DMV to raise license fees following COVID-19 downturn

Colorado Division of Motor Vehicle Team Members serve customers on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at the Westgate Driver License Office in Lakewood. Coloradans can now make appointments for in-office licensing services throughout the state by calling 303-205-5613 opt. 4; or 303-205-2335 for CO-RCSA services. (Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles)

A driver’s license will cost just over $2 more next month, as the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles increases its licensing fees by 10%.

The raise is occurring to ensure that the cash fund that covers licensing remains solvent. In the June economic forecast to the legislature’s Joint Budget Committee, Legislative Council staff warned that the COVID-19-induced closures of DMV offices halted some of the normal revenue collection.

“Consistent with steep decreases in registration fees during April and May, registration fee revenue expectations have been revised downward,” the staff wrote. “Registrations are [now] expected to decline in FY 2019-20, and to rebound sharply in FY 2020-21 as offices reopen and delayed registration payments are made.”

Per Colorado law, the DMV may only increase fees on licenses, identification cards and driving tests by 5% per year. Therefore, half of the increase will take effect on June 23 in the current fiscal year, while the balance of the raise will occur a week later, when the next fiscal year begins.

The DMV reports that “demographic shifts” have resulted in fewer driver license issuances, which the COVID-19 pandemic compounded. In the absence of fee increases, the DMV would have to cut services. By July 1, driver licenses will cost $30.87, compared to $28 currently, and an identification card will cost $12.67, from the current $11.50.

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