Rhode Island License Plate Information Summary
Registering your vehicle and applying for Rhode Island license plates happens at the same time. Then, with few exceptions, you can transfer your old license plates to your new vehicle. You will also get a sticker to let police know when your registration and license plates expire.
Rhode Island License Plates Offered
In Rhode Island you can get standard, disability, vanity, and charity plates. Contact your local DMV office to find out which charities are currently supported. You will also get a sticker to put on your rear plate.
Your dealership will give you temporary Rhode Island license plates while they sort out your new plate situation for you.
If you buy your vehicle in a private sale – and it was built after 2011 – you can apply for your own temporary license plates that are good for five days.
You'll need your driver's license, bill of sale, proof of car insurance, and the $10 fee.
Since this is essentially what you'll need for your official Rhode Island license plates, you are better off just getting them to begin with!
When You Need To Get Rhode Island License Plates
You need to get Rhode Island license plates within 30 days of moving to the state.
If you buy from a dealership, they will arrange for you to get your plates. If you buy in a private sale, you either need to go – with the seller – to the DMV office to get your plates, or apply for a five-day temporary license plate.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
You renew your license plate with your registration. Then you will get a new expiration date sticker.
If Your Rhode Island License Plates Are Stolen
Should your plates be stolen, you can get new plates from your DMV office. If they are damaged, you can go to your DMV office or apply for new plates by mail.
For stolen plates, you can get replacement Rhode Island license plates with a new number the same day. If you want your old license plate number, you will have to wait 60 days – during which time you cannot drive your vehicle.
Replacing Rhode Island license plates costs $31.50.
If only your sticker is damaged, you can get a new one for free or by contacting AAA – but only if you are a member.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
You can always transfer your old plates to a new vehicle you purchase.
You must surrender your plates if you move out of state or cancel your auto insurance. You can do so at a DMV office or by mailing them to:
- Division of Motor Vehicles
- Attn: Plates
- 600 New London Ave.
- Cranston, RI 02920
Rhode Island License Plate Costs
Rhode Island license plate costs vary quite a bit. Contact your DMV to find out how much they will cost you.