Rhode Island Car Title Transfer and Registration

Vehicle registration must be completed with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to legally drive on RI roadways. So what do you need to take with you to complete your transaction the first time? It depends on how you own your automobile (leasing, making payments, or owner with title) and how you want to register (single, joint, business or transfer to family member) your automobile.

After moving to Rhode Island, you have 30 days to register your vehicle with the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Vehicle Registration & Title Transfer Process

Visit your local DMV office with:

  • A completed Application for Registration and Certificate of Title (Form TR-1).
  • Proof of auto insurance.
  • Vehicle title.
    • If the car has a lien, the DMV will accept a photocopy of the title provided the lienholder is listed on it.
    • All owners listed on title must be present when registering. If not, the absent parties must be notarized on the registration application.
  • Proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) check. This only applies to vehicles that are model year 2001 or newer.
    • For VIN check locations, contact your local police department.
  • A Rhode Island driver’s license or ID card.
    • If you present an out-of-state license, you’ll need to also provide proof of residency.
  • Power of Attorney and Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate (Form T-333-1), if the vehicle is leased.
    • The leasing company must be listed as the purchaser.
  • Payment to cover your registration fee.

After obtaining a Rhode Island car registration certificate, you must have your vehicle inspected within 5 days of the registration date.  The vehicle registration is valid for 2 years.

To be sure you have everything you need before getting in line at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, visit www.transfermyauto.com, answer 3 to 5 questions to generate a checklist of what is needed. Military personnel often get tax breaks in many states, your checklist will indicate if this is the case.