In the state of Colorado, the driver’s license number is located on the second line of text on the right side of the license, just under the date of birth on the driver’s license. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (Colorado DMV) redesigned driver’s licenses in 2016. It was much harder to find the driver’s license number on the older version of the license than it is on the new license.
If their driver’s license is lost, stolen or destroyed, the individual can look up the number on their expired license, vehicle registration card or auto insurance policy. A Colorado customer identifier is the same number as a driver’s license number.
Colorado’s online lookup service for driver’s licenses is not very helpful. This is because an individual needs four pieces of information to look up a driver’s license: the Colorado customer identifier, last name, date of birth and last four digits of the person’s Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). Since the lookup service already essentially requires the person to have the driver’s license number, the site does not benefit a person who does not have this piece of information.
Replacing a Driver’s License at the Local DMV Office
A person can replace a lost, stolen or destroyed driver’s license by paying a fee to the Colorado DMV. They should make an appointment online at myDMV.Colorado.gov and then go to a state driver’s license office in person. The person should choose Renew Colorado License/Identification Card as their appointment type when making an appointment on the DMV website. They will need to attest that their license was lost, stolen or destroyed during the visit.
If the person is out of state and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, they can request a duplicate by sending in a completed DR 2989 form with their out-of-state mailing address.
Duplicate Driver’s Licenses
A duplicate is a copy of a license, so it will have the same expiration date, class and endorsements as the existing driver’s license. An individual may request a duplicate driver’s license by mail if they hold a Real ID and they are temporarily out-of-state and provide an out-of-state mailing address. The exception to this rule is that a duplicate of a Real ID-compliant Commercial Driver’s License issued to a temporarily lawfully present applicant has to be requested in person.
A person may pay a $12 fee for a first duplicate and a $16 fee for a second duplicate. The Department of Revenue’s approval and a $16 fee are necessary for additional duplicates. The individual must also attest that the request is only for the purposes of obtaining a lost, stolen or destroyed instruction permit or driver license.
Replacing Identification Cards
An individual can also replace an ID card at a driver’s license office. Replacing identification cards is similar to replacing driver’s licenses. To replace an ID card, an individual must also attest that their prior ID was lost, stolen or destroyed.
Notes on Replacement Licenses
A star in the top right corner of a person’s driver’s license, instruction permit or identification card means that the card has been issued in compliance with the federal Real ID Act. Such a card may be used as identification for federal purposes such as boarding an aircraft or entering a federal building. All licenses, permits and ID cards are mailed from a secure central location.
Replacements usually arrive in eight to 10 days. It can take up to 30 days for these items to be delivered. If it has been between 30 and 90 days from the issuance date of the lost card, and the card has not been delivered or returned, an individual should email the Colorado DMV to receive a free duplicate.
Contactless Digital IDs
Colorado offers a contactless Colorado digital ID through the myColorado software app. This service creates a secure electronic version of an individual’s driver license or ID card that can be used to offer proof of identification, age and address within the state. An individual can store digital vehicle registrations and proof of insurance in the app Wallet.
Penalties for Driving Without a License
Driving without a driver’s license on one’s person is considered a Class 2 petty offense in Colorado. The term petty offense is another way to say misdemeanor. The penalty for driving without a license includes up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $300.
Driving On a Suspended License
Driving on a suspended license, also known as driving under suspension (DUS), is a criminal offense. Penalties for the offense increase every time the driver commits the same crime. A first-time offender will face up to six months in jail and a fine up to $500. The penalties are more severe if the individual’s license was suspended because of a DUI (driving under the influence); DUI per se (driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent within two hours of driving); DWAI (driving while ability impaired, driver had a blood alcohol content of 0.05 to 0.08 percent); or UDD (underage driving and drinking, driving with a blood alcohol content between 0.02 and 0.05 within two hours of driving, with the driver being under age 21).
The penalties for a second DUS not due to an alcohol or drug offense listed above, that occurred within five years after the first conviction, include not being eligible for a driver’s license for three years after the second conviction.
Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants
Colorado authorizes providing driver’s licenses, instruction permits and identification cards to undocumented immigrants and temporary legal residents. An undocumented immigrant or temporary legal resident should make an appointment to get these documents at a full-service SB 251 driver’s license office. They can make an appointment with myDMV.Colorado.gov or contact one of the state’s CO-RCSA partners.
The CO-RCSA groups are nonprofit organizations that will not charge undocumented immigrants and temporarily legal residents for appointments. The driver should look at the checklist of what documents to bring to the appointment to make sure they have everything they need.
Requesting a Colorado Driving Record
An individual can request their own motor vehicle record (MVR). A driving record reflects activity posted to the driver record for the past seven years. A record cannot be limited to show a period of less than seven years. Colorado’s privacy laws prevent the state from providing a party with another person’s driving record without that person’s permission. A party who is requesting a record as an employer or because of a pending court case may be permitted to receive the record based on criteria in the Driver Record Search Requestor Release. The form must be submitted with the appropriate fee.
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: CO-RCSA SB251 Driver Licenses and IDs
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: Identification Cards
- Colorado Revised Statutes: Section 42-2-101 Licenses for Drivers Required
- Colorado Revised Statutes: Section 18.1-3-503 Petty Offenses, Classified, Penalties
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: Lost/Stolen Driver License, Permit or ID Card
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: Where's My Driver's License/ID?
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: myDMV
- Colorado Revised Statutes: Section 42-2-138 Driving Under Restraint, Penalty
- myColorado: Contactless Digital ID
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: Nonprofit CO-RCSA Partners
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: Undocumented Residents Identification Checklist
- Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles: FAQ - Driver License
Jessica Zimmer is a journalist and attorney based in northern California. She has practiced in a wide variety of fields, including criminal defense, property law, immigration, employment law, and family law.