EL PASO COUNTY — Looking to take care of DMV paperwork online? You'll want to make sure you double check what website you're using because News5 Investigates uncovered landing on the wrong site could cost you money you don't need to spend.
Most people News5 talked with say if they can avoid a trip to the DMV office, they prefer to take care of things online. One of our viewers says she learned the hard way renewing tags online can come with headaches too if you aren't careful.
For Marla Harris it was all about keeping her vehicle on the road legally.
"I was kind of in a hurry. My tags are expired on my car. I got onto a website that I assumed to be the El Paso County DMV website," Harris said.
The problem is after doing an online search for epcdrives.com — the site the county has sent drivers to in the past — Harris clicked the top search result which was an ad tied to coloradocarregistration.com. It's a third-party website not affiliated with the county or the DMV. Despite the disclaimer, she paid for her tags through the website not realizing it would prove to be more expensive.
"I paid $137 for $96.26 tags," Harris said.
County officials say Harris isn't alone in her confusion. People are calling the county all the time saying they didn't realize they were on a site that wasn't connected to the El Paso County DMV.
"The thing with this is these are all legal legitimate businesses. They are third-party websites that take your information and provide the same service that we would. The caveat to that is that they are providing the same service at a very expensive cost to the citizen and they're also taking your personal information which we don't know what happens to it after that," said Kristi Ridlen of the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's Office.
Harris brought her story to News5 to alert others about the confusion. She says from now on she'll play it safe and brave the crowds at the DMV office.
"But you know what? $37.99 warrants a trip to the DMV because we all we don't have that extra money to throw at something. That's groceries for part of a week," Harris said.
The State of Colorado has two official vehicle registration websites: mydmv.colorado.gov and colorado.gov/dmv
As for these third-party websites News5 learned that what they are doing is perfectly legal.
To check out our previous coverage on this issue: Warning about impostor DMV websites
It is important for citizens to have the option to do many of the services we offer from home and allows for a
faster customer experience. Online services, available at Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle,
- First-time Registration
- Registration Fee Estimator
- Add/change a Vehicle Address
- Get a Transaction Receipt
- Request Duplicate Registration Card
- Manage Your Placards
- Request a Personalized Plate
- First-time Application Disability
- Apply for an Emissions Waiver
- Request a Title/registration History Report
- Request a Title Status
- Apply for Out-of-State Emissions
- Become a Third Party IRP Agent