You may need to look up a Utah license plate for a number of reasons. Perhaps you’re buying a used car and need to verify the vehicle history before checking the vehicle in person. You may be trying to find out who owns a car that has been parked on your property or driveway. Or worse, you may want to know about the suspicious vehicle in your neighbourhood.
No matter what your reason is, searching for a license plate is possible, but it can be complicated if you don’t know where to start. The good thing, we’ve done the hard work for you, so you don’t have to.
Few things to keep in mind before you begin the search:
A license plate search can yield a lot of information, from vehicle specs and history to ownership data. While the technical specs, service history, accident history etc. and other non-sensitive information can be readily accessed but requesting personal information such as the owner’s name and address requires a valid cause and permission reason (as defined in the Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994).
Basically, you’ve two options: request the details from the Utah DMV or use a third-party license plate lookup service. Below we’ll be sharing both options with you and discuss the limitations of each.
1) Utah State Tax Commission, Division of Motor Vehicles
The DMV maintains title records and registration details of all the vehicles registered in the state. However, Due to privacy reasons, the personal information of the plate owner is protected under DPPA (Driver Privacy Protection Act).
Only those with valid reasons or authorized personnel can request the license plate information. Some examples of such organizations include government agencies, attorneys, private investigative agencies, insurance companies, towing companies, and licensed security services.
If you’re eligible, you need to fill out the form TC-890 and mail it to the following address:
Division of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 30412, Salt Lake City, UT 84130
Ph: 801-297-7780 or 1-800-368-8824
The cost per record search is $4.
2) Third-party License Plate Lookup Services
While the DMV is the only official source for license plate information in Utah, it’s limited to only the personal details of the plate owner. Third-party services are great for checking vehicle history and technical vehicle data, which includes title history, service records, accident history and even if the car was ever stolen. Some of the services may also be able to show plate owners’ details, but they also need to adhere to the DPPA guidelines.
At LookupAPlate.com, you can search for a Utah license plate for free and see basic technical information about the vehicle. Additionally, you can also request a more comprehensive report from our partner services for an additional fee.
Before you go ahead with the license plate search, it is important to ensure the license plate belongs to a Utah vehicle. The Utah DMV offers three standard plates and over 50 specialty plate designs.
1) Life Elevated Arches
The plate features the graphic of a yellow Delicate Arch against the blue sky. The top of the plate has the state name, UTAH, in black letters and block font. The bottom of the plate reads, “Life Elevated”, which is also printed in black. The validation sticker is placed on the top-right side of the license plate.
2) In God, We Trust
The plate has a white background and features the American flag and the text “In God We Trust” on the left side of the plate. The top of the plate has the state name, UTAH, in red letters. The bottom of the plate reads, “United We Stand”. The license registration number is embossed in the center in blue.
3) Life Elevated Skier
The plate has a graphic of a skier against a background of mountains. The top of the plate has the state name, UTAH, against a brown backdrop. Below the state name is the text “Life Elevated” in black. The bottom of the plate has the text “The Greatest Snow on Earth” in blue. The license number is embossed in blue in the center.
The license registration number is a unique six characters alpha-numeric code. The registration number is embossed in black at the center of the plate and typically follows this pattern: A12 3BC. The current series was introduced on January 1, 2017.
Besides the standard plate, the Utah DMV also offers special group plates and vanity plates.
Special group plates: These are the license plates that represent or honor a specific organization, cause, interest or profession. Such plates come with unique designs to recognize or represent the group they are meant for.
Some of the special group license plates in Utah are:
Vanity plates: The DMV also allows customizing the license serial number. The characters on a vanity plate can be chosen by the vehicle owner as long as it is available and not obscene or offensive.
Jason Arthur is a data junkie, writer, veteran amateur racecar driver and motorsport photographer. He is the co-founder of LookupaPlate, a collaborative platform to report bad drivers plying on American roads. He is also building a blockchain-based vehicle data marketplace (in stealth mode) and is an adviser to several startups.
Jason has been tracking the automotive industry since the 1990s and has a disturbingly deep obsession with the automotive world, and loves to explore whatever roads he can find. From high-speed racing on the circuit to off-road exploration, Jason has an insatiable appetite for adventure. Jason has written for numerous publications, including Autocar Magazine, Motorsport Magazine, and Road & Track.