Utah New Resident Guide

Welcome to Utah! As a new driver to this state you will need to be aware of our unique traffic laws and regulations. Here's what you need to keep in mind while driving in Utah. Some of these rules may be the same as what you're already used to, but others will be drastically different!

Licensing and Residency Requirements

  • You are not required to obtain a new driver license with current residence, you can simply change your address online within 10 days of moving.
  • Utah law does not have a grace period in which to change an out-of-state driver license to a Utah license. It simply requires a resident to have a valid Utah driver license, when driving in Utah. A person is considered a Utah resident if the person establishes a domicile here, remains here longer than six months, engages in other than seasonal employment; or obtains Utah privileges not ordinarily afforded nonresidents, such as obtaining a driver license, vehicle registration, or placing children in a Utah school etc. Resident does not include temporary employment, military or religious assignments; or out-of-state students (paying out-of-state tuition).
  • New residents to Utah are allowed 60 days to transfer titles and registrations.

Graduated Licensing Program

Learner's Permit


  • Must be at least 15;
  • Must pass vision screening and written test.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • May only operate a motor vehicle if an approved driving instructor, parent or legal guardian, or a responsible adult who assumes liability for the minor is occupying the seat next to the permit holder.

Class D/Intermediate License


  • Must be at least 16;
  • Must have held permit for 6 months or have reached age 18;
  • Must have completed driver's education and behind the wheel driver training;
  • Must have accumulated 40 hours (10 at night) of parental supervised driving.

Privileges and Restrictions

  • For first 6 months, may not transport any passenger under 21 who is not an immediate family member unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
  • If under age 17, may not operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5 AM unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age, or driving to or from employment
  • At age 17, restrictions no longer apply.

Violation Point Counts

The amount of points that go against your driver's license for specific types of violations.

Reckless Driving80 points
Speeding 1-10 mph over35 points
Speeding 11-20 mph over55 points
Speeding 21+ mph over75 points
Failure to Yield Right-of-Way60 points
Following Too Closely60 points
Wrong Way on One-Way Street60 points
Running a Red Traffic Light50 points
Running a Stop Sign50 points
Improper Lookout50 points
Improper Passing50 points
Improper Turn50 points
Negligent Collision50 points
Other Moving Violations40-60 points

NOTE: Points may vary plus or minus 10 percent depending upon severity of the conviction. Certain serious violations, such as DUI, require mandatory suspension or revocation and are not included in the points system.

How Long Points Remain on Record

  • By safe driving, you can clear your own record.
    • As an incentive for safety, the point system provides that when you drive one full year without a moving traffic violation conviction, one-half of the accumulated points will be removed from your driving record.
    • If you drive two successive years without a conviction, all points are deleted.
  • Points for individual convictions are automatically removed from your record three years after the date of the violation.
  • As an additional incentive, once in any three-year period, 50 points may be deleted from your record for completion of a driver improvement course recommended by the department.

Provisional License Points System

A driver under 21 years of age, who accumulates 70 or more points in three years, may be suspended or denied for one month to a year, depending upon the severity of the person's driving record.

Regular Points System

A driver 21 years of age or older, who accumulates 200 or more points in three years, may be suspended for three months to a year, depending upon the severity of the person's driving record.

Insurance Requirements

  • The Utah Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law requires that every resident owner of a motor vehicle, including motorcycles, shall maintain owner's or operator's security (proof of financial responsibility) in effect at any time the motor vehicle is operated on a highway or on a quasi-public road or parking area within the state.
  • Every driver of a motor vehicle must have a minimum insurance coverage of:
    • $25,000 for injury or death to any 1 person in an accident;
    • $65,000 for injury or death to 2 or more people in any accident, and;
    • $15,000 for the damage to any property in 1 accident.
  • Proof of financial responsibility required after driver's license suspension or revocation or when department is notified that an uninsured owner or operator has been involved in an accident. Failure to show proof may result in suspension or revocation of driver's license.

Headlight Laws

You must dim your headlights from high to low beam when you are within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle, or when within 300 feet of a vehicle traveling ahead of you.

You must use your headlights:

  • Any time conditions keep you from seeing 1,000 feet ahead. These conditions include fog, stormy weather or dust.
  • No later than half an hour after sunset and keep them on until half an hour before sunrise.

There is no specific law allowing or prohibiting headlight flashing though there have been cases which have found that it could be considered a form of protected speech.

Implied Consent Laws

  • First Refusal - Revocation 18 months.
  • Subsequent Refusal - Revocation 36 months.
  • Persons Under 21:
    • First Refusal - Revocation until age 21 or 2 years, whichever is longer (if arrest made on or after 7/1/2011).
    • Subsequent refusal - Revocation until age 21 or 36 months, whichever is longer.

DUI Penalties


First Offense (Class B misdemeanor)

  • Up to 6 months imprisonment.
  • Up to $1,000 fine.
  • 24 hours community service may be ordered in lieu of imprisonment.
  • 120 day license suspension or up to 1 year license revocation.

Second Offense (Class B misdemeanor)

  • Up to 6 months imprisonment.
  • Up to $1,000 fine.
  • 240 hours community service may be ordered in lieu of imprisonment.
  • 2 years license revocation.

Subsequent Offense (where prior offense is felony DUI or automobile homicide) (Third degree felony)

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Up to $5,000 fine.

Third Offense (within 10 years) (Third degree felony)

  • Up to 5 years imprisonment.
  • Up to $5,000 fine.

Impaired Driving (Class B misdemeanor)

  • Up to 6 months imprisonment.
  • Up to $1,000 fine.
  • On subsequent conviction, license revocation up to 1 year.


