Utah Veteran Benefits

If you're a veteran or servicemember in Utah, the state has set up benefits to help you with your housing, education, employment, and other needs. Utah veterans have worked hard to earn these benefits, so it's a good idea to take full advantage of them.

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Veteran Home Loans

If you're stationed in the Beehive State for a while, you may have a good opportunity to buy property near one of the bases shown in the graphic below:

VA loans in Utah can help veterans and servicemembers buy a home in one of these areas—or elsewhere in the state—more quickly and easily than a conventional loan would. You could also use a VA loan to accomplish other goals, such as:

  • Renovating a new or current home
  • Refinancing a home
  • Consolidating debts into a loan with a good interest rate

As a veteran or a current servicemember, you'll want to know about the benefits of using Utah VA loans before you take another step toward your mortgage.

VA Loans

The many benefits of VA loans in Utah include:

  • No-money-down financing on home purchases
  • A simple qualification process with no credit score requirement
  • Lower interest rates than the industry average
  • No need for private mortgage insurance (PMI) payments

For veterans wondering how to get a VA loan in Utah, you'll want to first find out if you're eligible and what kind of offer you can get. You can contact high-quality, VA-approved lenders, such as Low VA Rates, and have them check on your eligibility in a matter of minutes. When looking at offers, you should make sure to call several lenders for quotes, since mortgage details like terms and rates can differ between lenders.

Even if you don't think you're eligible right now, that doesn't mean you have to give up on getting a home. We at Low VA Rates offer help getting veterans on the right track to qualify for a Utah VA home loan. If you're struggling with credit or other factors, contact us for personalized help from an expert. And who knows—with the relaxed qualifications for VA loans, you may already qualify without knowing it!

Or, if you're ready to start the loan process now, call us toll-free at 866-569-8272 or use our simple online application to see how much you might qualify for. We were founded in Utah and have helped servicemembers and veterans here for many years, and we'd love to help you access the benefits you've earned.

Veteran Housing Benefits

Utah Veterans Homes

If you're a Utah veteran with either peacetime or wartime service experience, you may qualify for admission to a Veterans Home in the state. Veterans' spouses or surviving spouses who have been married to the veteran for a year or more before applying may also be eligible.

These facilities provide high-quality nursing care and other health care services for those who have served our nation. The VA can pay for a significant portion of the cost of care, and, if you have certain service-related disabilities, may even pay for the entire cost.

Utah's Veterans Homes are located in four locations across the state:

Contact each home for further details on services offered, cost, or eligibility.

Property Tax Abatement for Disabled Veterans

Veterans with a service-related disability status of at least 10% could be eligible for a property tax abatement. The amount of this exemption is determined by your level of disability and your unemployability classification. Dependents of veterans may also be eligible, including unremarried surviving spouses and minor orphans.

This benefit can also apply to certain other examples of personal property besides real estate. See page two of the Property Tax document ("Veterans with a Disability Exemption") for more information about the exemption.

You can turn in an application for this exemption, along with additional required documents, to the tax assessor, treasurer, or clerk of the county where the property is located.

Property Tax Exemption for Active Military

You may be eligible for an armed forces property tax exemption, which could exempt the entire taxable value of your property. To qualify, you must:

  • Have served in the US Armed Forces or Reserve
  • Have served 200 days or more in a 365-day period beginning the previous year
  • Own the property by January 1 of the year you're applying for the exemption
  • Apply for the exemption on or before September 1 of the year following the year in which your qualifying military service took place

When you apply for this exemption with your county tax assessor, you must also turn in a copy of your military orders for the qualifying service. To continue to qualify, you must reapply each year.

Visit page two of the Property Tax document ("Active or Reserve Duty Armed Forces Exemption") for more information.

Homeless Veterans Fellowship

Veterans facing homelessness can look to the Homeless Veterans Fellowship for support. The fellowship is located in Ogden and offers housing for up to 18 months. It also may provide emergency food or hygiene items. If you're at risk of becoming homeless, you have the option to contact them for support.

Veteran Education & Employment Benefits

As a servicemember or veteran, you've worked hard and have likely sacrificed a great deal for the US. Yet the time you've spent away from the civilian world can sometimes create hurdles to success in your education and career. That's why Utah has several programs available that can help give an advantage to military personnel and veterans.

