What are Colorado Public Traffic Records?
Public traffic records in Colorado are termed driving records or motor vehicle records. These records contain every information about a motorist's driving history. It also shows accidents that the driver has been involved in, traffic violations and citations, the number of points accumulated on the driver's license, and the driver's personal information. These records also feature information regarding the driver's license status, suspensions, and revocations.
The Colorado Department of Revenue- Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) maintain Colorado traffic records. Colorado courts also keep records of criminal or civil traffic cases such as motions, pleadings, and sentences involving a motorist.
Are Traffic Records Public in Colorado?
Yes. Traffic records are public in Colorado because Colorado is an open record state. Therefore, traffic records are accessible to the public. However, the Colorado Open Record Act (CORA) ensures that Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as date of birth, place of birth, Social Security Number, and the home address of any individual is redacted before the release of any public record.
What Do Colorado Traffic Records Contain?
Colorado traffic records contain the following information:
- Driver's full name
- Driver's date of birth
- Driver's current home address
- Driver's license number
- Driver's license status
- Date of issue and expiry of the license
- Previously reported car accident
- Prior traffic violations
- Driving related convictions such as Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
- License suspension/revocation/reinstatement
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Colorado?
Yes. Traffic citations are included in a motorist's driving record in Colorado. In fact, traffic infractions considered minor traffic violations are not eligible for dismissal from an individual's record in Colorado. However, many of the minor traffic violations will disappear from a motorist's record after some time.
Types of Traffic Citations in Colorado
There are five types of traffic citations in Colorado. They include traffic infractions, petty offenses, misdemeanor traffic offenses, unclassified misdemeanor traffic offenses, and felony traffic offenses.
Traffic infractions: Traffic violations in this category are minor traffic violations and civil charges. They are further grouped into class A and class B offenses. Class A traffic infractions attract penalty points and are automatically reported by the law enforcement agent to the Colorado Department of Revenue- Division of Motor Vehicles. However, Class B offenses carry no penalty points.
Unclassified Petty Offenses: Violations in this category are minor but require a mandatory court appearance. A conviction can result in a jail term, fines, or other penalties in some cases.
Misdemeanor traffic offenses: Violations in this category are moderately severe traffic offenses. They are further categorized as class 1 or 2 traffic misdemeanor offenses. Class 1 offenses are more severe than class 2, but both are criminal offenses.
Unclassified misdemeanor traffic offenses: This category contains serious traffic offenses that require a mandatory court appearance. Also, convictions may result in hefty fines, probation for 12 months or more, counseling, community public service, or jail term.
Felony Traffic Offense: Violations in this category are the most severe charges involving vehicles. They include vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, manslaughter involving a vehicle, leaving the scene of accidents involving bodily injuries or death, vehicular eluding, etc. Consequently, convictions for traffic felony offenses may result in a substantial prison sentence.
Colorado Traffic Citation Lookup
Individuals can access traffic citations in Colorado with ease. Interested persons may follow the steps listed below to look up a traffic citation in Colorado.
- Contact the Colorado Department of Revenue-Division of Motor Vehicles at
1881 Pierce St.,
Phone: (303) 205-5600
The hours of operation are from 8 am – 5 pm on Mondays - Fridays
- A requester can speak with a phone representative and request specific information on the specific citation.
- A requester can contact the county office responsible for the citation. They can get information concerning the county office from the DMV office.
How to Lookup My Colorado Traffic Records
Colorado residents and motorists can check their traffic or driving records by submitting a request to the Colorado DMV. The DMV maintains traffic records per the Federal and State regulations and laws, Federal Trade Commission, and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Interested persons may purchase certified and non-certified copies of their motor vehicle records online. Such persons may visit the DMV with a valid credit card and email address. However, the DMV will forward the certified copies of the driving record through postal mail and forward the non-certified copies through email. Furthermore, individuals can request motor vehicle records through the mail. Written requests must include the following information;
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Driver license number (if available)
- Original signature of the driver (complete and legible)
- Photocopy of driver's photo ID showing signature
- Filled Driver Record Requester Release and Affidavit of Intended Use Form
- Proof of payment of an appropriate $9 for a non-certified driving record and $10 for a certified driving record.
