DORA History


DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado.  Consumer protection is our mission.


Although the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies was created in 1968, several of the Department’s divisions have been protecting Colorado citizens for many decades:

In 1877, state regulation of Colorado banks began one year after statehood was achieved, when the Colorado Legislature first codified the process by which banking associations could be chartered and operated.

In 1883, Colorado began to regulate insurance through the State Auditor’s Office. In 1913, the Colorado Department of Insurance, now known as the Division of Insurance, was formed in response to widespread growth in the industry.

In 1913, the Colorado Public Utilities Commission was created when the State Legislature created it as part of the passage of the Public Utilities Act of 1913.

In 1923, regulation of the offer and sale of securities to investors began through the Division of Securities.

The real estate industry has been regulated since 1925 through what is now the Division of Real Estate.

In 1931, Colorado began chartering credit unions, when the General Assembly passed the Credit Union Act. Regulation of credit unions, savings and loan institutions and trust companies is conducted by what is now known as the Division of Financial Services.

In 1951, Colorado became the third state to establish a civil rights agency, now known as the Colorado Civil Rights Division.

In 1968, the Department of Regulatory Agencies was created pursuant to the "Administrative Organization Act of 1968". The act moved the aforementioned agencies into one umbrella department. The act also created the Division of Registrations (now known as the Division of Professions and Occupations) and moved many existing boards under its purview. Many of these boards have also been in existence for over a century. For example:

The Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners was created in 1881.

The Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners was established March 15, 1889.

The Colorado General Assembly created the State Board of Nursing in 1905.

The State Board of Accountancy has regulated the accounting profession in Colorado since 1907.

The Colorado Board of Optometric Examiners was created in 1913.

In 1976, Colorado passed the first Sunset Law in the United States. This law requires the periodic review of various agencies throughout state government. In 1985, the Colorado General Assembly passed the Sunrise law as a compliment to the Sunset law. This law requires that a review be conducted on all proposals to regulate previously unregulated occupations or professions. The Office of Policy, Research and Regulatory Reform, an office within the Executive Director’s Office of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, conducts these reviews.

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) was created by the General Assembly as a division of the Attorney General’s Office on July 1, 1984. OCC is now located within DORA. Its mission is the representation of residential, small business and agricultural utility consumers on certain utility issues before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission.

Today, DORA includes nine separate divisions and the Executive Director’s Office. DORA’s divisions include over 40 boards, commissions, and advisory committees. The Division of Professions and Occupations (formerly the Division of Registrations) alone regulates over 50 professions, occupations and businesses in the state totaling over 345,000 people.