Education Benefits

In-State Tuition

You may be able to enjoy the in-state tuition rates offered to qualifying veterans and servicemembers at public educational institutions in Utah. To qualify, you'll need to meet certain requirements, including the following:

  • You've received an honorable or general discharge or are on active duty assignment in Utah (including Active Reserves and the Utah National Guard)
  • You're pursuing a degree or professional certification
  • You're a Utah resident, in the process of getting Utah residency, or on active duty outside of Utah but maintaining residency in the state and intending to return

Immediate family members of active military personnel and veterans may be eligible as well, but their military family member's discharge needs to have occurred in the past five years.

Requirements can differ slightly between schools, so you'll want to make sure you know what your institution requires. For more information, talk to the admissions office of the school you plan to attend.

Purple Heart Tuition Waiver

If you received a Purple Heart during your military service, you could qualify for a complete tuition waiver at a Utah public university or college. This waiver can be applied to the pursuit of multiple degrees, including an associate, bachelor's, and/or master's degree. You'll need to provide documentation of your Purple Heart to receive this benefit.

Contact the admissions office of your school for further information.

Military Survivors' Tuition Waiver

The Scott B. Lundell Military Survivors' tuition waiver assists the dependents of certain deceased servicemembers. Those dependents can attend Utah state universities and colleges without paying tuition.

Some of the requirements that should be met to qualify for this waiver include:

  • Your family member was a Utah resident and either a member of the armed forces or, on or after September 11, 2001, a member of the reserves or Utah National Guard
  • Your parent or spouse was killed in action or died of wounds or injuries received while serving
  • You've been accepted by an institution of learning
  • You are a resident student, unless your military family member was a member of the Utah National Guard (in which case, you do not have to have resident status)
  • You are pursuing an undergraduate degree and take only courses that lead toward the degree
  • You have not already completed a course of study leading to an undergraduate degree

Contact the admissions office of your institution for more eligibility information and details specific to your university.

You cannot be refused these benefits because of previous credit awarded or courses taken at a university. Additionally, book fees, housing costs, etc. are not covered by the waiver.

Veterans Tuition Gap Program

If you're a Utah veteran, you may qualify to receive tuition assistance at a Utah college or university through the Veterans Tuition Gap (VeT Gap) program. To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a veteran and either a Utah resident or exempt from paying nonresident fees
  • Be working on your first bachelor's degree in a qualifying institution and be in the final year of your program
  • Have exhausted any federal education benefits
  • Be maintaining progress toward your degree

The award lasts for one year following the beginning of the term eligible for the program or until you finish the requirements for the degree, whichever comes first. You can talk to your academic advisor about your eligibility and to get help applying for the program.

State Approving Agency for Veterans Education

The Utah State Approving Agency (SAA) inspects, approves, and manages educational and vocational programs in Utah. The agency works to ensure that quality programs are available where veterans and servicemembers can use their education benefits and work toward their educational or vocational goals.

To view the Utah institutions that offer approved programs, you can use the WEAMS (Web Enabled Approval Management System) search engine through these steps:

  • Visit the WEAMS web page
  • Choose your desired institution from the drop-down menu
  • Click on "UT" on or under the US map that appears
  • Scroll through the list of institutions and click on any one to find its contact information

If you don't see an institution you expected to find on the list, you can contact the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs to inquire further about its status.

Veterans Upward Bound Utah

Veterans Upward Bound is a program done in partnership between Weber State University and the Department of Education that can help veterans prepare for postsecondary education. Through the program, you can receive free tutoring in English, Mathematics, and computer skills.

Honorary High School Diplomas

If you're a veteran who had to miss your high school graduation to serve during wartime, you may qualify to get an honorary high school diploma now.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Have served during the period of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War
  • Have an honorable discharge or have been released due to a service-connected disability

You or a family member should apply with the school district you currently live in or the district where you lived at the time you entered the service. Inquire with the district's school board for more on what information to include with the request.

Employment Benefits

Private Sector Job Hunting Resources

If you're looking for a civilian job, you may want to take advantage of the job hunting resources offered by Utah Department of Workforce Services. On their website, you can find hiring events, connect with a Veteran Specialist, apply for jobs, and more. Also, since some employers make it a priority to hire veterans, you can create a profile and choose to be identified as a veteran to allow them to find you.

You can receive this job search assistance if you are one of the following:

  • A veteran with active duty experience of at least 180 days and a general or honorable discharge
  • Combat-wounded (with any length of service)
  • A member of the Guard or Reserve and are actively drilling
  • The spouse of a veteran or servicemember who meets any of these requirements

To get started, you can visit an employment center in person or create an online profile.