Requests should be mailed to:
Colorado Department of Revenue,
Division of Motor Vehicles,
P.O. Box 173345,
Denver CO 80217-3345.
Notably, the DMV processes applications received through mail within ten days of receiving the request.
Alternatively, requestors may obtain certified or non-certified copies of their driving record from any full-service driver's license office.
Colorado traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic records.
Colorado Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in Colorado is a traffic-related offense committed by motorists and penalized by the state's traffic enforcement agencies. Depending on the severity of the offense, points may be added to the offender's license. More serious crimes can result in jail time or a loss of their license.
Some common traffic violations in Colorado include:
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Making an illegal turn
- Failing to yield to pedestrians or other vehicles
- Driving without insurance
After receiving a traffic ticket in Colorado, motorists will have the option to pay the fine or contest the ticket in court. If they choose to contest the ticket, they will need to appear before a judge and present their case. The judge will then decide whether or not to dismiss the ticket.
Colorado License Plate Lookup
Colorado traffic records usually include license plate information which can be used to identify the car and driver involved in a traffic incident. A person can conduct a Colorado license plate lookup by visiting the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles website and entering the plate number in the search box. The website will provide information about the car and driver, including the name and address of the owner.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Colorado
The Open Records Act enables all records to be accessible to the public, except in circumstances where the law of the State establishes exemptions from disclosure. Hence, any individual who wants to view traffic case records will need first to identify the specific court where the case was heard.
Further, the custodian of court records, the court clerk, keeps both electronic and paper formats of records. Therefore, individuals can access the electronic version of the Colorado District and County Court records using the Court Docket Search tool on the Colorado Judicial Branch Website.
The Judicial branch's website gives the locations of all the District and County Courts in the State. Similarly, individuals may search specific case records by selecting District or County Court and the county where the case was heard. However, the searcher will need to provide the case number, a party's first or last name, or the attorney's bar number.
Alternatively, individuals may access the paper format with the court clerk of the specific court where the case was filed.
How Long Do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Colorado?
The length of time that traffic offenses remain on public record in Colorado is a function of the type and severity of the offense. For instance, traffic offenses classified as Class A or B infarctions in Colorado are minor traffic offenses and are civil. However, the court cannot remove convictions for any offense from a motorist driving record. So, it will remain on it for life.
Convictions for misdemeanor traffic offenses will remain permanently on a motorist record in Colorado. Since misdemeanor traffic offenses are categorized as criminal offenses, this information will also impact an individual's criminal record in Colorado.
In addition, convictions for felony traffic offenses will remain on individual driving and criminal records for life. Moreover, the Colorado laws do not permit the sealing of most traffic offenses from public records.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Colorado
Primarily, traffic records maintained by the Colorado courts and relevant agencies are deemed public information. Therefore, these records are accessible to the record owners, employers of labor, insurance brokers, law enforcement agencies, and other interested entities following established procedures.
Similary, traffic records are available on many data brokerage firms' websites that aggregate public record information. To remove information from these data brokerage firms' websites, requestors may seek the expungement of such information from their driving or criminal records. Once this is done, such information will no longer be available to the public in Colorado. However, the requesting party will have to follow up on removing this expunged information from such websites.
On the other hand, an individual can get a special phone number and a postal address to be substituted for their number and address whenever they fill out a form online. They may also contact the court clerk to know those records where they can change their existing phone number and address to the new designated one. This change will help protect the personal information of the motorist.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Colorado?
Yes. Traffic offenses or motoring offenses affect criminal records in Colorado. Whenever an individual commits a misdemeanor or felony traffic offense, it is recorded on the person's criminal record. Some of the traffic offenses classified as criminal or major traffic offenses include:
- Vehicular manslaughter
- Hit and run
- Driving under the influence.
- Eluding an officer