Utah Temporary License Plates: A Step-by-Step Guide



When purchasing a new or used vehicle in Utah, securing a temporary license plate is an essential step before obtaining your permanent registration. Temporary license plates allow you to legally drive your vehicle while waiting for the registration process to finalize. Understanding the process of obtaining how to get a utah temporary license plate is crucial for individuals in the midst of vehicle transactions. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of obtaining a temporary license plate in Utah, ensuring a smooth and legally compliant transition for your vehicle.

What Is a Utah Temporary License Plate?

A Utah temporary license plate serves as a temporary registration permit allowing individuals to legally drive their newly purchased vehicle before receiving the permanent registration and license plates. These temporary plates are valid for a specific period, usually 45 days, during which time the vehicle owner must complete the registration process.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Get a Utah Temporary License Plate

1. Acquire the Necessary Documentation

Before applying for a temporary license plate, ensure you have the required documentation:

  • Vehicle Information: Have the vehicle’s VIN (Vehicle Identification Number), make, model, year, and mileage ready.
  • Proof of Ownership: This can include a title, bill of sale, or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • Identification: Bring your valid driver’s license or other state-issued identification.
  • Insurance: Provide proof of insurance meeting Utah’s minimum coverage requirements.

2. Purchase the Vehicle

To obtain a temporary license plate, you must first purchase a vehicle. This can be from a dealership, private seller, or through a lease agreement.

3. Visit the Utah DMV or Authorized Agency

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

4. Complete the Application

Upon arrival, request an application form for a temporary license plate or ask the staff for guidance. Complete the application accurately and thoroughly, providing all required information.

5. Submit Required Documents

Present the necessary documents, including the vehicle information, proof of ownership, identification, and insurance to the DMV or authorized agency representative.

6. Pay the Fees

Expect to pay the applicable fees for the temporary license plate. The cost may vary depending on the specific circumstances, such as vehicle type or length of validity.

7. Receive Your Temporary License Plate

Once you’ve submitted the application, documents, and fees, the DMV or authorized agency will issue your temporary license plate. This plate should be displayed on the vehicle as instructed until you receive your permanent registration and license plates.

8. Adhere to the Validity Period

Utah temporary license plates are typically valid for around 45 days. Ensure that you complete the registration process within this period to avoid driving with an expired temporary plate.

9. Obtain Permanent Registration and Plates

During the validity period of your temporary plate, complete the vehicle registration process. Once processed, you’ll receive your permanent registration and license plates from the DMV or authorized agency.

Tips and Important Considerations

  • Expiration Date: Keep track of the expiration date of your temporary license plate to avoid driving with an expired permit.
  • Compliance: Ensure that your vehicle meets all Utah registration requirements before applying for a temporary license plate.
  • Renewal: If needed, inquire about the process for extending the validity of your temporary license plate if the registration process takes longer than expected.


Securing a Utah temporary license plate is a crucial step when purchasing a new or used vehicle. This temporary permit allows you to legally drive your vehicle while waiting for the permanent registration and license plates. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you can navigate the process smoothly and ensure compliance with Utah’s regulations, making your vehicle transition hassle-free and legally sound.