How To Lookup Utah License Plates
To look up a Utah license plate, you can enter the license plate number in one of many online public records search tools. However, the information you will see will be only basic vehicle details like the make, model, and year. You may also see trim level, MSRP, drivetrain, engine type, steering and brake details, and the manufacturer. If you qualify under Driver's Protection Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) laws, then you may request and purchase more information such as the vehicle owner's name, address, phone number, social security number, driver's license number, an entire driving record including infractions and sometimes medical and disability information. When ordering from the Utah DMV, you have to fill out a special form, provide your contact details and the name, birth date, and ID number for the individual whose records you want to access.
Utah Vehicle Regulations
According to Utah law, all registered passenger vehicles (cars and trucks) must have two license plates, one mounted on the front and one mounted on the rear.
When moving to Utah, new residents have 60 days to register their vehicles. When registering, you will need the title, most recent registration and emissions report. The vehicle must also undergo a VIN inspection performed by a DMV employee, designated contractor, peace officer, licensed dealer, or a certified safety inspector.
Utah has set up a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) portal for things like changing your address, requesting replacement license plates and registration, and renewing your registration online. Vehicles in Utah are renewed every six or twelve months. Renewal reminders are sent out via mail or email. You are required to have the vehicle inspected before registering, but many inspection stations can handle both at the same time.
Utah License Plates
The state of Utah has only three types of license plates available to its residents. Each one is explained below, and within each category, there may be multiple designs available.
- Standard Issue Plates - three different designs available (no extra cost)
- Special Group Plates - Special group license plates generate funds for specific purposes or honor or recognize specific groups of people. There are dozens of designs available, and you must pay extra for these
- Exempt Plates - All publicly owned vehicles and vehicles leased by public entities must be registered as "exempt" vehicles and bear "EX" (exempt) plates. Plates on Utah Highway Patrol vehicles are also categorized as exempt
Does Utah Have a Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA)?
Utah complies with the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) but also has its own state law Rule R708-36. Disclosure of Personal Identifying Information in MVRs.
The partial purpose for their state law is: "One of the responsibilities of the division is to compile information regarding the driving record of licensed drivers in Utah. This information is searched, compiled, and summarized by the division in a report called a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR). The MVR contains certain personal identifying information and is protected from public disclosure for privacy reasons in accordance with the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994 (DPPA)".
They clearly define what is considered personal information and how it is to be included in reports:
- The personal identifying information contained in an MVR consists of the driver name, driver license number, and in certain circumstances, the driver address.
- The driver name and driver license number will appear on every MVR released by the division to qualified requesters.
- Driver address will appear only on MVRs released to licensed private investigators or investigative agencies certified by the Department of Public Safety. The division may make exceptions to this procedure, provided the exception falls under a permissible use set forth in the DPPA.
- All MVRs will contain the driver's 5-digit zip code, date of birth, military status, license status, license issue/expiration dates, license class, endorsements, reportable arrests, convictions, reportable department actions, and reportable failure to appear/comply notations".
Utah License Plate Search Frequently Asked Questions
Is it Okay to Lookup License Plate Numbers in Utah?
It is only legal to look up vehicle details when searching for a license plate number in Utah. If you qualify under state and federal DPPA laws and have a legitimate reason, then you can perform a license plate lookup and obtain those details easily using an online search portal.
What Will I Need to Request Records?
When requesting information from the Utah DMV, you must use their form DLD60B called a Request for MVR. You must provide your name and phone number, your mailing address, date of the request, and your signature. You then must name the driver of the MVR you want, put down their birth date and driver's license number, and address if available. In some cases, you will need the vehicle owner to provide signed consent on the form.
How to Look Up a Utah License Plate Using the VIN?
The current method outlined above using Utah's Department of Motor Vehicles does not allow looking up a license plate using the VIN. However, you can use an online portal to do it as long as you comply with DPPA laws. You can also check the NHTSA lookup tool or the national title registry to look for crash reports, owner reviews, and open recalls.
Can I Find the Vehicle Owner of a License Plate in Utah?
Utah does not allow the general public to locate the owner of a license plate for just any purpose. You must qualify under one of the few allowable uses in the DPPA for Utah to provide those records. However, if you have a valid reason for needing to find someone, your best bet will be to contact the local police and have them help you.
What Can I Use License Plate Information For?
Utah honors the federal DPPA laws and has its own. On the Request for MVR form, they only provide four limited uses for which they allow users to request records that contain personal driver details. Those are as follows:
- "For use by an employer or its agent or insurer to obtain or verify information relating to a holder of a commercial driver's license that is required under chapter 313 of title 49
- Motor Carrier or Prospective Motor Carrier - After notification to a driver, all information on that driver's, or prospective driver's CDL MVR
- For use by any requester, if the requester demonstrates it has obtained the written consent of the individual to
- whom the information pertains. For any other use specifically authorized under the law of the State that holds the record, if such use is related to the operation of a motor vehicle or public safety".
How to Lookup Utah License Plates for Free?
It is very easy to look up a Utah license plate for free. There are dozens of online portals and public records databases you can use. However, the information you will see will be only basic vehicle details like the make, model, and year. You may also see trim level, MSRP, drivetrain, engine type, steering and brake details and the manufacturer.