SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4) — The Utah driver’s license test is now a lot more accessible to – residents as the test is now available in six languages in total.
The test is now available in Spanish, Tongan, Vietnamese, Mandarin Chinese, and Portuguese, in addition to English. The Utah Department of Public Safety‘s (DPS) Driver License Division said the added languages will provide access to the top languages spoken throughout the state.
According to a June 2022 report from the Utah Department of Health and Human Resources, English, Spanish and Chinese, including Mandarin and Cantonese, are the top three languages spoken in the Beehive State. All three languages saw an increase in speakers since 2016.
The report indicates English is by far the most dominant language in Utah with roughly 2.5 million speakers while about 300,000 residents primarily speak Spanish. Chinese, the third most spoken language in Utah, has a population of about 17,000 speakers.
Austronesian languages including Tongan, Samoan and Hawaiian are the fourth most spoken set of languages in Utah with just over 13,000 speakers. Portuguese is the fifth with over 12,000 speakers. Vietnamese has 7,500 speakers and is the eighth most spoken language in Utah behind German and Navajo.
DPS Commissioner Jess Anderson reported that since the test was made available in multiple languages, over 840 people have taken advantage of the additional language, with Spanish and Mandarin Chinese being the most requested.
“We want to make sure our communities are aware of this expansion of services to be linguistically inclusive,” said the Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs Nubia Pena. “We want to make sure people are knowledgeable about the laws so that everyone in our state can get home safely to their loved ones.”
The addition of the new languages comes after the passing of Senate Bill 216 in 2022, which passed unanimously in both the House and Senate before being signed by Gov. Spencer Cox.