Are you planning on registering a car in Utah and there are some things that bother you and you want to learn more about the whole process? Well, if that is the case, then you are at the right place because this article will be all about registering a car in this state.
- Facts About Utah
- What Is Registration?
- First Time Registration
- Vehicle Inspections
- Registration Renewals
- Registration Cost
- Final Conclusion
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Vehicle registration is probably one of the most important things that you have to do every year to renew the license plate on your vehicle. Because if you don’t do this process. You can get pulled over and fined. It’s just how things go.
This vehicle registration is one of the essentials that you need to do in order to avoid fines and make sure that the car is perfectly legal. What is good though is that this registration is not expensive. So, you shouldn’t worry that you will end up being ripped off for a simple renewal sticker. But more on the costs, we are going to elaborate later in the article.
First, we are going to learn more about Utah and some key facts about this state. Then we are going to cover the vehicle registration and the first-time registration for new residents and the inspections that your vehicle needs to pass. Then we are going to cover the ways of registering a car in Utah for old residents. Lastly, we are going to discuss the costs and other interesting topics. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
Now before we start discussing registering a car in Utah, let’s discuss some facts about Utah. Let’s learn more about this state. This will be really good information for people who are outside of Utah and want to move in. So, if you are one of them, follow along.
If you didn’t know, Utah is a part of the Mountain West region of the US. Utah is bordered from the east by Colorado, from the northeast by Wyoming, to the north by Idaho, from the west by Nevada, and from the south by Arizona.
Utah has a total population of 3.3 million people. The capital of Utah is Salt Lake City. Salt Lake City is probably one of the most peaceful towns in the US. It is rather small with 200,000 in population. If you are asking me, a perfect place to live in. I have a friend from there and I only hear good words about the people and the overall living conditions in this town.
Also, the nature of Utah is simply stunning. There are a lot of national parks that look like no other place on Earth. So, if you are one of those people who want to travel around the country and experience different places, Utah has a lot to offer.
And living here is not as expensive as in some other states like California. A lot of people from there are packing their stuff and moving to states like Utah, Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. So, if you want to live on the cheap and enjoy your life more, this might be the place you are looking for. But what about registering a car in Utah? More on that in the next chapters.
Now let’s take some time and learn more about what is vehicle registration. This is really important to know before we start discussing the ways of registering a car in Utah. Mainly because there are a lot of novice drivers who are yet to purchase a car or have already purchased and do not know anything about registering a vehicle.
The registration process is quite necessary in order for your vehicle to be identifiable and for the authorities to have a look at your plate and get information about you and your driving history, as well as the history of the car.
License plates exist for more than 100 years and the design really depends from state to state. For example, in Utah, you have a number of different designs that indicate geographical places, or skiing, which is rather popular in Utah since Salt Lake City is probably one of the best skiing resorts in the US. And Utah license plates also wear the phrase “Greatest Snow On Earth”. Indicating that Utah skiing resorts are one of the best in the country.
What is important though is that even though you get the license plate issued once when you register the car for the first time, you still have to renew it. On the top left and right corners of the plate, you have places where you need to attach the sticker that you get once you renew the vehicle. So, keep this in mind. But what about registering a car in Utah? More on that in a bit.
Registering A Car In Utah
Now let’s discuss more about registering a car in Utah. In these first chapters, we are going to discuss first-time registration. If you don’t know, first-time registration is not like renewal, and when it comes to registering this vehicle for the first time you will need some extra papers. This is why we are going to list all of the cases when you need to do this. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
1. Registering A Car In Utah For New Residents
Now let’s discuss more about registering a car in Utah. More precisely, the first time registration of a car in this state. This is applied to any new Utah residents. All work is done at the Utah DMV. So, you need to go there in person.
If you didn’t know, if you are a new Utah resident, you have 60 days to re-register your vehicle in Utah. Let’s say you moved in from a different state and you got a Utah residence. This means that you cannot drive the vehicle anymore as it is and you will need Utah license plates.
The first thing you will need is the form TC-656. This is the form that you need to fill up to require a Utah title for the car.
The second document you are going to need is the current registration certificate from the state where you registered your vehicle previously.
The next thing you will need is a certificate of inspection which is known as Form TC-661, as well as proof that you passed the inspection. This document is essential because you need to pass the inspection before you register. More on the inspections we are going to cover later on.
The next thing you will need is a VIN inspection. This VIN inspection will be done by the DMV employee just to make sure that this is not a car that has been previously stolen and that is completely legit.
And the last thing you will need will be to pay the fees for registration and new license plates. Overall, that’s it when it comes to registering a car in Utah for foreigners.
2. Registering A Car In Utah Bought From A Dealership
When it comes to purchasing a new car from the dealership and registering a car in Utah, we can say that everything is pretty much done automatically.
So, once you purchase a car from a dealership, the dealer is going to submit the vehicle registration documents to the DMV. They will give you a temporary registration as well.
And you will be able to drive with this temporary registration until you get the real one via mail. Once you get the registration, you will need to attach it to your vehicle and you will be good to go. That’s all you need to do when it comes to registering a car in Utah when purchased from a dealership new.