Accelerated Credentialing to Employment (ACE) Program

The Accelerated Credentialing to Employment (ACE) program helps those who qualify expand their employment options through certifications, licenses, and training opportunities. ACE can help you:

  • Get short-term training to help in your pursuit of a certificate or license
  • Use your military experience to receive a certificate or license
  • Translate your military background for employers as you apply for work
  • Learn new job searching techniques, resume skills, and interview techniques
  • Obtain military records

The program serves Utah veterans, active Reserve and Guard members, and their spouses. To qualify for the benefit, you must have at least one day of honorable service in the US military. You can contact an ACE Specialist in your area to get started.

Veterans' Preference in State Employment

If you're an eligible veteran, a veteran's spouse, or a surviving spouse, when you apply to a competitive Utah state government job, you should receive preference points that will help you in the interview process. After passing a civil service examination, you should get:

  • 5 points (or 5%) added to your score as a veteran, OR 10 additional points (or 10%) if you're a disabled veteran or a Purple Heart recipient
  • If you're a veteran's spouse or surviving spouse, the points your veteran spouse is entitled to

For more information and instructions on how to opt into this preference, see the Veterans' Preference web page. And if you applied for a job but don't think you received the preference you should have, you can file a claim.

Veterans' Employment Opportunity Program

An alternative to the competitive hiring procedure and examination point system is offered by the Veterans' Employment Opportunity Program (VEOP). Under VEOP, you may be eligible to be hired for a 6-month trial period in a state career-service job. You're not guaranteed a permanent position after this period, but, depending on the hiring needs and your qualifications, you may receive one.

You can get started by creating an account on Utah's State Job Seeker website to apply for state job positions. For further instructions on opting into the VEOP, see the Veterans' Preference web page under the VEOP section.

Military Waiver of Skills Test for a Commercial Driver's License

If you apply for a civilian commercial driver's license (CDL), you may be exempt from taking the skills test if you:

  • Are a veteran with a recent honorable discharge
  • Worked as a driver of a commercial vehicle in the military within the two years before you were discharged
  • Qualify for a CDL
  • Provide and complete required documents
  • Pass written testing

You can apply with the Military Waiver of Skills Testing application.

Veterans Employment Representatives

If you need help accessing your benefits, Disabled Veterans Outreach Program representatives (DVOPs) and Local Veterans Employment Representatives (LVERs) are resources that can help.

Located in Utah Department of Workforce Services (DWS) employment centers, they can refer you to jobs, help with resumes, give career counseling, and assist you with other career needs. Visit page 7 of the Utah Veteran benefits booklet for contact information.

Military Leave for Armed Forces and National Guard Members

If you're a member of the US Armed Forces or Utah National Guard and have a Utah government job, you may be entitled to 15 days per year of military leave, often with full pay, beyond your regular vacation time.

If you're eligible, this leave applies to certain competitions, encampments, and trainings. Find out more by talking to your employer.

Other Veteran Benefits

Military-Themed License Plates

Utah's Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a list of military-themed license plates. Visit the Special Group Plates section of the DMV website to see the available designs (listed alphabetically on the web page among non-military license plates). Click on any license plate image to see the requirements, fees, and application process for each type.

Some license plates, like the Purple Heart, Former POW, and Pearl Harbor Survivor plates, may not require certain fees. Other plates may or may not require annual contributions to a related organization.

Be ready to show copies of any required documentation when you apply for your license plate.

Veteran Status on Driver's License or ID Card

You may be eligible to get a "Veteran" status indicator on your Utah driver's license or ID card, which can help verify your veteran status in certain scenarios, like at stores that offer discounts to veterans.

To qualify, you'll need to:

  • Be at least 21 years old if applying for a driver's license indicator (no age requirement when applying to add the indicator to an ID card)
  • Provide a copy of your separation document showing an honorable discharge
  • Apply for the veteran indicator at a DMV office in person

Visit the Military/Veterans Driver License web page and read under the "Veterans Indicator" section for more information

Driver's License Use for Servicemembers

Utah offers some benefits to help make it easier for servicemembers to focus on their service rather than deal with driver's license details.

If you're stationed outside of Utah with the military, you and your immediate family and dependents can keep using your driver's license after it expires. This benefit continues for up to three months after you are discharged from active duty. At that time, you'll need a license renewal or an extension.

