Getting Your Utah Driver’s License in Step-by-Step Guide

Getting Your Utah Driver’s License in 2021 – Step-by-Step Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Apr 30, 2021

Receiving a driver’s license is a milestone for many teenagers and adults. In the state of Utah, every resident who drives a motor vehicle on highways must have a valid driver’s license or permit. You can begin the process of applying as early as 15.

In this guide, we’ll go through the entire process of getting your Utah driver’s license!

How to Get a Utah Driver’s License

There are 5 steps to getting your license:

  1. Learner’s permit (depending on your age)
  2. Driver’s Education
  3. Complete Online Traffic Safety and Trends Exam
  4. Take the Utah Road Exam
  5. Schedule DPS Appointment & Get Your License

Step 1 – Learner’s Permit

A learner’s permit lets you practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver. It’s the first step out of many towards getting your full Utah driver’s license.

Who Must Get a Learner’s Permit?

You must get a permit if you are 18 or under as a first-time driver, or if you are 19+ as a first-time driver that would like to skip drivers education.

If you are over 21 years old, you can skip the learner’s permit by completing driver’s education and taking the road test to immediately progress to a full driver’s license. You are given the option of holding a learner’s permit for 90 days OR completing driver’s education.

Regardless of your age and what option you choose, you have to complete the eye test and the written test to move on. We’ll go into more detail about these tests below.

How Do I Get a Learner's Permit?

Before you can apply for a permit, you first have to:

  • complete an eye exam to test your vision (you need a score of at least 20/40 or higher)
  • pass the written knowledge test (you need 40 out of 50 questions correct to pass)

If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Utah learner’s permit guide.

Permit Restrictions

17 Years and Under
  • May only drive with an approved driving instructor, parent, or legal guardian
  • The adult who gave consent (above) must be present
  • Vehicle must allow additional passengers
  • Learner permit must be in possession
  • Cannot drive between midnight and 5am
  • Hold your permit for at least six months
18 Years and Older
  • You must be accompanied by licensed adult over the age of 21
  • Learner permit must be in possession

Step 2 – Complete Driver’s Education

Regardless of your age, you need to apply for a permit first. Afterward, you will be eligible to sign up for a driver education course. The driver education requirement can be completed in three ways. 

#1 – High School Classroom Instruction

Driver’s education is offered at several Utah state public and private high school campuses. You will need to complete 27 hours of classroom instruction and submit your high school transcript to the DPS for verification.

#2 – Commercial/Private Driving School

Commercial and private driving schools are also prevalent across the state. The Utah DPS requires institutions to provide students with 18 hours of instruction in order to meet the driver education mandate.

#3 – Online/Home Study Driving Course

Studying from home is a popular option for many new drivers. You will need to complete 30 hours of a state-approved course.

In addition to your structured learning period, you will also need to meet behind-the-wheel and observation requirements as well. Regardless of the driver education method you choose, it will also need to incorporate six hours of behind the wheel instruction and another six hours of observation. 

Step 3 – Complete Online Traffic Safety and Trends Exam

On January 1, 2016, the state of Utah introduced the online Traffic Safety and Trends Exam. All drivers under the age of 21 must take it when applying for a Utah Class D driver’s license. This test covers important driving safety topics as well as leading causes of traffic-related deaths presented by the Highway Safety Office. 

During the exam, videos will be shown and you will be asked questions related to the content shown. You must answer all questions correctly to pass but can go through the exam sections multiple times. 

Step 4 – Take the Utah Driving Skills Test

The Road Exam is used to evaluate driving behavior to determine if drivers possess the basic skills, knowledge, and ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in the state. A properly registered and legally operating vehicle will also be necessary for the exam. Your driving test administrator may reject its condition if they believe it could cause harm to the examiner’s person or clothes. 

You have three options for taking the driving skills exam.

Option #1 – Complete at Utah DPS

This is probably the most popular option for most new drivers, as it allows them to complete several license requirements in a single visit. You must schedule a driving skills exam with the DPS. Be sure to do so early – these slots tend to fill up at least one to two months in advance. 

Option #2 – Complete with State-Approved Driving School

If you completed driver’s education at your high school, they may likely offer the skills test for free or at a discounted rate. Be sure to check with your specific school’s administration for more details. 

Option #3 – Complete with certified Third Party Tester 

Lastly, you can take the exam with a certified third party road tester. The third-party tester will charge you a fee and provide proof of completion when you pass.

You will be tested on your driving posture, left/right turns, braking, steering, parking, and more. If you fail the driving skills test, you will be allowed to take it the next, but will only have three total attempts before having to pay another fee.

Step 5 – Receive Your Utah Driver’s License

After completing all the necessary requirements, you will need to schedule an appointment to receive your new Utah driver’s license.

If you are 20 and under, you will need to schedule a provisional driver’s license appointment and:

  • Bring completed license application 
  • Take photo
  • Present learner’s permit (necessary documents have already been scanned and are attached to your permit)
  • Pass vision exam
  • Have parent sign off on 40 hours of supervised driving
  • Have parent sign of for financial responsibility (17 and under)
  • Pay a non-refundable fee of $39

Adults 21 years and older will need to schedule a driver’s license appointment and:

  • Bring completed license application 
  • Take photo
  • Submit proof of Driver Education (to avoid holding a permit for 90 days)
  • Pass vision exam
  • Pass knowledge exam (if not completed)
  • Pay non-refundable fee of $52

Congratulations! After submitting the necessary documents and passing both exams, you will receive a temporary photo license on the same day. Your permanent Utah driver’s license will be sent to you in 8-10 weeks. 

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