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  • Car Registration in Utah

    SUMMARY: How to Register Your Vehicle in Utah

    To register your vehicle with the UT DMV, visit your closest office location with your vehicle title, driver's license, proof of insurance, and certificate of inspection, if required. Your registration fee is based on your vehicle's year and weight, plus your county of residence. If you are temporarily living outside of Utah, you can also register your vehicle by mail.

    New car? New Utah resident? If so, you’ll need to register your car(s) with the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    NOTE: For information about registering special vehicle types, such as trailers, ATVs, and custom-built cars, visit our guide to Other Vehicle Registrations.

    New to Utah?

    After establishing Utah residency, you have 60 days to register and title your vehicle with the Utah DMV. Both can be completed at the same time. For the complete scoop on titling, visit our Title Transfers page.

    To complete the UT car registration process, bring to your local DMV office:

    • A completed Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656).
    • Your current out-of-state vehicle registration certificate.
    • A completed Certificate of Inspection (Form TC-661).
      • The vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection can be completed by a DMV employee during registration process.
    • Proof of passing a safety inspection and/or emissions test, if applicable (see “Utah Vehicle Inspections” below).
    • Payment for registration fees (see “UT Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    Registering a Vehicle in Utah

    Vehicles Bought from a Dealership

    After purchasing from a dealership, the dealer will submit your vehicle registration documents to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles for you. They will also provide you with a temporary registration, valid for 15 days. This will allow you to drive until your permanent registration certificate arrives in the mail.

    Vehicles Purchased from a Private Party

    Arrive at your local DMV office with:

    • The signed-over title.
    • Your UT driver’s license.
    • Proof of Utah car insurance.
    • Proof of passing a safety inspection and/or smog test, if applicable (see “Utah Vehicle Inspections” below).
    • Payment for the $6 temporary permit fee, plus all other title and registration fees (see “Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    You will be issued a temporary permit that allows you to legally drive for 15 days while your permanent registration is being processed. Similarly, if you have not yet completed a vehicle inspection or emissions test, you may use this time to get those tests done and bring the paperwork back to the DMV.

    This will allow you to drive the vehicle and have it tested. For more information, see “Temporary UT Registration Permit” below.

    Transferring a Utah Vehicle Registration

    To transfer your license plates to a new vehicle, visit your nearby UT DMV office with:

    • The existing license plates. The DMV will inspect them to make sure they’re still legible.
    • Your UT driver’s license.
    • The vehicle’s title, signed over to you.
    • Proof of UT auto insurance.
    • Proof of passing an emissions test and/or safety inspection, if applicable (see “Utah Vehicle Inspections” below).
    • Payment for registration fees (see “UT Vehicle Registration Fees” below).

    Temporary UT Registration Permit

    A temporary Utah vehicle registration permit is valid for 15 days, and allows you to legally operate your vehicle while your registration is being processed, or to complete a required inspection in order to finalize your registration requirements.

    You may obtain this from the dealership where you purchased the vehicle, or from any Utah DMV office if you bought the vehicle from a private party.

    Bring to the DMV office:

    • The vehicle’s title signed over to you.
    • Proof of auto insurance.
    • Photo identification (ID card or driver’s license).
    • Payment to cover the $6 permit fee and permanent registration fees (see “UT Vehicle Registration Fees” below). You can pay with cash, check, debit or credit card.

    Military & Non-Resident Vehicle Registration

    Military Members

    Resident Military In State

    Military residents of Utah should follow the same provisions as outlined above for vehicle registration.

    UT Military Stationed Out of State

    If you’re a Utah resident stationed outside of the state, you are allowed to maintain Utah license plates while away.

    You’re also eligible for the following registration-related exemptions, provided that you own the vehicle (it can’t be leased or be in the name of another family member):

    Non-Resident Military Stationed in UT

    You are allowed to drive with the license plates from your home state while stationed in Utah. If, however, you buy a vehicle in Utah, you will be required to pay sales/use tax. This applies even if you register the car with your native state.

    Non-Residents

    You are exempt from registering your vehicle with the Utah DMV if you’re an out-of-state, full-time student studying at any Utah university, college, or any other accredited place of higher learning.

    If you’re a non-resident living or working in Utah (full-time college students and military members the exceptions), you must obtain a Utah car registration certificate if you meet any one of the following criteria:

    • You own a Utah driver’s license.
    • You have a permanent Utah residence.
    • You reside in the state for 6 months.
    • You work in Utah (seasonal workers are exempt). This applies even if you commute into Utah from another state.
    • You declare Utah residency to take advantage of state services, such as school for your kids.

    Out-of-State Registration in UT

    If you’re temporarily living outside of the state, you may register your vehicle in Utah without being present.

