Every motor vehicle owned by a resident of Rhode Island is required to be registered, including trailers, tent trailers, and travel trailers.
Every application for vehicle registration must be signed by the owner in ink and contain: (1) the name, city, or town of resident, actual residence address, mailing address as it appears on the owner’s driver’s license, business address if the owner is a business; (2) a description of the vehicle that includes the make, model, type of body, number of cylinders, and the serial number of the vehicle, and the engine or other number of the vehicle; (3) a statement whether liability insurance is carried on the vehicle and the name of the carrier, policy number, and effective dates of the policy; and (4) the exact mileage reading on the date of application.
There is no period of grace for late registration.
Motor vehicles owned or leased by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, motor vehicles not required to be registered in Rhode Island, and a motor vehicle registered in Rhode Island that is used to transport an individual with a medical need, are exempt from window tinting regulations.
The administrator of the division of motor vehicles may extend the expiration date of any permit, license, registration, certificate, placard or other privilege issued by the division of motor vehicles for a period of up to 90 days in the event of an emergency.
Registration for Non-Residents
A resident is a person who: (1) owns, rents, or leases real estate with Rhode Island as his or her residence and engages in a trade, business, or profession in Rhode Island, or enrolls his or her children in a Rhode Island school for a period exceeding 90 days; or (2) is registered to vote or is eligible to register to vote in Rhode Island.
Military personnel on active duty in Rhode Island may maintain out-of-state vehicle registration.
All vehicle registrations, cards, and plates expire at midnight on March 31st each year, unless issued under the staggered registration system.
Renewal is made to the division at any time prior to expiration of the registration. Upon renewal, a sticker for each plate to be placed at the bottom right-hand corner of the plate will be provided. Owners must be issued a new fully reflective plate no less frequently than every 10 years.
Before obtaining an original or transferal registration for a vehicle in Rhode Island, the owner must furnish proof of payment of any taxes due.
Emissions inspections are required for all vehicles except: (1) motor vehicles 25 years or older; (2) any class of vehicles that is exempted by regulation because the vehicle presents prohibitive inspection problems or is inappropriate for inspection; (3) vehicles operated exclusively by electric power; (4) new motor vehicles until 24 months after date of purchase or 24,000 miles; (5) motor vehicles in compliance with an enhanced motor vehicle inspection program operated by another jurisdiction; and (6) vehicles that are insured as classic vehicles, which may receive an alternate type of inspection.
Emissions inspections are required biennially.
Any vehicle that fails the inspection has 30 days to be re-inspected and comply with the requirements.
Vehicles required to be inspected include, but are not limited to, all 1975 and later model year light duty vehicles and light duty trucks up to and including 8,500 lbs. GVWR.
Visit the Rhode Island Emissions and Safety Testing website for more information.
OBD is utilized as part of the state emissions inspection process.
The director of the Department of Administration, members of the state and local police, and other officers and employees of the Division designated by the director of the Department of Administration may require the seller at retail or driver of a vehicle to stop and submit the vehicle to an inspection or appropriate test.
Every vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer registered in Rhode Island must be inspected biennially and provided with an official certificate of inspection and approval. The first inspection of any new vehicle must occur within 2 years from date of purchase or before accumulation of 24,000 miles. Inspection shall be made of the mechanism, brakes, and equipment of the vehicle.
Motor vehicles purchased out of state by a Rhode Island resident must be inspected within 5 business days of registration.
Trailers or semitrailers with gross weight of 1,000 lbs. or less are exempt from inspection.
Title and Registration Fees
Title Fee: $51.50
Registration Fee: Based on vehicle weight + $1.50
Title Fee: $51.50
Registration Fee: Prorated by date + $1.50
Plate Fee: $31.50
Registration Fee: $18.50
Driver’s License Fee: $26.50
Title Fee: $51.50
Special Plates: $67.50