • Out-of-state issued photo driver’s license or photo identification card, photo driver’s permit current or expired one year or less.
    • U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card, current or expired less than 10 years.
    • Valid foreign passport with I-94 or valid processed for I551 stamps. Exception: Canadian Passport may not have I-94 attached.
    • Valid I-94 issued by U.S. Immigration with L1 or R1 status and a valid Canadian drivers license or valid Canadian identification card.
    • Valid I551 Resident Alien/Permanent Resident card. No border crosser or USAB1/B2 Visa/BCC cards.
    • Valid I688 Temporary Resident, I688B, and I766 Employment Authorization Card with intact photo.
    • Valid US Military ID (active duty, dependent, retired, reserve and National Guard).
    • Tribal Identification Card with intact photo. (U.S. or Canadian)
    • Certificate of Naturalization with intact photo.
    • Certificate of (US) Citizenship with intact photo.
  • Original or certified copies of loan documents if financing
  • A physical address in Washington County
  • Bill of Sale indicating purchase price (if not disclosed on the title)

Colorado titles issued before 1988 will need:

  • To be notarized
  • Have a bill of sale listing the date of the vehicle sale signed by both parties
  • A notarized Power of Attorney (POA) is required if processing paperwork for another individual

Colorado titles issued after 1988:

  • Do not require notarization
  • The seller(s) must print and sign their name(s) as they appear on the front of the title, on the back of the Colorado title and buyer(s) will print and sign their name
  • The odometer reading is to be completed by the seller and the buyer at the time of sale
  • Purchase date and purchase price are to be completed by the seller and buyer at the time of sale
  • Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship Acknowledgement of Intent (form DR2395)
  • Certified weight slip, if applicable (from a facility with certified scales). A certified weight slip is required when titling a truck or motor home that weighs between 4500 and 10,000 pounds when the weight is not disclosed on the title document when purchased from an out of state dealer. A trailer bought from an out of state dealer with an empty weight over 2000 pounds and the weight is not listed on the title a certified weight slip is required to title the vehicle in Colorado.

NOTE: Alterations on the title may void the document. Out of state titles may require notarization or be laid out differently than a Colorado title. Be sure to read the title over thoroughly to ensure proper assignments.

A vehicle purchased out of state, will need to have a VIN verification (form DR2698 https://www.colorado.gov/dmv). A VIN verification can be performed by Colorado licensed dealers or the Sheriff’s department (970-345-2244).

A Colorado licensed dealer may forward paperwork directly to the Washington County Clerk and Recorder Office when vehicle is purchased from them. You will receive a notification from the Clerk and Recorder when they have your paperwork. Once the paperwork has been processed you may register your vehicle.


KEEP YOUR LICENSE PLATES IF YOU SELL A VEHICLE, THEY ARE REGISTERED TO YOU. (A pro-rated portion of the remainder of the registration fee may be credited toward new vehicle registration.)

Newly Purchased Vehicle (C.R.S. 42-3-115,2b)

If the purchase occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday or between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m., the vehicle purchaser has up to 36 hours to obtain a temporary tag or title the vehicle.

The following forms are required:

  • Title properly signed
  • Proof of insurance
  • Bill of Sale listing the date and time of vehicle sale and signed by both parties

Transfer License Plates

  • Plates that are not yet expired may have the pro-rated portion of the ownership tax fee applied towards a new registration.

Renew License Plates

  • You should receive a vehicle renewal card in the mail. (If you no longer own the vehicle, disregard the notice.)

Renewal notices are a courtesy from the county and if you did not receive your renewal card, the timely renewal of your registration is still your responsibility.

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

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

Washington County Motor Vehicle accepts the following forms of payment:

  • Cash
  • Check – must be payable to Washington 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 of County.
  • Beginning June 1, 2009, a late fee of $25 was assessed each month (not to exceed $100) for expired license plates after the one month grace period has expired, 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).

Registration fees include a license fee based on the weight of the vehicle and an ownership tax based on the age and taxable value of the vehicle. Ownership tax is calculated using the taxable value of the vehicle for the registration period. Taxable value is calculated with a percentage of the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price. The percentage used on passenger vehicles is 85% and on cargo type vehicles 75%. Once the taxable value is established it remains on the ownership documents for the life of the vehicle. Ownership tax is in lieu of personal property tax. Ownership tax begins to accrue from the date of purchase and the more time that passes between purchasing and registering a vehicle will result in additional ownership taxes due.

Renew Online

Expired license plates cannot be renewed online.

You can renew your plates online by check or credit card. There is an additional administrative fee beyond the normal registration fee. The administrative processing fee structure is further explained at www.colorado.gov/renewplates. 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 plate stickers.