Additionally, if you're a current servicemember stationed in Utah temporarily, you and your immediate family and dependents can drive in Utah using a valid driver's license from another state or country.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

Benefits for Servicemembers Stationed Outside Utah

If you're a current servicemember stationed outside of Utah and are using a Utah-registered vehicle that you own, you may qualify for several privileges when the registration needs to be renewed:

  • A vehicle property tax exemption
  • A safety inspection exemption
  • An emissions inspection exemption

To learn how to apply for these benefits, visit the Utah DMV's military page and see the section entitled, "Vehicle Registration Renewal."

Benefits for Servicemembers Stationed in Utah

If you're a servicemember stationed in Utah and have a vehicle registered in another state, that registration is still seen as valid in Utah and can be kept. However, if you buy a vehicle in Utah, you can register it in your home state, but you'll still pay Utah sales and use tax on it.

Veterans with Disabilities Honor Pass for State Parks

You may be eligible for a free Veterans with Disabilities Honor Pass, which will give you (and up to 7 people in your vehicle) free entrance to many Utah state parks. To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of Utah
  • Have an honorable discharge
  • Have a service-connected disability rating of at least 50%
  • Show a copy of your latest VA Summary of Benefits letter when you apply

Locations where you can get your pass include state parks region offices, most state parks, and the main office of the Department of Natural Resources.

Hunting and Fishing License Benefits

Utah has many hunting and fishing opportunities for veterans and active personnel to enjoy. To help you have fuller access to these opportunities, the state offers some benefits for certain veterans and servicemembers, including:

  • Veterans with Disabilities – Veterans with a disability rating may be able to get a discount on their fishing license fee at the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. To get the benefit, you'll need to show a copy of your VA disability rating letter to a Utah Division of Wildlife office. Utah also offers other hunting and fishing benefits to people with disabilities that aren't necessarily specific to veterans, but could still be helpful to you.
  • Veterans in Hospitals/Nursing Homes – If you're in a veteran hospital, veteran nursing home, mental health center, state hospital, or certain other places, you may be able to fish without a license.
  • Active Duty Military – Active duty military members stationed in Utah and their dependents may qualify for resident hunting and fishing licenses.

Contact a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources office for more information about eligibility and how to apply.

Reduced Bus/TRAX Fare

Veterans can receive a significant discount on Utah Transit Authority (UTA) bus and TRAX light rail fares through the Reduced Fare Card. You may qualify if you have conditions that interfere with your ability to use the transportation systems, such as difficulties reading system schedules or disabilities that make it hard to get on and off a bus or train.

You can apply at a UTA location. Contact the location beforehand for information on which documents you'll need to bring.

For more information, visit the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs website, click "Veterans Benefits Guide," and navigate to the section called "Bus/TRAX Reduced Fare Cards" (p. 8).

Free Armory Access

Veteran organizations that are federally chartered can use armories in the state under certain conditions.

Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Veterans can be eligible for free interment at the Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery and Memorial Park, with options for in-ground burials or cremations. The cemetery has a view of the towering Wasatch Mountains and can be a place to honor those who have served. Veterans' spouses and dependents can also be interred for a fee.

Veteran Benefits Assistance

If you need help finding or applying for the benefits you're entitled to, you can contact the Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs, which works to help connect veterans with the services they've earned. Whether you're a current servicemember, veteran, or military family member, the Department can help you find resources.

Veteran Service Officers (VSOs) are available to help as well, even if you don't live near the Salt Lake office.

Records Request

You'll often need your DD-214 when you apply for military benefits. The Utah Department of Veterans & Military Affairs may have a copy of your DD-214 if you listed Utah as your home of record when you were discharged. If it's archived there, you can request it and get free certified copies.

For more information on this process or the process of getting a Verification of Military Experience and Training (VMET), visit the Department of Workforce Services web page.

About Low VA Rates

For over 10 years, Low VA Rates has been committed to helping veterans and servicemembers access the benefits of Utah VA loans. We started right here in Utah, and we plan on being here for many more years to serve those who have served us.

We know mortgages can be a confusing endeavor, so we pride ourselves in helping clients understand the process so you can choose what works well for you and your loved ones.

If you're wondering how to get a VA loan in Utah, you can use our online application, call us toll-free at 866-569-8272, or schedule an appointment to visit one of our offices. One of our loan officers will be happy to give you a quote on VA loans in Utah and answer your questions.