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Car Titles in Utah

State motorists must possess a car title in Utah if they own a vehicle. An auto title is required to operate any vehicle in the state of Utah, with a few rare exceptions. To get car title documents, drivers need to obtain, complete and submit an application for a certificate of title with the DMV. A DMV car title is the best evidence of vehicle ownership. Whenever a resident buys a car, he or she should get a car title immediately to validate his or her ownership. A car title transfer is needed if a motorist sells a car to someone else. Learn how to obtain and transfer a Utah car title before purchasing a vehicle in the state.

How to Get Car Title in Utah

Getting car title documents is something you need to consider when you buy a car. A new or used car title provides evidence that you truly own the vehicle. To get a new car title, make sure to obtain the original title or a bill of sale from the seller or dealer you bought the car from. Both documents allow you to receive a temporary permit from the DMV so that you can operate your vehicle as you gather necessary inspections and other documents. To get a vehicle title in Utah, you will need the following:

  • You must have some evidence that you own the vehicle.
  • You must pay appropriate sales taxes.
  • You must pay all applicable fees.
  • You must have an identification number inspection done on the vehicle.
  • You must provide an odometer statement.

All vehicle title applications must include your signature (if you will own the vehicle), the make, model and year of the vehicle, as well as the number of cylinders and the identification number, your name, mailing address and business address (if you are buying through a business or corporation), the names and addresses of anyone else who will own the car and any other information that the DMV requires to determine if you should receive a title. If you purchase your vehicle from a dealer, then you also need the statement or bill of sale from that dealer detailing any outstanding liens.

Note: Before applying for car titling, you do not have to get registration for your car or even apply for registration.

Registering Without a Utah Car Title

You do not need a Utah title for car registration. However, if you have an auto title from out of state, then you must transfer the title and registration within 60 days of moving to the state. If the DMV can verify your out-of- state registration, then you can register your vehicle in Utah. Moreover, if your car title is held by a lienholder in another jurisdiction, then the DMV can register your vehicle without giving you a Utah auto title.

If you own a vehicle that is older than the model year 1988 and does not have a car title, then you need more information than normal as you apply for a certificate. Your certificate of title must also include a certificate of origin endorsed by the vehicle’s manufacturer. The certificate of origin must contain the date that the vehicle was first sold by the manufacturer (to either a dealer or individual person), the name of that dealer or person, a description that identifies the vehicle accurately and a certification by the dealer that the vehicle was new when sold.

If the vehicle comes from a country that does not require car titles, then you can offer a bill of sale, a sworn statement that you own the vehicle and any other information that the DMV requires to complete your new car title.

Utah Car Title Replacement

Since certificates of title are physical documents, they can get lost, stolen, marred, torn or covered over. If your car title is for any reason missing or illegible, then you as the owner or a legal representative should apply for a new document right away. You can easily get duplicates of Utah DMV car titles or replace them. Once approved, the new car title will display the word “duplicate” in print or stamped ink. From the time you receive the new title for your car, it is considered your vehicle’s valid title, even if you recover the previous certificate. To apply for a duplicate vehicle title, complete the Utah DMV’s Application for Duplicate Utah Title and pay all applicable fees. You will receive your new Utah auto title approximately a week later.

If you are buying a vehicle and looking for a car title transfer, then you should request that the seller transfer the title to you. If he or she is unable to find the car title, then it does not necessarily mean that you should cancel the pending transaction. It is possible that the auto title is being held by the seller’s bank or credit union. It is a common practice for institutions to hold car titles as collateral. In any other case, the seller should apply to replace the title.

If the existing vehicle title was from a state other than Utah, then the seller needs to replace the title in that state. If you have already paid for the vehicle, then it is possible to visit the DMV with a bill of sale and pay for a temporary permit, which allows you to operate the vehicle in Utah as the seller works on obtaining the duplicate title.

If the existing car title was from Utah, then the seller can apply for a replacement title by completing the Application for Duplicate Utah Title. The application allows the seller to transfer the new car title over to you at the time of the duplication as well.

You may not hold onto previous car titles once you have applied for a replacement certificate of title. You must surrender your Utah car title at the time of applying for a duplicate title. This is true whether or not your title comes from Utah or any other U.S. state.

How to Get Utah Car Title Information Updated

It is often the case that your vehicle’s certificate of title is intact (i.e., not lost, stolen or mutilated), but the information on the document is incorrect or out of date. Utah car titles can often reflect an owner’s name or address that is no longer correct. For instance, you need a new car title if your name is legally changed. Name changes can occur after marriage, divorce, naturalization, adoption, court rulings or any number of other events. You must get your car title replaced at a Utah DMV office as soon as possible if your name changes. You must bring the certificate of title to the DMV, provide any applicable fees and apply for a new certificate. Your new Utah auto title will reflect your updated name change.

You may also want to add or remove names on a title. The process for updating your vehicle title in this manner is nearly identical to the name-change process. You must visit the DMV, complete an Application for Utah Title with any new changes to the names you want to make and pay the corresponding fees to update the title. However, if your car title is being held as collateral by a bank or credit union, then you may not qualify to make any changes to it. In that case, you may need to request that the bank or credit union send the title to the DMV temporarily until your desired changes are complete.

Note: In order to apply for the new car title, one or both owners on the existing title must sign the application.