3. Registering A Car In Utah Purchased From A Private Party
Now let’s take a look at registering a car in Utah for a car that was purchased from a private party. How you can register this type of car if let’s say you purchased a car from an online marketplace? Let’s elaborate.
The first document that you will need will be the signed-over title. This is proof that the previous owner has sold the car to you and now you are the legal owner of this vehicle. Without this, you will not be able to prove that you legally own the vehicle.
The second document you will need is a valid Utah driver’s license to confirm that you are a driver. As well as Utah car insurance. Car insurance is really essential if you want to own a vehicle.
Also, you will need proof that the car passed the safety inspections, as well as the smog testing.
And the last thing you will need will be $6 for the temporary license plate and a fee for the registration and other taxes. That’s all you need to know when it comes to registering a car in Utah, now let’s move on to the next topic.
4. Transferring A Car Registration In Utah
Now let’s take a look at registering a car in Utah. More precisely, transferring license plates to a new vehicle. What do you need to do in this situation?
Well, the first thing you will need is the existing license plates and then the DMV will inspect them just to make sure that they are legible.
The next document you will need is a Utah driver’s license that is still valid. Also, the title of the vehicle is signed over you to prove that you own the car.
The next things you will need are proof of auto insurance as well as proof that the car has passed the emissions testing. And the last thing is the registration fee (to learn more, check out our guide on the vehicle registration fee calculator NC and Oklahoma vehicle registration fees) that you will have to pay. That’s all when it comes to registering a car in Utah. Now let’s take a look more at the inspections.
5. Understanding Vehicle Inspections in Utah
Getting a vehicle inspected in Utah is crucial not just for registration but for the safety of everyone on the road. Let’s delve into the specifics of these inspections.
Utah doesn’t universally require vehicle safety inspections for passenger vehicles. However, depending on the county and the age of your vehicle, you might need one. The purpose of these safety inspections is to ensure that cars on Utah roads are in good working order.
Certain counties in Utah require vehicles to undergo emissions testing to check for pollutants that vehicles emit. Typically, counties with larger populations or those facing air quality issues mandate these tests. Cars, trucks, and even motorcycles might need an emissions test depending on their age and the county.
Remember, even if you’ve done an emissions test in another state recently, Utah might still require you to undergo a local test.
Though briefly touched upon, it’s worth reiterating. The VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) inspection ensures the vehicle wasn’t stolen and matches all official records. For Utah residents, this is a straightforward process, but for vehicles from outside Utah, the VIN inspection is crucial.
6. Fees and Taxes When Registering in Utah
Beyond the paperwork and inspections, there’s the matter of cost. When registering a vehicle in Utah, there are several potential fees and taxes.
These are based on the age and type of your vehicle. For example, a newer passenger car might have a different fee than an older truck or motorcycle.
Uniform Age-Based Fee
This fee applies to vehicles less than 12 years old and is based on the age of the vehicle. As the vehicle gets older, this fee decreases.
Some Utah counties also assess property taxes on vehicles. The tax rate and the assessed value can vary, but it’s an important cost to consider.
Other Miscellaneous Fees
There might be additional fees for services like personalized license plates, title transfers, or other special requests.
7. Registering Special Vehicles in Utah
Utah’s diverse landscapes make it a haven for various specialized vehicles. Let’s discuss these unique registrations.
Recreational Vehicles (RVs) and Trailers
While the process is similar to standard car registration, the fees can differ. Additionally, large RVs might have special requirements due to their size and potential impact on roads.
Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs)
If you own an ORV in Utah, such as a dirt bike or an ATV, you must register it, even if it’s never used on public roads. The process involves ensuring the ORV meets safety standards and environmental protections.
Farm trucks and tractors have a unique role in Utah, especially in more rural areas. These vehicles have a separate registration process, often with reduced fees, but they come with limitations on where and when they can be driven.
In conclusion, while registering a vehicle in Utah involves several steps, and each one ensures the safety and legality of all vehicles on the road. Whether you’re a new resident or have lived in Utah for years, understanding the nuances of this process is invaluable for every driver. Remember to always check with your local DMV or their website for the most up-to-date information.
Utah Vehicle Inspections
Now let’s cover another topic before we cover the renewal of registering a car in Utah and that is the vehicle registration inspections.
As you probably know, whenever you plan to register a vehicle that is old and purchased on the second-hand market, you will need to pass some emissions tests before you become eligible to register these vehicles.
These emissions tests are performed at the local DMV. There are tests to determine the overall safety of the vehicle.
These safety tests include inspecting the frame for rust, the suspension components, the alignment, as well as if the engine is working as it should be.
This is necessary because they will not allow any type of vehicle to roam the roads and be a potential life hazard for people around.
Also, there is emissions testing. During this emissions test, the technician will put a probe into the exhaust, and they will measure the gases and determine how much your car pollutes. And if these numbers do not match the factory recommended numbers, you will not be able to register the car.
They will tell you what the problem is and bring it back to the register once you sorted out the issue. Bad catalytic converters are often the reasons why you could get returned (and it helps to have an understanding of the catalytic converter life expectancy and how to diagnose a code P0420).
