In the era of “Stay Safe, Stay Home,” it can be tricky to know how to accomplish necessary to-dos. Does your car still need a smog check? Must you renew your driver’s license in person? What about updating your address or changing your name? Thankfully, most services offered by Utah’s Motor Vehicle Division and Driver License Division can now be completed online. For tasks requiring in-person visits, both appointment and walk-in options are available. You can also avoid an appointment or a wait by visiting AAA: DMV services are offered at the Farmington, Murray, Ogden, Orem, Salt Lake City Foothill, and St. George branches. Here are some frequently asked questions and how AAA can help.
How do I get a REAL ID?
Good news: You probably already have one. Utah has been issuing REAL ID–compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards since 2010. As of October 2020, a REAL ID indicator resembling a gold star is required on the card to maintain compliance. If your card expired before October 2020, you should have received a replacement with the Real ID star through the standard renewal process. If your license expired after October 2020, you should have received a replacement card with the REAL ID indicator—with the same expiration date as your replaced card.
If you have never previously applied for a license or identification card in the state of Utah (or if your last application was prior to January 1, 2010), you must visit a DMV office and provide proof of identity, Social Security card, and two residency documents to receive a REAL ID–compliant card.
How do I renew my license?
Licensed drivers who are eligible to renew online will receive a notice by mail with PIN authorization. Generally, this includes people who already verified their identity with the Driver License Division after January 1, 2010. If you are not eligible, you must schedule an in-person appointment at the DMV.
How do I renew my vehicle registration?
Utah is encouraging drivers to use the online Renewal Express portal. Once you complete the online renewal, you’ll receive a printable permit for operating your vehicle while your decals are mailed to you. Many inspection stations can renew your registration as part of the On the Spot Renewal program. Or you can visit your local AAA branch. Before you begin, be sure you have your renewal notice or previous registration, certificates of inspections, and payment method.
Can I get another copy of my registration certificate or replacement stickers at AAA?
To obtain replacement registration papers or license plate decals, visit your local AAA branch, DMV office, or On the Spot Renewal station. The month decal can be replaced for free. The year decal, as well as registration certificates, requires documentation such as a copy of the most recent registration, license plate number, or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). These require a fee. See current fees and additional information online or call (801) 297-7780.
I just moved to Utah from out of state. How do I get a new license and registration?
To apply for a Utah driver’s license, fill out the application online. Then, schedule an in-person appointment at the DMV, and bring the application with you. You will need to bring and surrender your out-of-state driver’s license. You will also need to provide proof of identity, Social Security card, and two Utah residency documents. If you have changed your name, a certified marriage certificate or court document is also required. You must take a photo, pay a fee, and pass a vision test as well as a knowledge test and driving skills test. (Of the latter, one or both may be required.)
New residents are allowed up to 60 days to transfer titles and registrations. In order to register your vehicle, you will need to provide the DMV with a copy of your most recent vehicle registration, the existing title, safety and/or emissions inspection certificates, and VIN/HIN inspection. The latter is required for all vehicles to be titled in Utah for the first time, unless it was acquired from an in-state dealer or manufacturer. A safety inspection will satisfy this requirement. You can find the Certificate of Inspection form online.
How do I get disabled plates and placards?
You can apply for disabled license plates and placards at your local AAA branch, DMV office, or online. (Placards are available to those with permanent or temporary disability. Plates are only available to those with permanent disability and include a fee.) You and your doctor will need to complete and sign the Disability Certification form.
Can new drivers get a permit? Are behind-the-wheel driving tests being offered?
Yes, Utah is offering Learner Permits to those at least 15 years of age. You must fill out the application online, then schedule an in-person visit at the DMV. There, you will provide proof of identity, social security, and Utah residency; take a photo; pass a knowledge test and a vision test; get a parent or legal guardian signature for financial responsibility if younger than 18; and submit a fee.
Behind-the-wheel Driving Skills Tests can be scheduled through the DMV, the driver education class at your high school, or third-party road testers.
How can I transfer the ownership/title of my car, RV, or boat?
The seller needs to provide the buyer with the original certificate of title or a completed Application for Duplicate Utah Title, which can be found online or at your local AAA branch. The buyer must complete the Application for Utah Title form, also online or at your local AAA branch. At least one owner whose name was on the title before transfer must sign the application. Fees may apply, and safety or emissions inspections may be required.
How do I change my name or gender or update my address on my ID or license?
For a name change, you must fill out the driver’s license application form online first. Then, schedule an in-person appointment at the DMV and bring the application with you. You will need to take a photo, pass a vision test, and submit a nonrefundable fee. You will also need to provide legal documentation authorizing your name change, such as a certified state marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption, citizenship, guardianship, or court documents indicating a name change.
If your address has also changed, you will need to provide two residency documents. You can update your address online, at a DMV office, or by calling (801) 297-7780. Utah law requires you notify the DMV within 10 days of changing your address.
The process for changing or removing gender on a Utah driver’s license or identification card is being debated in court. Currently, the applicant must submit another government document with the new gender, such as a passport or birth certificate. A Utah birth certificate can be amended with a court order.
Do I still need a smog test?
Yes, emissions inspections have not changed. They are mandated in five counties—Salt Lake, Davis, Utah, Weber, and Cache—although requirements vary by county as well as your vehicle’s age and model. You can check the testing schedule for your vehicle online. Some also require safety inspections, including salvage vehicles, first-time street legal ATVs, and commercial vehicles. For a smog check, find a nearby AAA Approved Auto Repair facility that offers emissions inspection.
If I cannot complete my transaction at AAA or online, can I walk into any DMV office, or do I need to make an appointment?
Most DMV offices are open for appointments, and many take walk-in customers. You can see the availability by location here.