Utah’s Teen Driving Laws and Insurance Requirements

Information on permits, provisional licenses, and insurance requirements in Utah for drivers who are under age 21.

In Utah, drivers under age 21 can legally drive but are subject to certain requirements and restrictions. Before obtaining an unrestricted driver license, Utah requires teen drivers to first get a learner permit, followed by a provisional license.

Learner Permit

A learner permit is the first step for a minor to obtain a license. The Utah Legislature introduced this idea to address traffic accidents involving teenagers by requiring parents or legal guardians to certify that their children have driven for at least 40 hours, ten of which must have occurred after sunset.

Permit Requirements. At age 15, a person can obtain a learner permit. The minor must visit the driver license division, fill out an application, get a photo taken onsite, pass a written test and an eye exam, and pay a small fee. The minor must also be a resident of Utah, provide proof of identity, and if under age 17, must have a parent certify that the minor has insurance coverage.

Permit Restrictions. A minor between the age of 15 through 17 who obtains a learner permit may only drive if a driving instructor or the minor’s parent or legal guardian is seated in the seat next to the driver. Under these conditions, the minor can also have other passengers in the car. The minor must always carry the learner permit while driving.

Provisional License

At age 16—and after you’ve carried your learner permit for six months—you are eligible to apply for a provisional license. The provisional license allows a teen to drive alone with certain restrictions.

License Requirements. The teen must complete a driver’s education course, an online exam, and successfully complete a driving skills test. The teen must also visit the driver’s license office to must pay a fee, complete an application, have a photo taken, pass an eye exam, and turn in the learner permit. A parent or legal guardian must also certify that the minor has completed 40 hours of driving practice and is covered by insurance.

License Restrictions. Generally, the minors with provisional licenses cannot drive a car between midnight and 5:00 a.m. until the minor reaches 17 years of age. This restriction does not apply when:

  • the driver is accompanied by a person at least 21 years of age and who is sitting in the front seat
  • the driver is driving to or from work and home
  • the driver is driving directly home after a school activity, or
  • the driver is driving during an emergency.

Also, a minor cannot have passengers in the car for the first six months after getting a provisional license. But this rule doesn’t apply if there is a licensed driver at least 21 years of age in the front seat or the minor is traveling in an emergency.

Teens and Cell Phone Use While Driving

Utah distracted driving law restricts all drivers from texting, browsing the internet, or putting information in their phone while driving.

Minors are further restricted. Utah law prohibits anyone under 18 years of age from using a cell phone to communicate with another person while driving. This rule doesn’t apply if the minor was using the phone during a medical emergency, to report a safety hazard or criminal activity, or talking to a parent or legal guardian.

Insurance Coverage Requirements

In Utah, all drivers must be covered under liability insurance. This is why a teen’s parent or guardian must certify that the teen is covered under insurance before a learner permit or license is issued. All liability policies must have at least the following:

  • Liability coverage. Must include at least $25,000 bodily injury per person, $65,000 bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 property damage per accident, or $80,000 for death or injury or damage to personal property per accident.
  • Personal injury protection. Must include at least $3,000 for medical expenses.

Failure to provide and display valid insurance is a class B misdemeanor and can result in up to six months in jail and a $400 fine for a first offense.

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