Utah Public Traffic Records
Utah Public Traffic Records
Utah public traffic records are government documents that bear the driving and traffic information of a Utah driver's license holder. These records are primarily preserved by the courts and the Department of Public Safety's Driver License Division (DLD) and are available to the public upon request.
Typically, a Utah public traffic record will display a driver's traffic violations, convictions, crashes, departmental actions over a particular period, and other relevant information.
Are Traffic Records Public in Utah?
Yes. Under GRAMA (Utah's Government Records Access and Management Act), traffic records are publicly accessible, except otherwise provided. Because of this, any resident or nonresident has the legal right to demand such records from the Utah courts or Driver License Division (DLD). However, access is withdrawn for records classified as protected, controlled, private, or restricted by court rule or the law (U.C.A. 63G-2-201(3)).
For example, per U.C.A.53-3-109, the personally identifying information of a Utah driver's license holder qualifies as a protected record. As a result, the DLD only releases this information according to 18 U.S.C. Chapter 123 (the Driver Privacy Protection Act or DPPA) for specific purposes, including:
- To assist government agencies or private parties acting on behalf of a federal, state, or local agency in carrying out their functions.
- To provide notice to the owners of impounded or towed vehicles.
- To aid research activities and the production of statistical reports, provided the personal data is not redisclosed, published, or used to contact people.
- To anyone with the written consent of the subject of a record.
Similarly, the court can limit the public from accessing a traffic record because it contains identifying or sensitive information about a case party. The court can also refuse access if the record is sealed or expunged. As usual, any traffic record restricted from public inspection by court order can only be accessed by someone with judicial approval.
What do Utah Traffic Records Contain?
The following information can be found within a Utah traffic record maintained by the Driver License Division:
- A driver's personal information (name, address, etc.)
- Moving violations
- License suspensions
- License revocations
If the record belongs to a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holder, it will also contain the CDL driver's disqualifications, medical certificate information, and moving violations (plus pleas in abeyance).
However, if the court produces the record, it will bear information about a traffic offender's court case, such as the party's pleadings, case summary, convictions, and sentences.
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in Utah?
A citation can appear on someone's record in Utah after a conviction or bail forfeiture (payment of the fine) for a traffic offense. Usually, when a Utah driver receives a citation (in the state, a member state under the Drivers' License Compact, or in Canada), the court can report it to the Utah Driver License Division (DLD). This is typically done within ten days of the conviction or fine payment.
For instance, the court reports the following traffic convictions to the DLD:
- Operating a vehicle without insurance
- Driving under the influence
- Impaired driving
- No proof of insurance
- Failing to yield to a blind pedestrian
- Headlamp or tail light violation
- Improper backing
- Driving on the sidewalk
- Texting and driving
- Careless driving, etc.
The implication of reporting a traffic violation to the DLD is that it will appear on the offender's driver record, and violation points may be assessed according to the offense's severity. However, this is not always the case. By law, some citations are not reportable, and as a result, they do not appear on a person's Utah traffic record. A few examples include:
- Backing on a limited-access highway
- Willfully failing or refusing to obey the order of a firefighter
- Drinking alcohol in a vehicle (open container)
A table containing the reportable and non-reportable traffic convictions can be found in the State of Utah Uniform Fine Schedule.
Types of Traffic Citations in Utah
Utah law identifies three kinds of traffic offenses: infractions, misdemeanors, and felonies.
- Infractions are minor offenses (e.g., running a red light, improper parking) that carry no jail sentences and fines of up to $750.
- Misdemeanor traffic offenses are crimes that carry a jail term. Typically, the punishment one sustains for a traffic misdemeanor in Utah depends on its designation: Class A, B, or C.
- Class A misdemeanors rank as the most severe of the three classes, attracting up to a year in jail and as much as $2,500 in fines.
- Class B misdemeanors carry up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.
- Class C consists of the lesser misdemeanors, offenses punishable by a maximum of 90 days in jail, and up to $750 in fines. Most traffic offenses in the misdemeanor category fall into this class.
- Felony traffic offenses refer to crimes that carry lengthy prison sentences and considerable fines—for example, a third or subsequent DUI within six years of two or more previous offenses. Per the law, a third DUI is a third-degree felony (up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000).
Typically, Utah law enforcement only issues citations for minor traffic violations or infractions, as most traffic offenses are regarded as such. Because of the severe and often depraved nature of criminal traffic offenses, offenders will most likely be arrested and taken to a local jail facility until they appear in court or post bail.
Utah Traffic Citation Lookup
Anyone who wishes to look up a Utah traffic citation can do so via the ePayment portal maintained by the state judiciary. To search the system, an individual will need to know the court responsible for the case and the citation number or case number. Although the portal's primary function is to aid defendants in paying their fines, it is still possible to retrieve information about a traffic citation.
Some justice courts also maintain separate traffic fine payment portals on their websites, which can be accessed from web pages dedicated to traffic matters. For example, the Salt Lake City Justice Court and Utah County Justice Court. In such cases, the cited party can visit the appropriate web portal and enter a citation number, case number, or driver's license number into the appropriate field to look up the citation.
How to Lookup my Utah Traffic Records
The Utah Driver License Division (DLD) maintains traffic records (officially called motor vehicle records, MVR, or driving records) of Utah driver's license holders. As such, any driver interested in viewing their citations, suspensions, revocations, or other license-related information can request their record from the agency. The available request methods are mail, in-person, or online.
