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When a person moves to a new state, he or she is required to establish residency in the new state. The laws of the state will dictate the requirements for establishing residency, vehicle registration, and obtaining a driver's license. The state will then issue a new plate or plates that must be attached to the vehicle and/or a driver's license that must be carried when operating a motor vehicle.

One prominent exception is active duty military service members; under federal law, they do not change their legal residence when they move to a new posting and are not obliged to re-register their vehicle with the state in which they are newly assigned. Students attending school in a state other than their own are also typically exempt from transferring their registration, although a few states consider all students to be residents for purposes of vehicle registration, insurance, and driver's licensing.

Utah law does not have a grace period in which to change an out-of-state driver's license to a Utah license. It simply requires a resident to have a valid Utah driver's 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's 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). Driving without a valid Utah driver's license could amount to a fine of up to $185.00 (Utah Traffic Code 53-3-202).

Utah law also requires you to register your vehicle in Utah within 60 days if you:

1) have established a permanent home for yourself and your family in this state.

2) live in Utah, continuously or non-continuously, for a total of six months, regardless of having a permanent residence in another state; engage in a trade, profession or occupation in Utah, or accept other than seasonal work in Utah, and you do not commute into the state.

3) declare yourself a resident of Utah to obtain privileges not ordinarily extended to nonresidents, including going to school, enrolling your children in local schools without paying nonresident tuition or fees.

4) purchase resident hunting or fishing licenses.

5) obtain a Utah driver's license.

Again, the only exceptions in the law are for full-time nonresident students attending a Utah college or university, and for military personnel temporarily stationed in Utah.

Failure to register your vehicle in Utah could amount to a fine of up to $1000.00 (Utah Traffic Code 41-1A-202).

Page last updated Thu March 28th, 2013 at 17:05