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Emissions & Insurance Requirements


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Denver Motor Vehicle Branches Closed

To protect the health and safety of our community and limit the spread of COVID-19, Denver’s motor vehicle branches are closed to the public until further notice. We are only processing online registrations at this time.

You can renew online, but if your registration requires an in-person visit, the city is providing a grace period for expired registrations through May 31. Denver Police Department will not issue citations for expired tags during this time. For extra peace of mind, you can obtain a letter from the state to keep in your vehicle at

Many transactions can be completed online including:

  • Vehicle registration renewals
  • License plate or sticker replacements
  • Address updates
  • Some vehicle registrations.

New tags will be mailed in approximately 2-3 weeks and you will receive a letter to keep with you in your vehicle until they arrive.

To learn more about current Emissions Testing, visit our Emissions page.

To learn about guidance for New Vehicle Purchases, visit our  Register a New or Used Vehicle page.

Emmissions Stations Are Closed!

Emissions stations are currently closed and the Denver Department of Motor Vehicles, like the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles, does not have the authority to waive emissions test for vehicle registration. Vehicle owners who need an emissions test to renew their registration should visit dmv/how-covid-19-closure-affects-vehicle-services and fill out the “Unable to Renew Online” form to request a vehicle registration extension.

Visit the Air Care Colorado at for emissions station closure updates.

vehicle receiving emissions test at facility

When Is An Emissions Test Required?

The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles requires residents of Denver County to get emissions inspections as part of the State's overall strategy to improve air quality throughout Denver and the front range. Vehicles from a model year of 1981 or older must have an emissions test annually; vehicles from model year 1982 and newer must test every other year. You must obtain an emissions test:

  1. When you purchase a vehicle through a private party, or transfer ownership through family or inheritance, even if the current inspection report still has time on it. Visit Air Care Colorado for exceptions to this rule.
  2. If you receive notice on your registration renewal that an emissions inspection is due for your vehicle.
  3. If you relocate to Colorado from another state. Learn more about Colorado residency...


Emissions waivers and extensions

Students, military personnel, and other Colorado residents who are temporarily out of state may file for an emission extension. For rules and regulations on how to file and other special circumstances, visit the State of Colorado website.

When is proof of insurance required?

Proof of valid vehicle insurance coverage is required by state law. The Department of Motor Vehicle will accept an insurance card, copy of insurance policy or letter from your insurance company on their letterhead including a description of the vehicle with the following information: year, make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN), effective date and expiration date of the policy. We will also accept proof of insurance displayed electronically via smartphone.


Questions about proof of insurance for registration renewals?

Even if you have provided proof of insurance in the past, you may be asked to provide it again if your insurance carrier has not transmitted data for your proof of insurance to the State of Colorado. Insurance companies are required by law to provide necessary information on their policy holders to the State database by the seventh day of each month. If your insurance company has not submitted this information in time, you will need to provide proof of insurance to the DMV by mail, fax, in-person, or by email attachment displayed on a smartphone at the DMV, before your registration can be renewed. Contact your insurance company to provide proper verification.

Did you know...

Want to renew online but need an emissions test? No problem! Get your emissions test and wait approximately 48 hours. The emissions information will be uploaded to the state portal during that time frame and you will be able to renew online.

  • Your registration receipt indicates when your next emissions test is due
  • Motor vehicle insurance is mandatory in the State of Colorado

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Looking for Driver's License Info?

Denver County Motor Vehicle Offices Do Not Provide Driver's License Services.

Driver's licenses, ID cards, and driving records may be obtained at state offices only.
Visit below to learn more: