Plate Types

wave passenger

Passenger Plates

  • Available for Sedans (Cars), SUV’s, Wagons, Passenger (not cargo) vans
  • Renewed every two years
  • Renewal month is based on the first letter of a registered owner’s last name, or the first letter of the name of the company to which the vehicle is registered
wave commercial

Commercial Plates

  • Pickup trucks, heavy trucks, cargo vans
  • Renewed annually in March
wave combination

Combination Plates

  • Any vehicle that could be registered with commercial plates with a maximum GVWR of 8800 lbs
  • Renewed annually in March
  • RIGL 31-3-64
Wave Trailer

Trailer Plates

  • Trailers (vehicles without a motor to power them that are used on the public roads)
  • Commercial Trailers – Renewed annually in March
  • Non-Commercial Trailers – Renewed every two years in April
  • RIGL 31-1-5
wave motorcycle

Motorcycle Plates


Antique Plates

  • Any vehicle 25 years old or older used for pleasure only and not the “primary vehicle” of the owner
  • Dual Registration Permitted
  • Renewed every two years in May
  • Requires Antique Affidavit
  • RIGL 31-1-3 (a)(1)
wave public service

Public Plates

  • Vehicles used to transport persons for compensation of any form including buses and most ambulances
  • Requires GU-1338 Insurance and Approval Form from State Safety and Emissions Garage
  • Renewed every two years in July
wave camper

Camper Plates

  • RV’s and Camper Trailers
  • Renewed every two years in September
  • RIGL 31-3-42
wave suburban

Suburban Plates

  • Wagons, SUV’s, vans, vehicles with a hatch for rear entry
  • Sedans and pickup trucks are NOT eligible for Suburban plates
  • Renewed every two years in September
  • RIGL 31-1-3(bb)

Radio Operator

  • Any vehicle owned by a radio amateur licensed by the FCC. The FCC license must be furnished to the DMV for issuance of these plates and the plate number shall be the individual’s call sign
  • Renewed every two years in June
  • Maximum GVWR – 9000 lbs
  • RIGL 31-3-39
farm wave


  • Vehicles used for agricultural operations and owned by agricultural organizations that would be ineligible to be registered with passenger plates
  • Requires approval from State Division of Taxation and DMV Enforcement Office for initial issuance of plates
  • Renewed every two years in February
  • RIGL 31-1-8 and RIGL 31-3-31

Temporary Plates

  • 5-day plates issued at DMV locations for the express purpose of obtaining a VIN Inspection from a local police station prior to an initial registration in Rhode Island
  • All paperwork, including proper proof of Rhode Island insurance, (besides a required VIN check) is required to be submitted before obtaining a 5-day temp plate
  • These cannot be used to transport a vehicle from Rhode Island to another state
  • RIGL 31-3-17.3