Colorado law requires a person who moves to Colorado to register their motor vehicle within 90 days. The act requires a person who registers a vehicle after moving to Colorado to:
- Provide documentation of the vehicle's previous registration that contains the registration dates;
- Provide evidence of the date that the person became a Colorado resident unless the previous registration expired within 90 days before the owner applied to register the vehicle; and
- Pay the vehicle's registration taxes and fees that are prorated from the date the person became a Colorado resident to the date the person applied to register the vehicle unless the vehicle is used for interstate commerce or unless the owner registered the vehicle within 90 days after becoming a resident.
The effect of these listed changes is that an owner who fails to register the vehicle within 90 days will be assessed back taxes and fees. The additional fees are transferred to the Colorado DRIVES vehicle services account in the highway users tax fund (DRIVES account) that implements the computer system used by the division of motor vehicles and the county clerks. The department of revenue will lower motor vehicle fees to offset the additional revenues. The allocation and use of the taxes does not change. When the amount credited to the DRIVES account exceeds the appropriation to the DRIVES account, the excess money is credited as follows:
- The first $7.5 million to the statewide bridge enterprise special revenue fund; and
- The remainder to the highway users tax fund.
Before the act was passed, Colorado law exempted people with expired temporary tags from paying the late fees for failing to register a vehicle. The act repeals this exemption. The act also imposes prorated registration taxes and fees to capture missed revenue when a person fails to register a vehicle when required by law.
Colorado law limits to 2 the number of temporary plates that may be issued for a vehicle used to transport persons or property over the roads. The purchaser or owner may get a third plate if necessary for title or lien documentation. The act requires the purchaser or owner to pay the vehicle's registration taxes and fees to get the third temporary plate. If the sale is not consummated, the person who attempted to purchase the vehicle is entitled to a 12-month credit toward a subsequent registration of another vehicle.
For the 2021-22 state fiscal year, the act appropriates $160,200 from the DRIVES account for use by the division of motor vehicles to implement the act.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)