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.

Missing Title

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.

Vehicle History Reports

Although a vehicle history report is not needed when titling or registering your newly purchased vehicle, this document can tell you more about the vehicle that you are buying. It will tell you if the vehicle has been involved in any accident or damaged in any way. Without this information, it is difficult to tell the exact condition of the vehicle from its look.

Odometer Fraud in Utah

Odometer fraud is common in Utah. Many sellers tamper with the vehicle’s odometer reading to make the vehicle appear as if it has covered fewer miles. To avoid becoming a victim of odometer fraud, hire a qualified technician to inspect the vehicle before purchase. You can also get the correct odometer reading of the vehicle you want to purchase in a vehicle history report. If you suspect odometer fraud or any vehicle fraud, report the matter immediately to the Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division of the Utah State Tax Commission. You will need to submit Form TC-451 (Original Complaint Report) detailing the suspected fraud.