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Paperwork Required: Buying a Car in Utah [2020]

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In Utah, if you’re buying a car from a dealer, they will normally process the required paperwork on your behalf. However, when you buy it from a private seller, you must process the paperwork yourself. You will be required to collect the required documentation from the seller and submit them to the Utah Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office to register and title the car in your name.

Paperwork for Utah Car Buyers

When you buy a used car, you must obtain several documents from the seller and submit them to the Utah DMV. These documents include:

  • The vehicle’s title certificate, that includes the seller’s signature and lien releases if applicable.
  • Form TC-891 (Odometer Disclosure Statement) if the vehicle is 10 years old or less.
  • A bill of sale that lists your name, signature and address, the seller’s name, signature and address, a description of the vehicle, the vehicle identification number (VIN), purchase price, and date of vehicle purchase.
  • Inspection certificates, for safety and emission inspections.
  • VIN inspection certificate, if the car was bought from an out-of-state dealer.

You must request a certificate of title from the seller to use it as proof of vehicle ownership. If the title is missing, ask the seller to apply for a duplicate copy at the Utah DMV office and give it to you.

Utah Title Transfer and Registration

To register and transfer the title in your name, you will need to visit the nearest Utah DMV office in person. Remember to take with you:

  • Form TC-656 (The Vehicle Application for Utah Title).
  • The current or last vehicle registration.
  • The signed and completed vehicle title certificate.
  • Inspection certificates, if applicable.
  • Payment for fees and taxes.

Required fees and taxes

  • $6 title transfer fee.
  • $6 temporary permit fee (if you are seeking a temporary license plate).
  • Registration fee, which varies depending on type of vehicle and county of residence.
  • Sales and use tax, which normally vary depending on purchase price.

Car Insurance Requirement for Utah

If you are a driver in Utah State, you will be required to purchase both no-fault and liability car insurance. These two insurance policies will help you pay the cost of property damage and medical costs resulting from the accident that you cause. These two car insurance coverages are also required if you are an out-of-state resident who has lived in Utah for at least 90 days.

You will be required to purchase no-fault car insurance or personal injury protection (PIP) coverage immediately after you purchase your car in Utah. The minimum limit for Utah no-Fault car insurance is $3,000 per person. In case of an accident, no-fault car insurance or Personal Injury Protection will cover your medical bills and that of your family members, regardless of who was at fault for that accident.

Utah car insurance laws also require you to purchase liability insurance immediately after you purchase a car. This insurance coverage will help you pay the cost of property damage and injuries caused to other as a result of an accident you cause. The minimum amounts of liability insurance in this state include:

  • $25,000 for death or bodily injury per person, per accident
  • $65,000 for total death and injury involving multiple, per accident
  • $15,000 for property damage per accident OR
  • $80,000 for property damage and total injuries per accident.

Your personal injury protection insurance cover will take effect first. If your Personal Injury Protection cover are exhausted, you may make a claim against your liability insurance.

What happened if i got a lemon vehicle? Am i protected?

Utah Lemon Law legally known as the New Motor Vehicle Warranties Act was enacted to protect you in case if you purchase or lease a vehicle with defects that can’t be repaired. Basically, this law allows manufacturers to have a reasonable number of attempts to fix the defects that your new vehicle might have. In this article, you will find some basic overview of Utah lemon law and the steps to follow if you fall a victim of a faulty vehicle.

The Utah New Motor Vehicle Warranties Act covers new vehicles and motor homes. All these motor vehicles must be under warranty. Used vehicles and motorcycles are not covered by this law. Under Utah lemon law, if your vehicle is a lemon you will receive your refund or vehicle replacement, but your vehicle must meet the following qualifications:

  • The vehicle must have been bought/leased and registered in Utah
  • The vehicle must be new and under warranty
  • It must weigh 12,000 lbs or less
  • The defect must be serious and that it impairs the vehicle’s safety, use or market value
  • The manufacturer must have tried to repair the defect at least 4 times or it must have stayed for 30 days in the repair shop or whichever comes first
  • The defect must not be caused by any other person other than the manufacturer.

If your seller/dealer fails to comply with your requests for refund or vehicle replacement, you can take the following steps:

  • File a complaint with: Division of Consumer Protection 160 East 300 South, 2nd Floor P.O. Box 146704 Salt Lake City, UT 84114 Fax: (801) 530-6001
  • Include all documentation to support your case. Some of these documents include vehicle purchase receipt, arbitration records, sale tax receipts, vehicle registration fees records and any other records.

Tips to avoid getting a bad car deal

Utah DMV warns its residents who conduct business with unlicensed dealers. These dealers are commonly known as curbstoners as they advertise and sell vehicles posing as private sellers. They transact their business from the street curb. The state warns residents to avoid these dealers because their sales are not protected. Notorious curbstoners normally sell salvage vehicles, roll back odometer readings and also do other forms of consumer fraud. If you suspect that you are dealing with a curbstoner, contact the DOL immediately. Here are some signs that you are dealing with a curbstoner:

  • The vehicle is parked alongside the road.
  • The seller wants to meet you somewhere private.
  • The title certificate isn’t in the seller’s name.
  • The seller will only accept cash.

You can avoid unscrupulous sellers by asking few questions such as:

  • Are you the vehicle’s owner?
  • How long have you owned it?
  • Does the vehicle have an Utah title?
  • Is the title in your name?