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Guide to the Rhode Island DMV

rhode island dmv

If you’re new to Rhode Island, or have recently purchased a car, you may need to understand the vehicle registration process.

Rhode Island Vehicle Registration

If you’ve just moved to Rhode Island, you are required to apply for a vehicle title transfer from your previous state. You’ll need your license, proof of an inspection (if required), proof of insurance, and payment for all fees, including registration, bills of sale, and sales tax documents. You’ll also need to complete a vehicle inspection number (VIN) check. A completed application for registration and certificate of title (Form-TR1) will be required.

Rhode Island Vehicle Inspections

The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires that gasoline-powered passenger vehicles and light-duty vehicles 8,500 pounds and lighter undergo safety and emissions tests within five days of registration. They will also be required again after every two years. Repairs and re-inspections are required for failing vehicles.

Rhode Island Registration Renewal

You will need to renew your registration with the Rhode Island DMV before it expires. You will usually be notified that your term is coming to an end by mail with a renewal notice. You have to renew your non-commercial vehicle registration every two years and your commercial vehicle registration every one year.

Rhode Island Vehicle Title

When you purchase a car, you will receive a title, signed by the seller. To transfer your car title with the Rhode Island DMV, you’ll have thirty days. If you purchase your car from a dealer in Rhode Island, they will take care of the registration and title paperwork. The title transfer fee is $51.50. You can find the application for the title and the use tax return form online.

Getting Your Rhode Island Driver’s License

You can apply for your driver’s license in person at the DMV within thirty days of establishing residency. If you have a valid driver’s license from another state, you’ll need to complete an Application for License, Identification Card and Permits (Form LI-1). Then you will submit your out-of-state license, proof of your Rhode Island address and identity, and payment of the $43.50 driver’s license fee. You have to apply for an instruction permit first if your license has been expired for more than a year.

Rhode Island Auto Insurance Requirements

Drivers in Rhode Island must have liability coverage, and these insurance policies must offer uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. However, drivers can decline this coverage if they so choose. The minimum coverage limits are:

  • $25,000 per person for bodily injury
  • $50,000 total per accident for bodily injury
  • $25,000 per accident for property damage