2018 Bills

HB 161: Removing a Punishment for Failure to Display Vehicle Registration

This bill passed the House with a vote of 63-1 and passed through the Senate unanimously.

Libertas Institute supports this bill

Staff review of this legislation finds that it is aligned with our principles and merits support.

Carrying the registration for your vehicle is probably always a good idea so that you can easily provide proof of ownership or help resolve unforeseen issues when in an accident or during a roadside altercation. But should it be a crime if you fail to do so?

Current Utah law requires drivers to carry their registration with them whenever they operate their vehicle. If an individual fails to do so, they could be punished with a citation and fine, even if the decal stickers on their license plate prove they have a valid registration. This law is absolutely unnecessary. No one should be fined and punished because they don’t have a piece of paper with them—something that could have easily been forgotten on the kitchen counter.

Representative Christine Watkins apparently agrees, which is why she is proposing House Bill 161 to end these superfluous regulations. If passed, Utahns would still have to pay for and register their vehicles, but would no longer be fined for not having a paper copy to present to a peace officer. Officers would instead rely on the easily identifiable registration sticker on a vehicle’s license plate along with the information they can easily look up in their database.