Register Car in Utah
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If your vehicle was previously registered in Utah and you simply need to renew the certification, see our section on registration renewals.
Utah law requires you to register a vehicle in your name when you:
- Purchase a new or used car
- Move to Utah
- Receive a vehicle as a gift or inheritance
There is no grace period for registration in the state; you must register the vehicle in your name as soon as you buy or receive it, or as soon as you move into the state.
If the vehicle cannot be immediately registered―because it needs repairs to pass inspection, for instance―you can apply for a temporary 15-day permit. Visit any Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and submit the following:
- Signed title
- Proof of insurance
- Valid ID
- All registration fees and taxes
- $6 permit fee
Utah requires all vehicle owners to carry a minimum of no-fault and liability insurance to drive legally in the state. If you're looking for a policy that fits your budget, compare insurance quotes online at our Insurance Center.
If you've purchased a new or used car from a dealership, the dealer will typically take care of the title and registration paperwork for you. The vehicle should come with a 45-day temporary operating permit, and you should receive your registration within 30 days from the date of purchase.
When you purchase a used car from a private party, the titling and registration paperwork becomes your responsibility. For title-specific questions, check out our section on title transfers.
To register your car after purchasing it from a private party, receiving it as a gift or inheritance, or after moving into the state, you'll need:
- Signed title, or out-of-state title naming you as the legal owner. If you don't have the title, you'll need to apply for a duplicate. Get the details in our section on replacing a lost title.
- Most recent registration (applies only if you're a new Utah resident).
- Completed Certificate of Inspection to verify the Vehicle Identification Number (applies only if you're titling your car in the state for the first time ).
- Smog and safety certification, if required. Find out more in our section on Smog & Emissions.
- Completed Application for Utah Title.
While not required to register your vehicle, a bill of sale is good idea. Keep it for your records as proof of purchase. Learn more in our section on the bill of sale.
Another document you might want to consider is a vehicle history report (VHR). This record can help you feel confident about the price you paid for the car. Order a VHR online.
Your registration fees and taxes will vary on many factors. Call the DMV at (801) 297-7780 to get a quote for your specific vehicle and circumstances.
Your financial responsibility will include the following fees and taxes:
- Registration fees, which vary by vehicle type, fuel type, county of residence, and more
- Sales and use taxes, calculated on the purchase price of the vehicle
- Automobile Driver Education Fee of $2.50 for vehicles and $5 for motorcycles
- Uninsured Motorist Identification Fee of $1
The DMV accepts appointments, but walk-ins are accepted as well. Some locations have drive-through service. All Utah DMV offices are closed on Fridays, including phone centers and e-mail service.
You'll receive your choice between two standard license plates, as well as decals at the time of application. Your registration fee covers the cost of the standard plates. If you'd like to purchase specialty or personalized plates for an additional fee, or need a disabled plate, you'll receive a temporary placard at the time of application. For more information, see our section on license plates.
NOTE: If you're registering your car after a recent move to Utah and you want to personalize your license plates, you'll need to register the vehicle first, and then apply later for the plates. All personalized plate applications require a current Utah registration.
To give your plate a touch of your personality, check out the huge selection of frames available online.
Because you receive your plates and decals at the time of application, you can apply them immediately. Follow the instructions on the card to place them correctly.
At this time, Utah registration fees do not qualify for a tax deduction. Because the state of Utah does not calculate vehicle registration fees as a percentage of the car's value, the IRS statute does not apply.
If you register a motor home or an RV in Utah, however, you will qualify for a tax deduction. Consult a tax attorney if you have further questions about deductions for fees paid.
Once your car is titled and registered, you're legally allowed to explore the state's highways and byways. But protecting yourself while driving goes further than just making sure you have the correct documentation.
You never know when the unthinkable will happen on the road. A reputable roadside assistance program can be a lifesaver after an accident or vehicle breakdown. It can also save the day if you get a flat tire, run out of gas, or even lock your keys inside your car. For minor emergencies, carry a car emergency kit in your trunk at all times. Customize it according to your needs so you're prepared for anything.
For day-to-day vehicle safety, make sure you use a hands-free headset for phone calls in the car. And if you have a child, you're required to transport her in a child safety seat that meets federal requirements.
When real repairs are needed, find a mechanic in your area who you can trust―and who doesn't charge through the roof. Also consider purchasing an after-market auto warranty to further protect your vehicle.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.