Generally, there are two types of driver records that an individual can order from the DLD: regular and certified records. To look up a regular traffic record via mail, it is necessary to complete Form DLD60M and submit it, along with a check of $8 (addressed to the Utah Department of Public Safety), to the following address:
Department of Public Safety
Driver License Division
P.O. Box 144501
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4501
After receiving the fee and form (which must contain the driver's notarized signature and must be dated within 90 days of the request), the DLD will mail a copy of the record back to the requester.
It should be noted that a non-CDL (commercial driver's license) holder's record will only contain:
- Convictions of moving violations and suspensions within the last three years, and
- DUI violations, suspensions, and revocations within the last ten years.
Meanwhile, the record of a CDL holder will carry all convictions involving moving violations.
Persons who want to obtain a certified record must submit forms DLD60M and DLD266M to the Driver License Division, along with a check of $10.75. Processing may take two weeks or more.
To obtain a certified record, one must complete forms DLD60 and DLD266 and visit the DLD" s Administrative Office at the address below to submit them. Each record costs $10.75:
Calvin Rampton Complex
4501 South 2700 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84129
Phone: (801) 965-4437 (Toll free: (888) 353-4224)
Out of the three methods of obtaining driving/traffic records in Utah, this is the fastest and most convenient. All one requires is their full name, driver's license number and issue date, and the last four figures of their social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN). The requester must also provide their credit or debit card information, which must match the name on the record. Interested parties can view the applicable fee on the Driver License Division's fees web page.
Utah traffic case records may also be available from third-party websites since they are considered public records. Unlike government sources or websites, third-party websites do not have geographical limitations. Hence, interested parties may access these websites from anywhere in the world. However, some third-party websites may require registration or subscription to access traffic record.
Utah Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in Utah is defined as any illegal act committed while operating a motor vehicle on a public road. This can include speeding, running a red light, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Traffic violations can result in points being added to an offender's driver's license, and repeated offenses can lead to license suspension or revocation. In some cases, offenders may also be required to pay a fine or appear in court. If convicted of a traffic violation, it will be added to the offender's driving record.
If the motorist accumulates too many points on their driving record, their driver's license may be suspended or revoked.
The offender's driver's license may also be suspended or revoked if they are convicted of certain serious traffic offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving. If their license is suspended, they will need to complete a period of probation and pay a reinstatement fee before it can be reinstated. However, if their license is revoked, you will need to reapply for a new license after the stated period has elapsed.
If convicted of a traffic violation, the offender may be required to pay a fine. The fine amount will vary depending on the offense, but it can range from $50 to $1,000. The offender may also be required to appear in court. If they fail to appear in court or pay the fine, a warrant may be issued for their arrest.
It is important to note that traffic violations can also lead to increased auto insurance rates. So, not only can they cost the offender money in fines and increased premiums, but they can also add points to their driving record, which can lead to license suspension or revocation.
Utah License Plate Lookup
License plate information forms a critical part of Utah traffic records because they are helpful for finding out about a vehicle or its owner.
In Utah, interested persons can look up Utah license plates through the Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS). The DPS website has a searchable database of license plates. They can also contact the DPS to request a copy of a vehicle's registration.
To look up a license plate for legal reasons, contact the Utah DPS Records Division. The Records Division can provide information about a vehicle or its owners, such as its registration and insurance status.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in Utah
Members of the public can view traffic case records for free in Utah at the courthouses or the Utah State Law Library. Many courts and the Utah State Law Library maintain a case information database called XChange, which the public can access at no charge.
However, if wishing to access a traffic case record at the court, an inquirer is urged to contact the court beforehand to verify that the record is available. A court's street address and contact information can be obtained from the Utah State Court Directory.
It is worth mentioning that the XChange case management system is also available online but as a fee-based service.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in Utah
Traffic offenses committed in Utah can appear on a person's public driving or criminal record. A traffic offense shows up on someone's criminal record because the owner committed a felony or misdemeanor. Such records do not ever come off unless expunged.
On the other hand, traffic offenses (often moving violations) can appear on a Utah driving record, but this will not always happen because some offenses are not reported to the Driver License Division (DLD). Typically, the DLD retains information related to a traffic offense for three or ten-year periods: three years for most offenses and ten years for DUIs (driving under the influence) or offenses involving drugs.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in Utah
Because traffic records are mostly public information in Utah, the records of a driver's offenses may be available on websites accessible to the public. This includes websites run by government agencies and those run by third parties.
Typically, when a displayed record pertains to a driver's criminal traffic violations, the affected party can seek expungement as a means of restricting public examination. In Utah, an expungement seals or otherwise restricts access to someone's arrest, detention, criminal investigation, and convictions records in the custody of an agency (U.C.A. 77-40-102(9)). In other words, if the record owner obtains an expungement order, the party can send a copy, together with a request for deletion, to the webmaster or website’s administrator.
Many public websites also feature an opt-out tool or page for record owners who wish to suppress their records. However, this method requires constant maintenance because it does not delete a record at its source, like an expungement. As such, the possibility that the record will be relisted in the future is relatively high.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in Utah?
Yes, motoring or traffic offenses can affect a person's criminal record in Utah, but only when the individual was convicted of a traffic misdemeanor or felony. For instance, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
Once a traffic offense appears on someone's record, it is treated the same as other criminal offenses, i.e., it remains on the record permanently unless the owner receives an expungement from the court. Also, as the record will be publicly available, the owner may face certain difficulties in life, like obtaining suitable housing or keeping a job.