Published on August 17, 2021
Planning a move to Rhode Island? Register your vehicle within a month of getting there. Don’t forget, you must also get a new title if your car is 2001 or newer. If you’re moving from a state that doesn’t participate in an emissions testing program, research the Rhode Island requirements for all the details. Rhode Island has many different types of license plates including antique plates for vehicles 25 and older. For EVs and hybrids cars, the state encourages you to get the electric/hybrid license plate for the safety of first responders but it’s not mandatory.
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Rhode Island not only requires vehicle registrations for cars and trucks, but also ATVs and UTVs. If you’re planning to use an ATV or UTV in the Ocean State, make sure you get a title from your local DMV before registering with the Director of Natural Resources. For these off-roading vehicles, you’re required to pay a $10 fee for registration, every year.
Rhode Island Vehicle Registration Renewal Guide
How to Renew a Car Registration in Rhode Island
Before your vehicle registration expires, the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles will mail out a renewal notice. The state requires that you renew your car registration every two years. It is important to renew your vehicle registration in a timely manner to avoid fees and headaches while making sure your status as a license driver remains valid.
Safety and Emissions Tests for Rhode Island Registration Renewal
Your vehicle will need to pass both a safety and an emissions inspection before you will be able to renew your registration.
If an emissions and safety inspection is required, you will need to take your car to an inspection station that has been certified by the state. Vehicles that are registered as antiques will not need to pass safety or emissions checks, but may have other registration requirements.
Options For Registration Renewal In Rhode Island
You will be able to renew your vehicle registration either online, in person, or through the mail.
Rhode Island Online Car Registration Renewal
Only certain plate types can be renewed online. These include:
- Private Passenger/Vanity
- Commercial less than 55,000 pounds
- Radio Operators
- Veterans, POW, & National Guard
- Combination Plates
If you can renew online you will need to provide your license plate number, name, address, current registration or your renewal notice, auto insurance policy information, and a credit card to use to make a payment.
Renewing Registration In Person At The Rhode Island DMV
If renewing in person you will need to bring the following with you:
- Registration renewal notice.
- Payment for the renewal fees.
How to Replace Car Registration Paperwork in Rhode Island
Don’t wait until you get pulled over to get a replacement vehicle registration. If you’ve lost your registration and get caught driving without it, you’ll likely be handed a hefty fine.
You are also responsible for keeping your registration documents legible. So, if yours has become damaged or mutilated beyond recognition, make sure you get a replacement to avoid trouble with the law.
The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allows you to apply for new documents if your originals have been lost or damaged. Here’s how to replace your vehicle registration, plates or license plate sticker.
Replacing Your Registration vs. Vehicle Registration Renewal
The process for obtaining a replacement registration is separate from a registration renewal. This guide discusses replacement of important, and legally required, vehicle registration components such as your registration document, your vehicle license plates, and stickers.
How to Replace Your Vehicle Registration
Generally, you have two options for replacement if your car registration, plates or stickers are lost or damaged in the State of Rhode Island. You may be able to replace them by mail, but if you have any issues you will have to make a trip to your local DMV branch.
Either way, you will have to fill out the appropriate application forms and pay your fee.
Applying for a Replacement Vehicle Registration
Pick up an application for registration at your local DMV branch location or at a AAA office if you are a member. This form is used to apply for a duplicate registration.
To fill out this form, you will need:
- Your personal information, such as address and date of birth.
- Your vehicle information, such as VIN, year, make and model.
- Your leasing company information, if the vehicle is leased.
- Your insurance information.
- Your license plate number.
Please note, if you are submitting the application for registration for someone else, and they are not present during the process, the application form must be notarized.
Replacement Vehicle Registration by Mail
If you are in need of a new registration document only, you can fill out the application for registration form and mail it, along with your $18.50 fee to the Cranston DMV. The DMV will mail your new registration to the address you provide.
If you are in need of new plates, you may need to visit the Rhode Island DMV in person.
Fees for a Replacement or Duplicate Vehicle Registration
There is an $18.50 fee to receive a duplicate registration.
Replacing Lost or Stolen Registration Plates
If your car tags have been lost or stolen, it can get a little tricky to replace these very important items. The first thing you should do is report your lost or stolen license plates to the police. The DMV requires a copy of the police report before they will issue you a replacement car tag.
If your plates are lost or stolen and you do not want to replace them, you can fill out an Affidavit for Cancellation of Registration for Lost Plates form. This requires you to provide a copy of your license and state the reason why you can not return your old tags to the DMV.
Replacing Damaged License Plates In Rhode Island
If your car registration plates have been damaged, you can request new plates using the same tag number by filling out an application for Remake of License Plates. Simply provide your contact information and your registration information, as well as payment.
You will be notified when your new plates have been made. You can have them mailed to you at the address you provide on the form or you can pick them up in person from the DMV office.
Replacing Lost or Missing License Plate Stickers In Rhode Island
To obtain new stickers, just bring your valid registration documents to any DMV office. You will receive new stickers at no charge.
It’s not uncommon for registration documents to become damaged or lost. Don’t risk driving with an invalid or missing vehicle registration though. The fine you will have to pay will be much higher than the cost of requesting a replacement vehicle registration. Mail in your forms or get to your local DMV to stay legal.