License Plates & Placards in Utah

SUMMARY: Utah License Plates

To apply for license plates in Utah, you have to register you car with the DMV when you move to the state or get a new vehicle. Before your license plate decal expires, you must renew your registration to renew your license plates. Registration renewal is offered online, by mail, and in person. If your license plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, you can get replacement plates in person or by mail.

Read below for information about license plates and tags in Utah.

NOTE: Get complete details about disabled parking plates, including the application process, by visiting our Disability Placards and Plates in Utah page.

Types of Utah License Plates

If you live in Utah, your vehicle must have license plates to be legally operated on public roads.

Most vehicles are required to have tags on the front and rear. However, some vehicles can have tags on the rear only.

When you apply for license plates, the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will issue the correct number of plates for your vehicle.

In addition to standard license plates, the UT DMV offers a large selection of specialty plates, including:

  • Personalized plates.
  • Organizational plates.
  • Military plates.

Disabled parking plates are also available to those with qualifying disabilities. See our Disability Plates and Placards in Utah page for application details.

Temporary License Plates

Utah offers temporary plates so that you can operate your vehicle while waiting for your license plates to arrive.

If you buy a vehicle from a dealer, they'll provide the temporary permit.

If you buy from a private seller, you will get a temporary permit at the DMV when the seller signs over the title. The permit is valid until you receive your registration. The temporary permit costs $6.

Apply for License Plates

Applying for license plates is part of the vehicle registration process.

When you move to Utah, you have 60 days to register your vehicle with the UT DMV.

When you buy a vehicle:

  • Your dealer will submit your registration paperwork.
  • You'll register it at the DMV in person.

See our Utah Vehicle Registration page for complete details.

Renew Your Utah Plates

You will renew your license plate by renewing your vehicle registration once a year.

You should receive a renewal notice from the UT DMV before your license plate decal expires. You can renew online, by mail, or in person.

See our Registration Renewal page for more information, including renewal fees and how to renew.

Replace UT License Plates

If your license plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request replacements either:

  • By mail.
  • In person.

To request replacement plates, you must submit:

  • One of the following:
    • Registration card.
    • License plate number.
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • A written request, if applying by mail.
  • Payment for the appropriate fee:
    • $10 for a standard license plate.
    • $5 for a decal.
    • $3 postage, if applying by mail.

Take your documents to your local Utah DMV branch office or mail them to:

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

NOTE: Send a check or money order payable to “Utah State Tax Commission (UTSC)" if you're applying by mail.

Transfer or Surrender Tags

Utah license plates stay with you, not your vehicle. Therefore, you need to remove your tags when you sell your car.

In some cases, you can transfer the tags to your new vehicle when you register it.

If you no longer need your license plates, you may be required to surrender or destroy them.

Contact the UT DMV at (800) 368-8824 (800 DMV-UTAH) to check if you can transfer your license plates or if you need to surrender them.

Fees for Utah License Plates

Utah license plate and renewal fees vary by vehicle weight and location. For a detailed explanation of fees, see our Vehicle Registration and Registration Renewal pages.

Replacement tags are:

  • $10 for a standard license plate.
  • $5 for a replacement decal.

Specialty License Plates

The Utah DMV offers different types of license plates in addition to standard plates.

Special-interest License Plates

Over 20 special-interest license plates are available that carry different fees and requirements than the standard-issue plates. You need an FCC radio station license and $10 to get an amateur radio operator plate that you can't personalize, for example, while anyone who's interested in children's issues can pony up $25 annually for the "Invest in Children" license plate and personalize it up to 5 characters.

Collegiate License Plates

Proud of your alma mater? Eleven Utah colleges and universities offer license plates with their name and logo. The fee, which depends on the institution, must be paid annually to the institution, so it's like receiving a special license plate free when you make an annual donation to your favorite college or university.

Find more information about each plate and who to contact at each institution in order to set up the donation. These license plates may be personalized up to five characters.

Personalized Plates

Personalized license plates are available for nearly all license plates. The number of characters you can use depends on which plate you have. A standard plate allows for up to 7 characters, while a standard motorcycle plate only allows for 4 characters. Special interest and group plates allow for a maximum of 5 characters.

The DMV has guidelines in place―and a review process―to make sure no one affixes a license plate to their vehicle that may unduly offend others on the highway. Once you pay your fee (plus $3 for mailing) and fill out Application for Personalized Plates and Replacement of Existing Personalized Plates (Form TC-817), the DMV will check your application to ensure that your chosen slogan:

  • Is not vulgar, derogatory, profane, or obscene.
  • Does not refer to drugs or drug paraphernalia.
  • Does not refer to sexual acts, genitalia, or bodily functions.
  • Does not express contempt, ridicule, or superiority of a race, religion, deity, ethnic heritage, gender, or political affiliation.

Check out more information about applying for a personalized license plate.

Antique License Plates

You are allowed to display original-issue plates if your vehicle's model year is 1973 or older. There are no guarantees, however. The DMV will only issue you an antique license plate provided it's not already assigned to another vehicle and doesn't compete with a currently issued series.

You do not need to complete any complicated forms to apply. Instead, bring your plates to any DMV office for verification.

If your plate request conflicts with a current series, the DMV will give you the option to instead apply for special antique plate decals. To apply:

  • Bring your antique plate to any DMV office for verification.
  • Show your vehicle's registration card.
  • Pay a $5 fee.

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