Utah Vehicle Registration (All You Need to Know)

Utah Vehicle Registration

Looking to get your vehicle registered in Utah?

Don’t know how to get it done?

What about how to renew a vehicle registration?

Standing in line at your local DMV is nobody’s idea of fun.

It’s even worse if you find out that you don’t have all the requirements — or that you could have done it online. 

We’re here to help you avoid that. 

Today, we’re going to look into the Utah vehicle registration details. We’ll also look at how to renew a registration, the Utah car laws, and much more. 

So let’s jump right to it!

How to Register A Car in Utah 

Whether you bought a car in-state or are transferring one from out-of-state, you have 60 days to register it with the Utah DMV. 

But before you go to a Utah DMV office, you must have all these documents:

  • A filled-out Vehicle Application for Utah Title (Form TC-656). 
  • Your current out-of-state certificate of registration (for new residents)
  • Your Bill of Sale (Form TC-843), ownership proof, or signed-over title
  • If the car isn’t brand new, a completed Inspection Certificate (Form TC-661). This must be completed by a DMV employee, designated contractor, licensed dealer, or certified safety inspector. 
  • Proof of passing emission test (if your vehicle requires testing)
  • Proof of Utah car insurance
  • Your Utah-issued driver’s license
  • Payment for your registration

The registration process involves the following steps:

  • Get car insurance that matches the minimum requirement in Utah (more on this below)
  • Have your vehicle inspected (VIN). If required, you must also undergo a safety/emissions test.
  • Gather all the other required documents. 
  • Head over to a local DMV office. Make sure you check if you need to schedule an appointment. 
  • Apply for vehicle registration and submit your documents. 
  • Pay the vehicle registration fees
  • If you need your registration plate and decals right away, pay an additional $6 for a temporary permit. 
  • Pick up your vehicle registration plates and decals through the mail. This can take 8 days to 6 weeks to arrive. 
  • Place them on your vehicle. 

Now that you know all the documents to bring and the steps to complete, you won’t have to be frustrated when you visit the DMV. 

How to Renew A Car Registration in Utah

Great news!

There are four different ways to renew your vehicle registration in Utah. These are:

  • Online
  • Automatic Renewal
  • By Mail
  • In-Person

Let’s look at each of these. 

How to Renew a UT Vehicle Registration Online

Online registration renewal is by far the most popular method. 

You can totally avoid visiting a DMV office!

In Utah, the Renewal Express service is offered. Here, you’ll be guided throughout the entire process.

All you’ll need are:

  • If you received a renewal notice:
    • License plate number
    • Renewal notice PIN
    • Credit card
  • If you didn’t receive a renewal notice:
    • Your last name
    • Your ZIP code
    • License plate number
    • Last 8 digits of your Vehicle Inspection Number (VIN)
    • Credit card

However, if you require an emissions test, you must first submit the certificate to the appropriate DMV before going online. 

Your new registration and decals will be sent via mail. 

How to Renew a UT Vehicle Registration by Automatic Renewal

Say you keep forgetting to renew your vehicle registration. 

Well, thanks to the automatic renewal, you never have to forget to renew again!

For this, you must sign up with the UT MVP (Utah Motor Vehicle Portal)

Or, if you want, you can fill up Form TC-505 and submit it to the DMV address listed on the form. 

Once enrolled, you’ll be emailed whenever your vehicle registration renewal is coming up. The email will also warn you whether you need to submit any inspection or other documents before the renewal period. 

When they can confirm the required inspection (if applicable) and payment fees, your renewal will be processed. 

Finally, you’re decal and registration will be mailed out to the address you provided when you signed up. 

How to Renew a UT Vehicle Registration By Mail

If you prefer to do it the good old-fashioned way, then postal registration renewals are provided in Utah.

Here, you’ll have to submit a completed renewal notice, inspection certificates (if applicable), and check or money order for the renewal fees (must be made payable to Utah State Tax Commission). 

Put everything in an envelope and mail it to the address below:

Motor Vehicle Division

P.O. Box 30412

Salt Lake City, UT 84130

Wait for your new registration and decals to arrive by mail. This can take as short as 8 days or as long as 4-6 weeks. 

NOTE: You can check the exact amount for your renewal fees here

How to Renew a UT Vehicle Registration In-Person

Utah makes in-person registration renewal so much easier with On The Spot Renewal Programs. These are held in a few inspection stations. 

Here, you can get your required inspection AND renewal in one place. 

Just make sure that you also provide your renewal notice OR current registration and the renewal fees. 

Here is a full list of participating inspection stations.

Alternatively, you can visit one of these DMV locations to renew your vehicle registration. Some offices even allow drive-through renewals. 

As you can see, vehicle registration renewal in Utah is SUPER convenient. 

What Vehicles Must be Registered in Utah?

Vehicles that must be registered in Utah include:

  • Passenger cars – sedans, coupes, convertibles, hatchbacks, etc…
  • Light Trucks – All trucks with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 12,000 pounds or less. Vehicles that fall into this category include pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans.
  • Motorcycles/electric bicycles – All motorcycles, mopeds, and motorbikes. Electric bicycles (e-bikes) must be registered IF they: produce motor power output greater than 750 watts AND can travel faster than 28 mph. 
  • Commercial vehicles – All vehicles used for commercial purposes.
  • Trailers – All trailers with a GVWR of 750 pounds or more. This includes travel, utility, and boat trailers.
  • Off-road vehicles – All off-road vehicles, including ATVs, UTVs, and dirt bikes, must be registered in Utah if they are used on public lands or roads. Those used exclusively on private property do not require registration.

Other vehicles that need registration in Utah are watercraft, snowmobiles, and aircraft. 

Utah Car Laws

Let’s take a look at the 3 main car laws in Utah. 


In Utah, you’ll have to register your vehicle within 60 days of purchase or obtaining residency.

Moreover, you’ll be required to register your vehicle if:

  • 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, even if commuting from another state.

Here’s another thing. 

If you’re a full-time student studying outside Utah or are military personnel, you are exempt from registering your vehicle in Utah. But, you must have vehicle registration in another state. 

Vehicle Inspection

Anyone registering their vehicle in Utah for the first time has to get a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspection. 

You cannot register your vehicle if you don’t submit a completed Form TC-661. 

This is required for all vehicles that are transferred from out of state or purchased second-hand with a private dealer. Brand-new vehicles bought with an in-state dealer are exempt from this. 

Also, depending on your vehicle, you may have to take an emissions test. 

You can see if this is required for you here

Also, emission testing may be required in the following counties:

  • Utah
  • Salt Lake
  • Davis
  • Cache
  • Weber

Car Insurance

Car insurance is mandatory in Utah, with the minimum limits being:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $65,000 for bodily injury per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage
  • $3,000 for personal injury protection

Vehicle registration cannot be completed without obtaining car insurance.

So this is one of the first things you need when you’re about to register your vehicle in Utah. 

Vehicle Penalties in Utah 

Failing to register or insure your vehicle can carry significant penalties in Utah.

Driving with expired insurance can put you in a world of hurt, especially if you’re involved in an accident.

Here, the $1000 fine will be the least of your worries, as there is an additional 180 days of jail time.

Additionally, driving with expired registration has a minimum fine of $1000, with an added risk of having your vehicle impounded.


And there you have it — a complete look at the Utah vehicle registration. 

Remember, when it comes to your vehicle, you want to stay on the right side of the law. 

If you don’t, then you’ll face harsh penalties. 

So what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and register your vehicle today!

As you can see, it isn’t complicated. 

If it’s time to renew, you’re in luck as there are 4 methods to choose from. 

Go, go, go!

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