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Last updated: July 3, 2023

Car Insurance Laws in Utah

Everything you need to know about car insurance in this no-fault state.

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According to the Federal Highway Administration’s most recent Highway Statistics Series, in 2021, there were more than 2.2 million licensed drivers in Utah. That’s a 3 percent increase from the year before and a 26 percent increase from a decade earlier. The population in Utah is growing, which means more and more people need to learn about car insurance in the Beehive State. You’ve come to the right place.

Utah Car Insurance Laws

Before you hit the road, brush up on Utah’s laws surrounding car insurance, starting with the most basic liability coverage: bodily injury per person.

Minimum Insurance Requirements

You’ll need coverage that meets these car insurance requirements in Utah.

  • $25,000: Bodily injury liability per person
  • $65,000: Bodily injury liability per accident
  • $15,000: Property damage liability per accident
  • $3,000: Personal injury protection per person1

The law requires you to not only purchase auto insurance but also carry proof of it whenever you are driving.

Driving Without Insurance Penalties

Driving in Utah without insurance could result in a fine of up to $1,000. However, if you show proof of insurance before your sentencing, you can get your fine reduced to either $100 or $700, depending on which offense number it is.

Consequence First offense Second and subsequent offense within 3 years of a previous conviction/bail forfeiture
Charge Class C misdemeanor Class C misdemeanor
Minimum fine $400 $1,000


To get $300 off your fine, show proof of insurance before your sentencing.

No-Fault System

Utah is a no-fault state, which means that in an accident with an at-fault driver, you’d file a third-party claim for property damage under their liability insurance and a first-party claim for medical costs under your personal injury protection (PIP).

Utah has comparative negligence laws. This means that if an accident victim wants to recover money for their losses, they can sue in a civil court. However, their percentage of fault must be less than the rest of the parties involved in the car crash. Note, though, if they were any percentage at fault, their compensation would be reduced by the same percentage.

Statutes of Limitations for Claims

Filing a property damage or personal injury claim? Make sure to get it to your insurance company within three or four years of the incident, respectively. These are the statutes of limitations for car insurance claims in Utah.

Cancellation and Nonrenewal Notification Laws

If a Utah insurance company wants to cancel your car insurance, it must notify you 30 days prior to the expiration date or 10 days if the cancellation is due to your nonpayment of premiums. For nonrenewal, the notification must be 30 days before your expiration date.

More Car Insurance Coverage You Should Get

Even though the following coverages are not part of minimum coverage, they could save you money if you: cause an accident; if your car is stolen, vandalized, or damaged by weather; or if someone hits you who has no, or insufficient, insurance.

  • Collision coverage: Whether or not you caused the crash, collision insurance would pay to repair or replace your car if it’s totaled.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace your car if it’s affected by anything other than collisions, such as auto theft, vandalism, or inclement weather.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is liability insurance for your damages and bodily injuries. It applies if the at-fault driver hits your car and leaves, has no insurance, or doesn’t have limits high enough to cover your losses.

How Much Does Car Insurance Cost in Utah?

2020 data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the last year for which they released such information, indicates the average annual cost of car insurance in Utah is $937. That’s 10 percent lower than the average car insurance rates across the U.S.2

How do insurance companies determine rates? According to the Utah Insurance Department, they can take into consideration the following factors:

  • Credit score
  • Driving record
  • Gender
  • Mailing address
  • Marital status
  • Vehicle make and model3

Motor Vehicle Inspection Laws

Utah no longer requires safety inspections when registering the majority of vehicles. Exceptions include the following:

  • Salvage vehicles that you want to rebuild and title
  • Street-legal, new ATVs
  • Commercial vehicles that display or present to law enforcement
  • Three-axle motorhomes

In addition, if you live in Cache, Davis, Salt Lake, Utah, or Weber Counties, you might be required to get emissions inspections, depending on your vehicle’s age and model year.4

Requirement information Cache County Davis County Salt Lake County Utah County Weber County
Age of vehicles that must get emissions inspections Six years old and older Less than six years old Less than six years old Less than six years old Less than six years old
Cadence of required inspections Once every two years Once every two years Once every two years Once every two years Once every two years
Model years where emissions inspections are required 1969-2016 (biennial) 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1998-2017 (diesel), 1968-2016, 2018, 2020 1968-2016, 2018, 2020
Maximum fee to station $20 No limit No limit but average is $25 No limit but average is $25 $30
Program fee to county $3 $3 $3 $2 $1
Phone number 435-792-6579 801-525-5100 385-468-3837 801-851-7600 801-399-7140

Distracted Driving Laws

In 2021, 33 people in Utah died in car accidents that involved distracted drivers. That means 4 percent of all people who died in car crashes that year were victims of distracted driving, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

In Utah, it’s illegal to use handheld wireless communication devices while operating moving vehicles on highways. This law is under primary enforcement, which means a police officer can pull you over for this violation alone. If convicted, you could face fines and even jail time.5

Consequence Using a wireless communication device while operating a moving vehicle on a highway in Utah Using a wireless communication device while operating a moving vehicle on a highway in Utah, and inflicting serious bodily injury upon another as a result; or having a prior conviction within three years of current conviction/commission of offense
Charge Class C misdemeanor Class B misdemeanor
Maximum fine $100 $1,000
Maximum length of imprisonment 90 days Six months
Can substitute fine with compensatory service, $10 per hour of work Yes Yes


Compensatory service can include work for a state or local government agency, a nonprofit organization, or any court-approved organization or entity.

All that said, there are exceptions to this handheld device ban. These include:

  • Using hands-free voice communication or systems integrated into vehicles
  • Viewing GPS or navigation device or app
  • Having a medical emergency
  • Reporting safety hazards or criminal activity or requesting assistance
  • Law enforcement/emergency service personnel using handheld devices to perform their jobs


Now that you’ve learned about car insurance laws in Utah, you’re ready to start driving. But before you hit the road, check out our frequently asked questions below for even more helpful information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does insurance cover the car or the driver in Utah?

In Utah, insurance covers the car, not the driver. That means it will cover anyone driving an insured car with permission, even if the driver is not the owner/policyholder.

How long can you drive without insurance after buying a car in Utah?

You can’t drive at all without insurance after buying a car in Utah. Driving with insurance is always required whether the owner or operator of the vehicle is a resident or nonresident of Utah, according to the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Do I need proof of insurance to register a car in Utah?

Yes, you’ll need proof of insurance to register a car in Utah, according to the Utah DMV. As evidence of insurance, you can use one of the following: 

  • Current insurance card, policy, binder, or declarations page 
  • Current SR-22 form

Can you insure a car that is not in your name in Utah?

Yes, you can insure a car that is not in your name in Utah by using nonowner insurance. Some companies that offer nonowner insurance include Farmers, GEICO, Nationwide, Progressive, State Farm, and USAA.


  1. Motor Vehicle Insurance. Utah Code. (2021).

  2. 2019/2020 Auto Insurance Database Report. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. (2023, Jan).

  3. 10 Things You Should Know About Buying Auto Insurance. Utah Insurance Department. (2023).

  4. Vehicle Inspections. Utah Division of Motor Vehicles. (2023).

  5. Criminal Penalties. Utah State Courts. (2023).