Child Endangerment

  • A person who drives under the influence with a passenger under the age of 16 is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by not more than 1 year and/or not more than $2,500.

Alcohol Education and Treatment

  • Substance abuse assessment is required, including screening, assessment, education series and subsequent substance abuse treatment.

Ignition Interlock

  • Court may require use of ignition interlock for period of probation.
  • Court will require use of ignition interlock for person under 21, as a condition of probation.
  • If defendant had a BAC .16 or more, the court will order ignition interlock and/or electronic home monitoring.

Open Container Law

The Open Container Law prohibits possession of an open alcoholic beverage container in the passenger area of any motor vehicle, by any occupant of the vehicle, on any public highway or right of way, whether or not the vehicle is in motion.

Red Light Violation Fines

Utah does not have a state law governing red light fines or the use of traffic cameras for red light enforcement.

Construction Zone Penalties

Speeding violations when workers are present are subject to at least two times the original fine.

Under a separate law, all drivers are required to comply with any lawful order or direction of a peace officer, fireman, or flagger at a highway work zone.

Turn Signal Information

Signal your intention to turn or change lanes at least two seconds in advance.

Hazard Light Information

Hazard light use is permitted for the purpose of warning other drivers of the presence of a vehicular traffic hazard requiring the exercise of unusual care in approaching, overtaking or passing.

Funeral Procession Right-of-Way Laws

  • Funeral processions are not required to allow a two second following distance between vehicles.
  • It is a class B misdemeanor for a driver to intentionally obstruct, hinder, impede or block the progress of a funeral procession.

School Bus Laws


  • Vehicles are required to stop unless the school bus is traveling in the opposite direction when: traveling on a divided highway, traveling upon a highway of 5 or more lanes, or the bus is stopped at an intersection or other place controlled by a traffic-control signal, or by a peace officer.


  • Failure to stop and remain stopped when required will result in a $100 - $500 fine.

Bicyclist Passing Distance

A 3-foot minimum passing distance is required.

Motorcycle Laws


  • A person who has been issued a motorcycle learner's permit may drive a motorcycle only during daylight hours and only without passengers.
  • A motorcycle endorsement is required on all classes of license or a motorcycle-only license is required. An endorsement is valid for 5 years and expires on licensee's birthday in the 5th year.

Protective Gear

  • A person under the age of 18 may not operate or ride, unless within an enclosed cab, a motorcycle upon a highway unless that person is wearing protective headgear.


  • Daytime headlight use not required.

Sharing the Road

  • Lane splitting is not authorized.
  • Two motorcycles may travel side-by-side in a single lane.

Using the Shoulder to Pass

You may not drive off the roadway to pass on the right.

Passing Laws

Do Not Pass:

  • When approaching or upon a hill or curve;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of or traversing any intersection or railroad grade crossing;
  • When approaching within 100 feet of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.

When Being Passed:

  • Give way to the right in favor of the overtaking vehicle;
  • Do not increase the speed of your vehicle until completely passed by the overtaking vehicle.

Speed Limits

  • 55 mph, except as noted, on highways or streets;
  • 25 mph in an urban district;
  • 20 mph in a reduced speed school zone.

Safety Belt and Child Safety Seat Laws

Safety Belts

  • Occupants 16 years and older must wear a safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for a belt law violation involving children less than 19 years.
  • The fine for a first offense is $45.

Child Seats

  • Children 7 years and younger who are less than 57 inches tall must use a child seat.
  • Children ages 8 - 15, and all children 57 inches or taller, must be restrained and may use an adult safety belt.
  • Police may stop vehicles solely for child seat law violations.
  • The fine for a first offense is $45.

Emergency Vehicle Laws

Move Over

  • When you see any of these vehicles displaying flashing lights while stopped on or adjacent to the roadway:
    • Emergency vehicle;
    • Tow truck;
    • Highway maintenance vehicle.
  • You must do the following:
    • Reduce the speed of the vehicle;
    • Provide as much space as practical to the stationary authorized emergency vehicle; and
    • If traveling in a lane adjacent to the stationary authorized emergency vehicle and if practical, with due regard to safety and traffic conditions, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle.


  • Do not follow any emergency vehicle closer than 500 feet, or drive or park within 500 feet of where a fire apparatus has stopped in answer to a fire alarm.

Collision Procedures

  • Stop at the scene or as close as possible without obstructing traffic more than necessary, and remain at the scene until all requirements are fulfilled.
  • Provide assistance to any injured person, including transporting them or making arrangements for transportation to a hospital or doctor, if necessary or requested.
  • Notify the nearest police department immediately if the accident has resulted in injury, death, or property damage of $1,500 or more. If the driver is unable to make the report, any other occupant of the vehicle who is able to must do so.
  • If there has been property damage only, and the vehicle is capable of being safely driven, you may move the vehicle as soon as possible off the roadway.
  • You must provide the following information to any other person involved in the accident, or any police officer at the scene of the crash:
    • Driver's name and address;
    • Vehicle registration number;
    • Name and contact information of insurance provider;
    • Show driver's license upon request.
  • If you have collided with an unattended vehicle or other unattended property on or adjacent to a highway, locate and notify the owner of the driver's name and address, the vehicle registration number. If you are unable to do so, leave a written notice providing this information and a statement of the circumstances.
  • Report crash:
    • If the crash resulted in injury, death, or total property damage to the apparent extent of $1,500 or more, the department may require you to file a written report of the accident within 10 days after the request.
    • If the operator is physically incapable of making an accident report under this section and the operator is not the owner of the vehicle, the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident must make the report within 15 days after becoming aware of the accident.