Colorado DMV gives update to Coloradans one month after DRIVES system adopted

September 10, 2018 – Denver, Colo. ​The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently passed the one-month mark using the Colorado DRIVES system - an integrated system for driver and vehicle services, which replaced two separate DOS-based systems from the 1980s. This new system has added several new online services and is expected to allow for faster transaction and training times in DMV offices. These results have been realized in driver license offices, where the DRIVES system has been in use since February 2017.

While the system has offered improvements, the DMV continues to make adjustments and identify areas of improvement.

Some improvements the DMV is currently working on include:

  • Wait times - Many Colorado county title and registration offices saw increased wait times in August. These increased wait times were a result of employees adjusting to the new system. More system familiarity should decrease wait times over the coming months.
  • Printer speeds - County motor vehicle offices have seen increased processing times when printing documents from the new system. The DMV is working with the Governor’s Office of Information Technology to explore options, including adjustments to settings and possible printer replacements. While some adjustments have yielded improvements, work is ongoing to further improve printing times.
  • Title processing times - Some individuals are seeing delays when registering newly-purchased vehicles. The DMV runs all vehicles where ownership is being transferred through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) to ensure that the vehicle is able to be titled in Colorado. This database tracks activities from other states to ensure that the vehicle has not been stolen, totaled or involved in fraudulent activities. Since the transition to the DRIVES system, the DMV has seen an increase in situations where no vehicle match is found in the national database. In these cases, state employees must manually research the vehicle to ensure that it is able to be titled in Colorado, which takes additional time. The DMV is making system changes to streamline this process and is expected to resolve related issues over the next few days.
  • Locator questions - Each Colorado county utilizes a locator to ensure that the correct taxes and fees are applied to vehicle registrations. There have been issues with some addresses in DRIVES due to the increased accuracy of the new system when compared to the previous 35-year-old system. This situation has required employees to make in-office locator adjustments during some transactions, which has extended transaction times. The DMV is working with its partners to make automated adjustments where possible.

The new DRIVES system provides increased transparency of the fees, taxes and surcharges for vehicle titling and registration. In addition, it provides the ability to credit some fees and taxes where allowed by law. There are several fees and surcharges that may not be credited. These fees include charges for road, bridge and transit construction for the Colorado Department of Transportation’s FASTER program; donations associated with specialized license plates for charitable causes such as breast cancer awareness, adopt a shelter pet, and wildlife sporting; costs for license plate, year tab, and month tab materials; and a fee for the state’s clean screen emissions inspection program.


“While the old DMV computer system may have permitted county offices to refund or credit certain fees, Colorado law doesn’t permit it. The new DRIVES system helps DMV apply Colorado law consistently across the state,” said Michael Hartman, executive director of the Colorado Department of Revenue. “In collecting these registration fees, the county offices are complying with state law and we apologize for any confusion this may have caused for Coloradans visiting their county motor vehicle offices.”

While emphasizing that Colorado law requires the collection of the fees, Hartman also said the DMV collects fees, such as the FASTER fee and speciality license plates, for other state agencies and does not have a mechanism or the authority to refund them.

“As with any major technology upgrade, opportunities for improvement present themselves as part of the transition, and the new DRIVES system improves the customer experience at the DMV while providing 15 new vehicle-related online services so customers can skip the trip to the DMV,” concluded Hartman.