How do you transfer a title on a car in Utah?

Buyers and sellers complete title transfers for cars whenever a used vehicle is sold. Since Utah car titles serve as evidence of ownership, it follows that when a vehicle transaction takes place that the parties involved should complete a title transfer as well.

When there are multiple owners listed on a certificate of title, the certificate displays one of two conjunctions. “And” means that a vehicle title transfer requires both owners to sign off on it. “Or” means that only one of the listed owners must sign a title for the transfer to take place legally.

When is a car title transfer in Utah required?

Seeking title transfer online resources can prove valuable when looking to take the next step in car ownership. It is not always evident to car buyers and sellers that they must transfer an auto title in addition to completing the transaction. However, if buying or selling a car, then the parties involved cannot neglect this step.

After the transaction is complete, a DMV representative can perform electronic title transfers to keep digital records with the state department. Visit your local DMV office as soon as possible to complete a title transfer. Until you have a new car title, do not operate the vehicle. Instead, bring the existing auto title documents to a DMV office and apply for a new certificate and a new registration. Operating the vehicle without a title for your car in UT is an infraction under the state law.

You may not have to get a car title yourself if you are selling the vehicle. As long as the prospective buyer is a Utah resident and seeking a title for the vehicle in the state, you can extend a completed Application for Duplicate Utah Title to the buyer. You do not have to wait for a new car title in this case. The completed application is enough for the buyer to take and use when seeking the title. In such a case, it is a good idea to draft and fill out a bill of sale to document the transfer of ownership in place of a title. It is always recommended that you document as much of a car transaction as possible, in case you are required to answer for the vehicle or its sale later.

Sometimes, the buyer will not have a car title available at the time of the transaction. This may happen if the vehicle is homemade or rebuilt or if it is a vintage vehicle without a discoverable auto title. In such a case, both parties involved in the transaction must follow a procedure called “Insufficient Evidence of Ownership,” including meeting a number of requirements. Inquire about the procedure at a local DMV office.

You may attempt a car title transfer without a title for other reasons. For example, if you are a new resident of Utah, then you are likely to own a vehicle that is titled in another state. If your vehicle title is being held by a bank or credit union as collateral, then you will not have to produce the certificate of title to transfer the vehicle to someone in Utah. However, you must obtain what is called a “Registration Only” by providing the Utah DMV the following information:

  • You must bring your most recent car registration.
  • Your vehicle must receive a Safety and/or Emissions Inspection Certificate from a certified inspector for new registration, in most cases.
  • You must also bring information on the company or institution holding your title, including the company lien holder’s name and address.
  • You must bring in proof that your vehicle has passed an identification number inspection.

You may obtain a safety inspection to satisfy the last requirement, as long as your vehicle identification number (VIN) is correct on the certificate that a safety inspector provides.

How to Fill Out Transfer of Title in Utah

To transfer a Utah certificate of title (also known as a “pink slip”), there is some information you must provide on the duplicate title application for the DMV. Requirements may vary, but in general, you need to provide the original vehicle title from the seller or a completed Application for Duplicate Utah Title. If you are the buyer receiving the car title transfer, then you will want to look over any completed Application for Duplicate Utah Title. Make sure that the vehicle identification number on the application matches the VIN on the car itself. Look over the seller’s signatures on the document to ensure that they are present and in their proper places on the application. The car title transfer application should have two signatures if there are two new owners. It should also include two signatures from the seller in the corresponding spaces on the application. Compare your understanding of the purchase price and date with what the seller has written on the application. If there was a lien holder, then make sure that they have signed the application agreeing to release the lien.

To transfer an out-of- state pink slip, the process is much the same. However, in this case, you should request the original certificate of title instead of an Application for Duplicate Utah Title. Make sure the VIN on the car and title are identical, check for signatures in the right places, check that the purchase price and date are accurate and make sure the previous lien holder has released the lien (if applicable). You must complete an Application for Utah Title, which you can do at a DMV office. Also, make sure that the vehicle is up to date on emissions inspections and VIN inspections. Make sure to get a billing statement, power of attorney and a Utah sales tax number from the lessor if the vehicle is leased as well.

Utah Title Transfer Requirements

To complete a title transfer under Utah law, you must meet the following prerequisites:

  • You must obtain an identification number inspection.
  • You must obtain a certificate of emissions inspection, if your vehicle is required by law to do so in the current year.
  • You must pay property taxes or an in-lieu fee.
  • You must pay Utah’s automobile driver education tax.
  • You must pay the DMV’s applicable registration fee.
  • You must pay Utah’s uninsured motorist identification fee.
  • You must pay Utah’s motor carrier fee (if it applies to your vehicle).
  • You must pay any necessary local emissions compliance fees.
  • You must pay any other required taxes.

Additionally, if you have not registered your new vehicle under your name yet, then you should apply for a certificate of title before you apply for car registration. Note that if you possess a car title and are the owner of your vehicle and you transfer the vehicle title after selling the car, then the vehicle’s registration expires immediately. You must remove all license plates from the vehicle and send them to the DMV within 20 days to have them destroyed or reassigned to a new vehicle. If you wait longer than 20 days to surrender your plates, then you are committing an infraction.

Note: There are some cases in which it is possible to receive exemption from property taxes.

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