How to get a Utah Driver’s license

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Thoughts of the Department of Motor Vehicles don’t usually inspire happy feelings, no matter where you’re from.

However, the long lines and endless requests for documentation are something everyone has to face at some point. No matter how hard you fight it, driver’s licenses expire.

In the case of Heather Young, a music education major from San Diego, she decided to get a new license to go with her new name after getting married in August.

“When we bought our car, we bought it used in San Diego,” Young said. “I knew that since we would probably be here permanently, for a little while, that I should re-register it here.”

Young was not looking forward to her trip to the DMV. She put it off until just before Christmas and was pleasantly surprised.

“I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was,” she said. “Probably within five minutes we were already being called to the little desk to show my documentation.”

This unexpected efficiency may be because, in Utah, you can make an appointment online to renew your license and beat the notorious DMV rush. Just be sure you go to the right location.

“It’s actually in Orem,” Young said. “There are a lot of different departments in this area. You have to make sure you go to the one for licensing.”

The Drivers License Division is at 759 N. 1370 West in Orem, just west of I-15.

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If you are an out-of-state driver’s license holder, like Young, you have to provide extensive documentation — not only of your ability to drive a car, but also of your legal status as a citizen of the United States and a resident of Utah.

Nikki Maughan, a master’s student in physics from San Marcos, Calif., had to take two trips to the DMV because she didn’t have all the documentation she needed. Both trips took her about 45 minutes.

“It was still not as bad as California,” Maughan said, “but it  would have been nice to know what I needed before I went.”

The following are examples of what you must provide, according to the Utah Driver License Division website:

– For identification and legal status, a U.S. passport or birth certificate.

– For social security verification, a Social Security card (signed and not laminated).

– For Utah residency verification, a school transcript (dated within 90 days) and a utility bill (dated within 60 days).

– If, like Young, you plan on changing your name, bring a marriage license.

Once you provide your documentation, you must take an “open-book test” showing proof of past driving experience, according to Young.

“It’s really easy,” she said. “After that, they took my picture and then I had my license in Utah.”

To make an appointment or get more information on getting a Utah driver’s license, visit publicsafety.utah.gov/dld.

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