utah driver information
Welcome to our overview of driving in Utah. Here you'll find out how the Beehive State's unique point system works to penalize and reward its drivers, which cars are stolen the most, and how the graduated licensing program works.
Utah driver information
Number of licensed drivers: 1,720,000
Registered vehicles: 2,454,000
Licensing and registration authority:
Highest posted speed limit: 75 mph (tied for the highest in the nation)
Average commuting time: 21.2 minutes (U.S. average: 25.2 minutes)
Penalties and car accidents
Like many states, Utah uses a point system to track its drivers. If you're convicted of a moving violation in Utah, the state will typically add between 37 and 80 points to your driving record — a minor speeding violation can add 37 points, while a reckless driving conviction adds 80.
If you get 200 points in a 3-year period, your license could be suspended. And if you're under 21, that number is reduced to 70 points.
In some cases, you can complete a state-approved defensive driving course to remove 50 points from your record. You can take a course like this once in a 3-year period.
Clearing points from your driving record
Utah's point system actively rewards safe driving. If you drive for one year without a conviction for a moving violation, half the points on your driving record are removed.
If you go 2 straight years without a conviction, your points will be cleared altogether. Points for specific convictions are removed 3 years after the conviction (if they're still on your record).
Reporting car accidents
Utah requires you to report any car accidents that have caused injuries or $1,000 or more in damage.
Because Utah uses comparative negligence to determine fault in a car accident, it's a good idea to call the police to the scene no matter how minor the damage initially appears. The official police report may come in handy down the road.
Penalties for a first-time DUI conviction include fines of at least $700 and possible jail time. The driver's license could also be suspended from 90 days to 2 years. Penalties are more severe for subsequent convictions.
Living in Utah
Vehicle registration and inspection after moving to Utah
You have 60 days from the time you move to Utah to register and title your cars or trucks with the state.
Drivers licenses in Utah
If you're just visiting, you may use your out-of-state license for up to 6 months. If you're staying longer, you'll need to get your Utah drivers license. The state considers anyone visiting for longer than 6 months (over a one-year period), taking permanent employment in the state, establishing a home, or enrolling children in Utah's schools to be a Utah resident.
To get a new Utah drivers license, head to the Driver License Division (and not the DMV).
Drivers in the military
Utah residents who are actively deployed outside of Utah can take advantage of the following vehicle-related exemptions:
- Exemption from property taxes
- Exemption from emissions inspection
- Exemption from safety inspection
These are designed to help drivers keep their registrations current.
HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) decals
If you have a fuel-efficient car or truck that runs on propane, compressed natural gas, or electricity (as hybrids do), you may be eligible for a decal that lets you drive in the HOV lane regardless of how many passengers you have.
Car theft in Utah
A recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) lists the 10 most commonly stolen cars in Utah:
- 1996 Honda Accord
- 1997 Honda Civic
- 1994 Nissan Sentra
- 2005 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 1998 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1997 Nissan Altima
- 1991 Toyota Camry
- 2003 Dodge Pickup (full size)
- 1996 Saturn SI
Young drivers in Utah
Here's some info on how the graduated licensing process works in Utah:
- Minimum permit age: 15 years old
- Tests required for permit: vision screening and written exam
- Minimum holding period: drivers under 17 must hold their permit for a minimum of 6 months
- Class D drivers license age: 16 years old
- Tests required for a Class D license: road test
- Other requirements for a Class D license: must have completed a drivers education course as well as 40 hours of supervised practice (10 at night)
- Passenger restrictions for a Class D license: if you're under 16 years, 6 months old, no passengers except immediate members of family for first 6 months after license was issued
- Nighttime restrictions for a Class D license: if you're younger than 17, you can't drive from 12:00 a.m.–5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by licensed driver who is 21 or older in the front seat (with certain exceptions like work or an emergency)
- Transferring to an adult license: your Class D license will automatically convert to an adult license after your 21st birthday.
The Not-a-Drop Act
If you're under 21 and a police officer suspects you have any amount of alcohol in your system, your driving privileges can be suspended.
Car insurance guide to Utah
Learn about coverage requirements, no-fault quirks, and potential Esurance discounts.
Utah Division of Motor Vehicles
Visit the official DMV site for info on getting your car, truck, ATV, boat, and other vehicles registered.
Utah Driver License Division
Find out more about getting licensed in Utah.