VIN Check

A Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check from a local municipal police department is required for all vehicles previously registered or titled in another state. 

Applicants should bring the original title or a photocopy of the title (if there is a lien) or an Electronic Title printout (from Electronic Title states if there is a lien) or a valid proof of prior ownership (from Non-Titled States) and the vehicle to a municipal police department for this service.

For your convenience, we have provided links to local Police Departments with their hours, locations and fees:

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

Local Police Departments maintains a list of Rhode Island's 39 cities and towns, in the "more info" section of each city or town you'll find phone numbers for local police departments. If your local city or town is not listed above, please contact your local police department for VIN verification fees and time of operation.

Proof of Ownership is needed for a VIN check. 

Out of State VIN Checks

At times when a vehicle is purchased in a state other than Rhode Island, it may be necessary to register the vehicle before the vehicle is brought back to this state.  In this situation, a VIN Check/VIN Inspection may be performed by a law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is currently located. 

The form required is located here:

New Motor Vehicle Dealer VIN Check Process

Effective July of 2023 VIN checks may be performed by RI Licensed New Car Dealers in conjunction with law enforcement agencies. The required form as well as procedures can be found here: