Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Utah

Utah provides many benefits for those who are serving or who have previously served in the US Armed Forces. These benefits encompass a variety of different areas, including registration of motor vehicles, commercial driver’s licenses, and more.

Vehicle registration and fee benefits

Some veterans are able to receive benefits and discounts for their vehicle registration, but the rules for who is able to receive these benefits are very strict. Those who have received a Purple Heart are exempt from paying the following.

  • Automobile driver education fee
  • Motor vehicle registration fee
  • License plate insurance fees
  • Uninsured motorist identification fees
  • Local option transportation corridor preservation fee

Driver’s license veteran designation

In Utah, veterans are now able to have the word VETERAN printed on their driver’s license, as well as on their state ID cards. You can do this by going to any driver’s license office or ID office in the state and applying. Indicate on the application that you are a veteran. Only those who received an honorable discharge are eligible for this. You will need to provide a copy of your DD-214 or your Report of Separation so the state can verify your service. You will still have to pay the normal renewal fees for your license when the time comes.

Military honor plates

The state of Utah offers a number of specialized military plates. Veterans and active duty personnel can choose from the following license plates.

  • Disabled Veteran
  • Former Prisoner of War (POW)
  • Gold Star
  • National Guard
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Purple Heart/Combat Wounded
  • Veterans – Air Force
  • Veterans – American Legion
  • Veterans – Army
  • Veterans – Coast Guard
  • Veterans – Marines
  • Veterans – Navy

Some of the plates require proof that you are eligible to receive them. If you want to get one of these plates and find out more, you will have to fill out Form TC-817. This is the Application for Personalized and Replacement License Plates.

The cost of the license plates is a $25 contribution to the Utah State Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as a $10 plate transfer fee, in addition to the regular registration and property tax fees.

Military skills test waiver

Several years ago, in 2011, the Commercial Learner’s Permit Rule was created by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This allowed the licensing agencies in the state to allow drivers who are in the military to use their truck driving experience they gained while in the military to count as their skills test for getting a commercial driver’s license.

The only way to receive this waiver is to apply for the license within one year of leaving the job in the military that required you to operate a commercial vehicle. In addition, you need to have at least two years of experience in this role if you hope to get this waiver.

Military commercial driver’s license act of 2012

This act has made it possible for active duty military members to receive a commercial driver’s license, even if they are not residents of the state. However, they need to be assigned to a permanent or temporary base in Utah. This applies to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Driver license and registration renewal while deployed

If you are a resident of the state and your driver’s license expires while you are stationed outside of Utah, you are allowed to use your license up until 90 days after being discharged from the military. At that time, you will have to request an extension or a renewal. However, your dependents will need to renew as soon as they come back to the state.

Those who are originally from outside of Utah and who are stationed there can use their valid out of state license to drive. Their dependents are allowed to do this as well.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

The state of Utah will permit active duty military personnel who are legal residents of another state to register their vehicles in their state of residence rather than in Utah. However, if they purchase a vehicle in Utah, they are required to pay the sales/use tax on the vehicle if they are going to operate it in the state.

Military personnel who are residents of the state and who are stationed out of Utah are able to receive a number of exemptions to maintain their Utah Registration including the property tax exemption and the safety and emissions inspection exemption.

To learn more about the state’s DMV processes, procedures, and rules, you can visit their website. You can see the various plates that are available, contact the DMV if you have questions, and more.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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