Emissions tests also known as smog tests are really essential to reduce smog pollution, especially in urban areas where there is a high frequency of cars.
Overall, these tests should cost you about $25. Pretty insignificant fee. But you only have to do this once when you buy the car and not each year, which is good. Now let’s discuss about renewals.
Utah Vehicle Registration Renewal
So, we learned about what you need to do when registering a car in Utah for the first time. Now let’s discuss registration renewals.
What are the methods that you can use to renew your registration in Utah? Let’s elaborate on them in the following chapters in-depth and find out what are your options if you want to renew your expired Utah registration.
1. Registering In Person
The first method that you want to try when registering (renewing) your registration in Utah is to go in person. Each state in the US has a DMV. The DMV is simply a Department for Motor Vehicles. This institution is the main institution that is issuing driver’s licenses, registrations, car titles, etc. Basically, all documents concerning cars are issued at the DMV.
Then you will have to come to one of the DMV offices and bring your renewal notice that you got via mail. Or the UT vehicle registration certificate.
Another document that you will need is proof of passing the safety inspection or emissions test if needed. And the last thing is you will be required to pay the renewal fee. The fee depends on the age of the vehicle.
For example, a 3-year-old vehicle or newer will cost you $150 to register. While a 3 to a 6-year-old car will cost $110 to register. This might sound a bit odd but that’s how things go when you are registering a car in Utah. Now let’s see the other methods.
2. Register Online
The next method of renewal of license plates is to do it online. Doing the renewal online is also possible to do. But if you want to renew the registration online, you will have to do the first registration at the DMV. If you are first time registering the car, unfortunately, you will not be able to do this online.
Usually, before your registration expires, you will get a renewal notice letter, and in this letter, you have a PIN number. Then you have to visit the Renewal Express website.
Also, even if you can’t find the renewal notice, you can still do this online by going to the website and typing in your last name, zip number, license plate number, and the last 8 numbers of the VIN.
In addition to this, you might be required to provide proof for emissions inspection. So, beware of this. Once you have done the required steps and paid the fees, you will be able to receive the certificate and the new decal via mail. That’s all when it comes to registering a car in Utah online. Now let’s take a look at the last method.
3. Registering Via Mail
And the last way of registering a car in Utah that we are going to cover when it comes to the renewals is the way of registering the car via mail.
As you probably whenever you need to renew your license plate you will get a renewal notice. Once you get the renewal notice, you will need to fill up the papers, and then along with a check or cash for the fees, you can mail them back to the DMV.
Frankly, this is a really old-school method that is not that good. It takes a lot of time instead of going directly and getting the new decal on the same day. This is why you might opt for using the other two methods when it comes to registering a car in Utah. But what about the cost of registering the car? Let’s elaborate more on that next.
Utah Car Registration Cost
When it comes to the cost of registering a car in Utah, we can say that the costs are not cheap. Especially if you own an expensive car.
There is a 1% or 1.5% uniform fee, as well as an age-based uniform fee. Usually, when you have to register a car or a motorcycle, you pay the age-based uniform fee.
And fees concerning the age are really high for new vehicles. If the vehicle is 0 to 3 years old, you pay $150. If the vehicle is between 3 and 6 years old, you pay $110. If the car is between 6 and 9 years old, you pay $80, if the car is 9 to 12 years old is $50. Or if the car is older than 12 years old, you only pay $10. And if you own an older car, you will greatly benefit since you will pay the least amount of money when registering a car in Utah.
In this article, we covered quite a bit when it comes to the topic of registering a car in Utah. First, we introduced ourselves to Utah and learned more about this state.
Then we moved on and covered the methods that you can try for registering a car in Utah. Then we discussed the emissions and other inspections. And lastly, we covered the methods of renewing the license plate in Utah
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Is Vehicle Registration
Vehicle registration in simple terms is a legal document that guarantees that your vehicle is legal for the roads. Whenever you register a car at the DMV, you get registration papers, as well as license plates and decals that you need to stick on the plates.
What Does Car Registration Look Like
Your registration is simply your license plate. Once you have a license plate with decals that indicate the month and year then your vehicle is registered. So, you are perfectly legal and you can drive anywhere you want. The papers are only important when it comes to renewals or if a cop pulls you over.
Can I Register My Car Online
If you register the car for the first time, then there you cannot register the car online. Since you need to take your car for inspection and all the necessary steps. But renewals are possible to do online and you can renew your registration online in almost every state.
What Do I Need To Register My Car
In order to register a car for the first time in your name, you need the car title and valid driver’s license, you also need proof of car insurance as well as a smog test in some states. Also, you will have to pay a fee to register the car.
How Much Does An Emissions Test Cost
The emissions test cost really depends from state to state. But usually, the testing costs are anywhere between $25 and $35.
How To Register A Car In Utah
In order to register a car in Utah, you need to go to the DMV. Then bring the car title, old registration papers, personal id, and also driver’s license. Then pay the fees required and you will be issued with a new registration.