General Colorado Information

The beauty and openness of the land coupled with clean air and the invigorating climate produce an enviable quality of life. Colorado is one of the most beautiful and healthful states in the union.

The Spanish word colorado means colored red. The name was given first to the Colorado River, which flows through canyons of red stone. The state was named for the river. Colorado's nickname is the Centennial State. Colorado joined the Union in 1876, the centennial (100th anniversary) of the Declaration of Independence.

The Rocky Mountains (Continental Divide) run north and south, dividing the state into several distinct regions.
Colorado bravado and braggadocia are well founded. The state contains 75 percent of all U.S. land registering a minimum of 10,000 feet or higher. Its mountainous area is six times that of Switzerland. It has 1,000 mountain peaks that are a minimum of two miles high; and it is home to the nation's highest continuous paved highway.

With a total area of 104,247 miles, Colorado is the eighth-largest state in the nation, extending 387 miles east to west and 276 miles north to south. Thirty-five percent of Colorado land is owned by the federal government. Principal mountain ranges include the eastern Front Range, the central Sawatch Range, the Park Range in the north, the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the San Juan Mountains in the southwest. Perhaps the state's most geographically noteworthy feature is the Continental Divide, which runs northeast to southwest and divides the state into the Eastern Slope and the Western Slope.

The Centennial State is also a sensational scenic playground with two national parks, six national monuments, 12 national forests, 43 state parks and three national recreation areas.

Facts in Brief
Elevation of Denver, in feet above sea level: 5,280
Colorado lowest Point, in feet above sea level: 3,350 along the Arkansas River in Prowers County
Colorado highest Point, in feet above sea level: Mount Elbert, 14,431
Statehood: August 1, 1876, the 38th state
Capital: Denver
Eighth in size among the states.
The state bird: Lark Bunting
The state flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
The state tree: Blue Spruce
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School Registration:
Public school registration will vary so contact the district where you will live early to verify what they will require. Visit the school information page for more detailed information and web site addresses.

The usual enrollment requirements include legal proof of age, such as a birth certificate, and immunization records. Transcipts of a student's records from the school previously attended - usually procured by school authorities - also are required for registration and grade placement.

By law, Colorado requires that all students enrolled in Centennial State schools meet immunization requirements before being allowed to attend classes. Parents of school-age children must either obtain a certificate of immunization from a licensed physician or authorized representative of the Department of Health or local health department, or a statement of exemption to the immunization law.

Colorado's higher education institutions have in-state tuition available. To be eligible, you must reside in Colorado for 12 months, after meeting the residency requirements.

Driving in Colorado:
Newcomers to Colorado are required by law to obtain a Colorado driver's license within 30 days of relocation. Those 16 and older are eligible for a Colorado driver's license, which costs $15 and is valid for five years, to be renewed on your birthday five years from the issue date.

New residents with a valid out-of-state license can obtain their Colorado license by taking it to the Department of Motor Vehicle office that issues new resident drivers licenses. Driver's License Offices in the Metro Denver Area are listed on the Denver Information page.

Auto Registration and Titles:
Although vehicle registrations and titles are two separate documents, the information, applications and fees for both can be accomplished in one process through the County Clerk or Motor Vehicle Office. If you are transferring from another state, you will need to have the following information with you to register your car:

1. Certificate of Title for the vehicle
2. Current registration Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification via a licensed vehicle dealer, emissions-testing station or law-enforcement agency
3. Emissions test requirement.

Vehicle insurance coverage is mandatory and must be verified at the time of vehicle registration. The liability minimum is $25,000 for bodily injury, $50,000 per accident and $15,000 for properrty damage. If you are stopped for any suspected offense, you will be asked to show proof of insurance. Failure to have car insurance in Colorado can be punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in jail.

Each Coloradan who owns or drives a vehicle is required to have a Colorado driver's license, Colorado vehicle title and registration andColorado license plates.

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