Accessing the Colorado Revised Statutes

The new edition of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) has just been released, incorporating changes made to Colorado law during this year’s legislative session. The Colorado General Assembly updates the C.R.S. annually. This year, it consists of twenty-two physical volumes plus a two-volume index and two volumes of Court Rules.

The C.R.S. is also available free online through LexisNexis. The online version includes a search feature which you can use to search by keyword or by citation. A C.R.S. citation is the three numbers that identify a specific statute. For example, the statute creating the State Publications Library is 24-90-201. In this citation, 24 is the title, which is the broadest category. (Title 24 is “Government – State.”) There are forty-four titles in the C.R.S. Then, 90 refers to the article, a more specific category. (Article 90 is “Libraries”). Finally, 201 is the section. Citations can continue to be broken down further as indicated by numbers and letters in parentheses, for example, 24-90-204(1)(b). To see multiple sections within a title or article, use the “next” button to flip through the online statutes like a book. If you need a copy of a portion of the statutes, you can print from LexisNexis using the print function in your browser, or you can request a printout from the Office of Legislative Legal Services.

Using the online statutes takes some practice, so if you’d prefer to use the C.R.S. in book form, you may view them at our library or at libraries across Colorado. The hard copy statutes include a detailed index. Our library staff is also glad to assist you in your research; contact us for information. For more details on how to use the C.R.S., see this FAQ page from the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law.

Colorado Revised Statutes