utahinformation.org is privately owned and is neither operated by, nor affiliated with, any government agency.


How to Obtain a New Car Registration in Utah

Car registration in Utah is required for nearly every type of operational vehicle. Without DMV car registration, even if you own the car, you may not operate it or allow another person to operate the car until after registration. Whether your new vehicle has never been registered in Utah or you are a recent resident of the state, you will need to obtain registration documents within a specific frame of time. Consider the act of getting a new car registration as part of the buying process. You can apply for motor vehicle registration at a DMV office once you make your purchase. Learn more in the sections below.

The Steps to Get Car Registration as a Current Utah Resident

New car registration in Utah is typically handled by the state’s DMV when you purchase a new vehicle from a dealership. In this situation, the process is handled on your behalf. However, the registration of vehicle information on your part is required in the event you purchase a used vehicle, especially from a private party. Getting car registration documents requires the same steps, whether you buy from a dealership or a private party. Before registering your car for the first time in Utah, you must:

  • Have the vehicle inspected by a qualified identification number inspector.
  • Pay the vehicle’s property tax or in lieu fee.
  • Pay the automobile driver education tax.
  • Pay a registration fee (the cost of which will vary depending on your vehicle).
  • Pay an uninsured motorist identification fee.
  • Pay any other applicable fees.
  • Have the vehicle undergo an emission test (or confirm that one has been given), if the vehicle model is more than two years old.
  • You may use an emissions inspection certificate from the previous 11 months to satisfy this requirement.

“How do I register my car if it needs to undergo the necessary inspections?” residents may ask. If your car still needs to be inspected, you will need to bring your car to an inspections station before it is properly registered.

DMV car registration requires you to have the vehicle’s original title or bill of sale. You can get this from the previous private owner or dealer. With these documents, you can get a temporary vehicle registration permit as you gather the rest of the documents and inspections you need to permanently register your car.

Utah motor vehicle registration may be done in person at a local DMV office. Completing your car registration online in UT is not possible, as the online portal only allows for certain registration tasks to be completed, such as car registration renewal. Furthermore, to complete any online task, you will need to provide an approved payment method in order to cover the necessary service fees, and you will need to verify that you have sufficient information to fill out the applicable forms.

How to Get Car Registration in Utah as a New Resident

You will need a new car registration if you are a new resident of Utah. As with long-standing residents, you may complete your UT auto registration procedure at a DMV office. The DMV vehicle registration process in Utah for new residents will require you to provide your current registration documentation as well as your vehicle title. If your Certificate of Title is being held by a financial institution as collateral, you may be exempt from having to present it at the local DMV office. However, otherwise, you will need to submit this documentation in order to complete the initial registration process.

If you are a new resident getting car registration documents, you may need to have your vehicle undergo the emissions test. Additionally, if you are registering your car in Utah for the first time, you must complete a Vehicle Identification Number inspection. You can have this done by a DMV employee, a peace officer, a designated safety inspector, a contractor or a licensed dealer.

Note: If you are applying for a Utah car registration and do not have the necessary documentation and information when you visit a DMV office, you will not be able to complete the process during your visit. Prepare vehicle registration paperwork beforehand to avoid making a second visit. Also, setting up an appointment at your local DMV office ahead of time will help you to avoid waiting in long lines for service.

Time Limits in Utah for Obtaining a New Car Registration

“Regarding the process of registering my car, are there penalties for not completing the automobile registration process within a certain timeframe?” is another common question asked by new resident motorists in Utah. According to state requirements, you must get car registration documents within 60 days of becoming a resident of the state of Utah. You may also obtain a 15-day temporary permit if you need extra time to get your emissions inspection completed. If you do not abide by these time limits and do not register your vehicle on time, you may be subject to penalties, including late car registration fees, when you do go to complete Driving a vehicle that is not registered in your state of residence is illegal.

It might also interest you: