Rhode Island residents and new car owners must register their vehicles in order to drive legally on state roads. When registering your vehicle, you can choose from a variety of custom plate designs.
If you want to personalize your license plate in Rhode Island, you can look up available license plate numbers online.
All license plates are handled by the Department of Motor Vehicles in Rhode Island.
If you are purchasing a new vehicle, you’ll require a temporary license plate. If you have an out-of-state car (i.e., for new residents), you are required to provide the following:
Note: Out-of-state vehicles have 30 days from arrival to register with the DMV. People who purchase vehicles from a dealer will have their registration done by the dealers.
Aside from the standard plates issued by the state of Rhode Island (white with blue wave and dark blue characters), you can also obtain the following:
Additional documentation and fees may apply to these special types of license plates.
Some of these specialty Rhode Island license plates may be the perfect alternative for the standard license plate. Keep in mind that there are additional fees on top of the standard registration costs.
You should contact your local Rhode Island DMV to obtain more information about the specialty license plates you can register.
Vanity plates allow you to create your own custom characters for your license plate.
Custom plates must follow these rules:
Before you go to the DMV, you may want to check for available plate numbers.
The fees for vanity plates do not include the standard registration fees. See the overview of costs for license plates, below.
If you enjoy contributing to local charities, you can register your vehicle and represent your favorite cause. The fees for these plates do not include the usual registration fees, taxes, and any additional fees.
Charity plates available in Rhode Island:
Remember, registering a charity plate supports the organization and assists their efforts.
If you have a disability, you can apply for the following license plates and placards in Rhode Island:
Upon receiving a disability placard, you are permitted to park in parking spots designated for people with disabilities.
If you purchase a new vehicle, you can transfer your license plates without any problems. In the event that the name changes, you’ll have to surrender your plates.
You may have to pay a title transfer fee of $51.50 to obtain plates for your new vehicle.
Under the following circumstances, you must surrender your vehicle’s license plates:
When you surrender your license plates, you can bring them in person to the nearest DMV or an AAA office (for members only).
If your license plates are lost or stolen, you must apply for replacements right away.
Stolen license plates should always be reported to the police to prevent abuse and misuse.
When you go to the DMV, you can apply for new license plates and request a duplicate of the original. You’ll be required to wait 90 days before receiving your original plates again.
Note: For damaged plates, you can mail them in with an application to have them replaced.
When you register your vehicle at a Rhode Island DMV, fees are determined by your vehicle’s weight and type. In addition to the taxes you must pay, there are a few standard fees, including:
Note: Your decals are free when you register your vehicle.
Before purchasing a vehicle, you can find out whether it was stolen, and other vital information, by performing an online license plate search.
You can also check the availability of personalized plates and plate numbers using this online search tool.