Inoperable Collector's Item Registration


picture of collector item

An owner of a collector’s item that is not operated upon the highways of this state and that is kept on private property for the purpose of maintenance, repair, restoration, rebuilding, or any other similar purpose shall pay an annual specific ownership tax as provided in Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 42-3-106 on any such motor vehicle owned by such owner, except owners of parts cars as defined in C.R.S.42-12-101(3), or licensed garages or licensed automobile dealers C.R.S. 42-12-102(2)(a) and (b).

Collector’s Item means a motor vehicle, including a truck or truck tractor, that is: 

  • Model year 1975 or earlier; or
  • Model year 1976 or later that was registered as a collector’s item prior to September 1, 2009; except that a vehicle so registered shall not be eligible for registration as a collector’s item upon sale or transfer to a new owner. Please note that the collector’s item registration must remain current. If at any time the registration is permitted to expire it may not be re-registered as a collector’s item. C.R.S. 42-12-101(2)

Parts Car means a motor vehicle, generally in non-operable condition, which is owned by a collector to furnish or to supply parts that are usually non-obtainable from normal sources, thus enabling a collector or other collectors to preserve, restore, complete, and maintain a vehicle of historic or special interest. C.R.S. 42-12-101(11).


Collector’s items registered with the Collector Series Registration & Tax Paid (COT) decal:

  • Are registered with the State DMV- Vehicle Services Unit located at 1881 Pierce Street, Lakewood, CO 80214  and not with your County Motor Vehicle Office.

  • Shall be evidenced by the COT decal and registration receipt. This registration receipt should be made available to law and code enforcement upon request.

    • COT decal should be affixed on the collector vehicle on either the front or rear window in an area that is visible by law and code enforcement.

  • Proof of payment of specific ownership tax while the collector’s item is inoperable.

    • COT registration, that is kept current, will eliminate the collection of prior specific ownership tax and late fees when the vehicle is made roadworthy and registered with your County Motor Vehicle Office.

  • Expire in December of each year. There is no grace period for a COT registration. A renewal notice is not provided for COT registrations.

    • Owner must contact the DMV Title and Registration Section each December to be issued a COT registration for the following year.

Payment of the COT taxes and registration fees is calculated from the month of application through December. Below are the payment amounts for each month. This amount includes a $.25 material fee.

  • January - $3.25

  • February - $3.00

  • March - $2.75

  • April - $2.50

  • May - $2.25

  • June - $2.00

  • July – December - $1.75

Contact your county, city, town, local authority, and/or homeowners association for local codes and ordinances concerning inoperable motor vehicles within their jurisdictions. Contact the DMV Vehicle Service Section at 303-205-5608 for details and instructions for submitting payments.