1. Sign title. Once you have closed the deal on the sale of a vehicle, you must transfer the title to the new owner by properly endorsing the title (see how to properly endorse a title).
2. Remove plates. By Colorado State Law, sellers must retain their own plates before the buyer drives away. If plates are left on the vehicle when transferred to a new owner, you could be liable for traffic tickets and other legal problems that are connected with the plate number—and with you. If you forgot to remove your plates, you must report them lost or stolen.
If you are buying a car from a private party, you may first want to learn as much as you can about the history of the vehicle and its title, before you sign any documents, by obtaining a vehicle history report online. Within 60 days upon sale of a motor vehicle, the buyer must either register the vehicle or present the certificate of title with an application for title to the Denver County DMV (we serve Denver residents only).
1. Endorse title. Make sure the seller properly endorses the title over to you in order to avoid problems at the DMV. (See how to properly endorse a title.)
2. Complete Bill of Sale. Have the seller provide you with a signed and dated Bill of Sale, including your name, the purchase price, the VIN, and the year and make of the vehicle.
3. Obtain temporary tags. Obtain temporary tag (permit) in order to operate your newly purchased vehicle on roadways legally. See below for more details on operation of an unregistered vehicle.
4. Operation of an unregistered vehicle. A buyer of a vehicle may operate a vehicle on the highway prior to registering the vehicle or obtaining a temporary permit under the following conditions:
- The buyer has purchased the motor vehicle within the last 36 hours from a person who is not a licensed motor vehicle dealer.
- The vehicle was purchased either on a Saturday, on a Sunday, on a legal holiday, or between 5p.m. and 8 a.m.
- The vehicle is being driven from the place where the seller stored the vehicle to the place where the buyer intends to store the vehicle.
- The buyer must carry in the vehicle the bill of sale that identifies the vehicle by year, make and VIN and shows the time and date of sale signed by both the buyer and the seller.
- Proof of insurance.
5. Register your vehicle.