Utah’s New Car Registration Law: What You Need to Know

January 16, 2023 - 3:27 pm - 3 min read

What is the New Car Registration Law?

Starting January 1, 2020, Utah has implemented a new law regarding car registration. The law requires cars to display a rear license plate in addition to the front license plate. Previously, Utah only required a rear license plate for motor vehicles registered in the state. However, this has now changed, and even vehicles that were registered before 2020 must comply with this new law.

Why was the Law Implemented?

The new law was implemented with the intention of improving public safety. With a front and rear license plate, law enforcement can easily identify and track vehicles that may be involved in crimes, hit-and-run accidents, or other traffic violations. The implementation of the law is expected to increase the percentage of vehicles with both front and rear license plates from 60% to 100%.

How does the Law Affect Vehicle Owners?

For new vehicles, the law does not have any impact on the registration process. The dealership will automatically issue two license plates at the point of sale. However, for vehicles registered before 2020, an additional plate will need to be purchased to comply with the law. Owners can either purchase the plate through the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles or any licensed automotive dealer. The cost of the additional plate will be $12.

Additionally, any vehicles that do not display both front and rear license plates will face a fine of $60, starting October 1, 2020. This fine will increase to $90 for repeat offenders.

What Exceptions are there to the Law?

The new law has certain exceptions. Vehicles that are exempt from the requirement include motorcycles, off-highway vehicles, trailers, and certain vintage vehicles. Vehicles that have a manufacturer’s logo or emblem covering the area where a front plate would be displayed are also exempt from the requirement. Furthermore, some drivers with disabilities may be eligible for a waiver from the requirement if displaying a second plate creates undue hardship or difficulty.

What are the Consequences of Non-Compliance?

As previously mentioned, failing to display both front and rear license plates on a vehicle after October 1, 2020, will result in a fine of $60 for first-time offenders, which will increase to $90 for repeat offenders. The consequences of non-compliance are not limited to monetary fines only. Law enforcement officers may pull a vehicle over if they discover that it is not displaying both plates. This can cause delays for drivers and, potentially, result in unwanted attention from law enforcement.

In conclusion, the new car registration law in Utah requires that all vehicles, registered before or after 2020, display both front and rear license plates. The law was implemented with the main purpose of improving public safety and will increase the number of vehicles with both plates from 60% to 100%. Any vehicles that do not comply with the law will be subject to a fine starting October 1, 2020. As a vehicle owner in Utah, it is important to comply with this new law to avoid unwanted fines and attention from law enforcement.


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