When purchasing a new or used vehicle in Utah, understanding the process of obtaining utah temporary license plate is crucial. Temporary license plates serve as a temporary registration permit that allows individuals to legally drive their newly acquired vehicles while awaiting permanent registration and license plates. Navigating Utah’s temporary license plate process involves specific steps and requirements to ensure a smooth and legally compliant transition for your vehicle. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll provide an essential checklist to help you navigate Utah’s temporary license plate process seamlessly.

Understanding Utah’s Temporary License Plate System

Temporary license plates in Utah are essential permits that authorize individuals to drive their newly purchased vehicles legally. These temporary plates offer a grace period during which vehicle owners can drive their vehicles while waiting for permanent registration. Understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a temporary license plate is crucial to avoid legal complications and ensure compliance with Utah’s regulations.

Essential Checklist: How to Obtain a Utah Temporary License Plate

1. Gather Required Documentation

Before initiating the process, ensure you have the necessary documentation:

  • Vehicle Information: Gather details about the vehicle, including its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), make, model, year, and mileage.
  • Proof of Ownership: Have documentation such as the vehicle title, bill of sale, or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) to establish ownership.
  • Identification: Bring your valid driver’s license or state-issued identification for verification.
  • Proof of Insurance: Provide proof of insurance that meets Utah’s minimum coverage requirements.

2. Purchase the Vehicle

Before applying for a temporary license plate, finalize the purchase of the vehicle from a dealership, private seller, or through a lease agreement.

3. Visit the Utah DMV or Authorized Agency

Head to a Utah Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office or an authorized third-party agency that handles vehicle registrations.

4. Obtain the Temporary License Plate Application

Request an application form for a temporary license plate or consult the DMV or agency staff for guidance on the necessary steps.

5. Complete the Application Form

Fill out the temporary license plate application form accurately and completely, providing all required information.

6. Submit Required Documents

Present the essential documents – vehicle information, proof of ownership, identification, and proof of insurance – to the DMV or agency representative.

7. Pay the Required Fees

Expect to pay the applicable fees associated with obtaining a temporary license plate. Fees can vary based on vehicle type and other factors.

8. Receive the Temporary License Plate

Once the application, documents, and fees are processed, the DMV or authorized agency will issue a temporary license plate. Ensure that it’s properly displayed on the vehicle.

9. Adhere to Validity Period

Utah temporary license plates typically have a validity period of around 45 days. Complete the permanent registration process within this timeframe to avoid driving with an expired temporary plate.

10. Obtain Permanent Registration and Plates

Complete the vehicle registration process within the validity period of the temporary plate. Once processed, you’ll receive permanent registration and license plates.

Tips and Considerations

  • Expiration Awareness: Be mindful of the expiration date of your temporary license plate and complete the registration process in time to avoid driving with an expired permit.
  • Compliance Check: Ensure that your vehicle meets Utah’s registration requirements before applying for a temporary license plate.
  • Extension Options: Inquire about the process for extending the validity of your temporary license plate if needed, especially if the registration process takes longer than anticipated.


Navigating Utah’s temporary license plate process involves fulfilling specific requirements and adhering to defined steps. By following this essential checklist, you can navigate the process smoothly, ensuring compliance with Utah’s regulations and making your vehicle transition legally sound and hassle-free. Obtaining a temporary license plate allows you to drive your newly purchased vehicle confidently while awaiting permanent registration and license plates.