Utah Drivers Training: Behind the Wheel and Permit Training
Driving, while fun and enjoyable, is a responsibility that requires a commitment to safety and elimination of distractions. To operate in the State of Utah, a license is required from the Driver License Division (DLD) of the Utah Department of Public Safety, which regulates drivers and encourages safe driving practices.
Driver Education and Training
The first step towards obtaining a driver license in Utah is to complete the required Drivers Education course. This course can be taken in one of the following ways:
- at a local high school, by completing 27 hours of classroom instruction;
- through 18 hours of teaching at a private driver education school recognized by the DLD; or
- at home, through an online study approved by the DLD.
In addition to the above, 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training and 6 hours of observing the practice of other drivers is mandatory, to receive a completion certificate.
Online Traffic Safety Examination
Post the training; one must take the online Traffic Safety and Trends Exam. This exam covers different topics on driving safety and also addresses the five leading causes of traffic-related deaths, as identified by the Utah Highway Safety Office. A certification number is issued once the applicant passes the exam with a score of 100%.
Application and Supporting Documents
On completion of the Drivers Education course and online exam, the individual can then fill out an application form to be submitted to the driver license office. The way should be accompanied by the following original documents or certified copies:
- Proof of identity/legal status;
- Proof of residency in the State of Utah (2 papers to be provided);
- Social security verification documents; and
- Evidence of completion of the Driver Education course and Traffic Safety and Trends Exam.
An applicant is required to complete the following tests, post document submission, and payment of the requisite fees:
- Eye Test: To determine if the applicant’s vision meets the necessary criteria for driving or if corrective measures should be adopted.
- Written Knowledge Test: This involves: (a) identification of road signs; and (b) questions based on the Driver’s Handbook, including traffic laws, safety practices, the appropriate class of license sought and penalties for traffic offenses. An applicant is eligible to attempt this test twice in a day, and the fees paid cover three attempts in a given year.
- Driving Skills Test: The driver is required to bring a duly registered and safely functioning vehicle for this test. During the trial, the driver will be judged on the following aspects:
- General behavior and attitude;
- Driving techniques, posture and proper use of lanes;
- Starting, stopping and turning;
- Parking on hills and between cars, attention at intersections;
- Observance of traffic signs and signals, backing, U-turns, and steering coordination; and
- Overall ability to operate the vehicle safely and appropriately.
A learner’s permit enables a person to enroll in a driver education course and to practice driving until he is eligible to apply for a driver license. To obtain this permit, the applicant must submit the application and aforementioned supporting documents, pay the fees and pass the Written Knowledge Test and Eye Test. A learner’s permit must be held for a specific period, depending on the age of the permit holder, to be eligible to obtain a driver license:
- Age 15 to 17 – 6 months;
- Age 18 – no holding period if the applicant has completed an approved driver education course;
- Age 19 and above – 3 months, unless the applicant has completed an approved driver education course.
Note that a permit holder under the age of 19 must always be: (a) accompanied by a licensed driver (parent/guardian who undertook financial responsibility in the application) while operating a motor vehicle; and (b) in immediate possession of the learner's permit.