    The UT DMV will allow you to register by mail by following the “New to Utah” requirements posted above. Because getting an emissions test may be tricky if you reside in a state that does not require testing, the DMV strongly encourages calling them for help with this as well as help in determining your vehicle’s exact registration fee. You may reach them at:

    • (800) 368-8824.
    • (801) 297-2020 TDD for hearing impaired.

    UT Vehicle Registration Fees

    The following factors come into play in determining a vehicle registration fee:

    • Year of the vehicle.
    • Weight of the vehicle.
    • County of residence (sales and use tax rates vary by county).

    You will, when it comes time to register, be charged one of the 2 following fees, in addition to applicable county and weight-based fees:

    • Uniform age-based fee.
    • Uniform fee-in-lieu of property tax.

    Uniform Age-Based Fee

    A uniform age-based fee is, as its name indicates, a fee based on the age of your vehicle, and applies to passenger vehicles only:

    • Less than 3 years old: $150.
    • 3 to less than 6 years old: $110.
    • 6 to less than 9 years old: $80.
    • 9 to less than 12 years old: $50.
    • 12 years old or older: $10.

    Uniform Fee-in-Lieu of Property Tax

    The uniform-fee-in-lieu of property tax applies to:

    • Commercial trailers.
    • Medium and heavy-duty trucks.
    • Motor homes.

    The fee, as determined by the Utah Tax Commission, is based on

    • 1.5% of the market value of commercial trailers and trucks.
    • 1% of the market value of motor homes.

    For help in determining the exact amount of your registration fee, call a DMV agent at (800) 368-8824 or (801) 297-2020 for hearing impaired.

    Obtain a Duplicate Registration

    If you discover your vehicle registration certificate is missing, it’s in your best interest to replace it immediately. To replace, visit your local DMV office with:

    • Your UT driver’s license.
    • Payment to cover the $4 duplicate registration fee.

    For additional information, jump over to our Replace a Lost Registration page.

    Utah Vehicle Inspections

    Safety Inspections

    Safety inspections are required when registering vehicles with the following model years:

    • 4 years old.
    • 8 years old.
    • 10 years old.

    If your vehicle is 10 years old or older, it must be inspected annually.

    Fees for safety inspections are as follows:

    • Cars, trucks, trailers, or buses: $15.
    • Motorcycles: $7.
    • Split-axle or 4-wheel drive vehicles (or any vehicle requiring the removal of the front hub or rear axle for inspection): $20.

    Keep in mind that the inspection cannot be made more than 2 months before the car’s registration renewal date. For more information, please contact the Utah Highway patrol at (801) 965-4889.

    VIN Inspections

    If you are registering your vehicle in Utah for the first time, you will be required to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection completed.

    A safety inspection will typically suffice for passenger vehicles, as long as the VIN number listed on your inspection certificate is accurate.

    If you are registering a boat, trailer, off-highway vehicle, or snowmobile, you will need to have a separate VIN inspection completed at any DMV office for free.

    Emission Inspections

    Emission checks are only required if you reside in one of the following counties:

    • Davis.
    • Salt Lake.
    • Utah.
    • Weber.

    For detailed information on the emissions testing process, view our Smog & Emission Checks page.

    UT License Plates

    While registering your vehicle, you’ll also need to decide on a license plate design. The DMV will issue you a standard Utah license plate design unless you opt for one of the state’s specialized plates. The options are many and include personalized plates.

    To learn more about Utah’s different license plate designs, visit our License Plates & Placards page.

    Replace a Lost Utah License Plate

    If your Utah license plate is damaged or disappears, you need to replace it immediately. Visit your local DMV office with:

    • Your current Utah car registration certificate.
    • Either your license plate number or vehicle identification number (VIN).
    • Payment (cash, check, credit or debit card) to cover one of the following license plate fees:
      • Vanity license plate: $13.
      • Standard license plate: $10.
      • Special group license plate: $15.
      • License plate decal: $5.

    Or, if you prefer to order a duplicate by mail, gather:

    • A handwritten request letter.
    • A copy of your Utah vehicle registration certificate.
    • A check or money order (payable to “Utah State Tax Commission”) for one of the license plate fees listed above, plus a $3 mailing fee (postage fee is waived for vanity license plate).

    Mail documents and check to:

    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Mail and Correspondence
    P.O. Box 30412
    Salt Lake City, UT 84130

    Registering a Non-Operational Vehicle

    You will not incur any late registration fines if you take your vehicle off the road and allow its registration to expire.

    When it comes time to drive the vehicle again, follow the car registration steps detailed on our Utah Registration Renewal page.

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