Renew by Mail

  • Mail your check or money order and renewal card to the Clerk and Recorder
    Checks should be payable to Washington County Clerk and Recorder
  • Include a copy of vehicle insurance if it is noted on the vehicle renewal card
  • Provide us your physical and mailing addresses if they have changed

Renew in Person

  • Bring vehicle insurance if it is noted on the vehicle renewal statement
  • Provide us your physical and mailing addresses if they have changed

Replacement Plates and Documents

If you have lost, misplaced or destroyed your registration you can obtain a duplicate from out office, with in person or by mail.

You will need the following:

  • The license plate number, vehicle information
  • Valid identification
  • Supplemental Secure and Verifiable Identification (Form DR2842) if applying by mail)

Unless a Motor Vehicle power of attorney is signed by the owner, only the owner of record or lien holder can apply for a duplicate registration.

The cost for a duplicate registration is $2.20, however, if you have lost the registration and sticker tabs, the cost for the replacement of registration and tabs is $2.37.

Lost Title (Duplicate Title)

If your original title has been lost, destroyed, mutilated or is no longer legible, you can obtain a duplicate title with in person or by mail.

If applying in person, you will need to provide the following:

  • The license plate number, VIN number, title number or vehicle registration
  • Valid identification

If applying by mail, please follow the instruction on the Duplicate Title Request and Receipt form (Form DR2539A) which is available from State of Colorado website.

The cost for a duplicate title is $8.20.

Unless a Motor Vehicle power of attorney is signed by the owner, only the owner of record can apply for a duplicate title. When more than one owner is on the title, only one of the listed is required to obtain a duplicate title.
If you have paid the lien on your vehicle but our records still list a lien holder, please provide us with a lien release signed under penalty of perjury from your lien holder. Without a lien release, we will mail the duplicate title to the lien holder of record.

If your title was issued by another state, please contact the state.

Lost License Plates

Complete and sign the Affidavit for Lost or Stolen License Plates (Form DR2283) indicating that the plates were lost or stolen. The form may be obtained from one of the Motor Vehicle Offices. The lost/stolen license will be cancelled and new plates issued.

The fee for issuing replacement plates varies depending upon license plate type being issued/replaced.

Person with Disabilities Parking Privileges

A person can apply for a handicap placard at the Motor Vehicle Office in the County where they reside if they meet the criteria on form (Form DR2816) that is certified by a fully licensed to practice medicine in Colorado physician.

Washington County Clerk and Recorder as an agent for the State of Colorado issues license plates and placards to qualified person with disabilities to park in reserved parking spaces. The disability privilege allows a qualifying individual to park in any space marked with the International Symbol of Access. Identifying license plates and placards for persons with disabilities to park in reserved parking spaces offered to those who qualify.

A person with a disability may apply for:

  • An identifying placard that can be displayed on a motor vehicle used to transport such person with a disability
  • A distinguishing license plate to be displayed on a motor vehicle owned by such person

If the person with a disability is also a Disabled Veteran as determined by 42-3-213(5), C.R.S., that person may elect to display the Handicap Disabled Veteran license plates.

Identifying license plates or placards shall be issued to such person by submitting a completed (Form DR2219 Persons with Disabilities Parking Privileges Application) to the County Motor Vehicle office. The application must be signed by the applicant or representative.

To be considered “disabled” and eligible for persons with disabilities license plates and/or placards, the applicant must meet one of the following criteria and it verified in writing by a Professional*

  • Mobility: Persons who cannot walk two-hundred feet without stopping to rest.
  • Assisted Mobility: Persons who cannot walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device, wheelchair, or other assistive device.
  • Respiratory: Person who are restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person’s forced (respiratory) expiratory volume for one second when measured by spirometry is less than one liter, or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty mm/hg on room air or at rest.
  • Oxygen: Person who use portable oxygen.
  • Cardiac: Persons who have a cardiac condition to the extent that the person’s functional limitations are classified in severity as class III or IV according to the standards of the American Heart Association.
  • Other: Persons who are severely limited in their ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurological, or orthopedic condition.

*”Professional” means a physician licensed to practice medicine or practicing medicine pursuant to section 12-36-106(3)(i), C.R.S. (i) the performance by commissioned medical officers of the armed forces of the United States of America or of the United States public health service or of the United States veterans administration of their lawful duties in this state as such officers. A physician assistant licensed pursuant to section 36-107.4, C.R.S., a podiatrist licensed under article 32 of title 12, C.R.S., or a physician, physician assistant, podiatrist, or advanced practice nurse authorized to practice professionally by another state that shares a common border with Colorado. Additional professionals for Short Term Placards only: Chiropractor licensed under article 32 of title 12, C.R.S. and Physical Therapist licensed under article 32 of title 12, C.R.S.