Taxes and Titles

When you purchase a vehicle in Rhode Island, you are required to pay sales tax on the vehicle and obtain a title in your own name, even if you do not register the vehicle.

  • You will need to complete both a Sales Tax form and a Application for Registration (TR-1) form.
  • For Out of State titles, a VIN check from the police department is required.
  • This transaction may be processed by mail, please send documents and payment to Division of Motor Vehicles, 600 New London Ave., Cranston, RI 02920.
  • Costs are listed in the DMV Title Fee Table.

Non-Titled Vehicles

Rhode Island does not title vehicles model year 2000 and older. If you would like to obtain documentation in lieu of a title, you must provide the following documents:

  • Bill of Sale (if you are not the current registered owner).
  • Identification.
  • Application for Registration and/or Drivers License Information.
  • Fee of $12.50.


Duplicate titles are processed at the DMV Headquarters in Cranston only.

  • You must complete the Application for Title (TR-2/TR-9) form.
  • Costs are listed in the DMV Title Fee Table.
  • Titles are only required for vehicles that are 2001 and newer. The Research Office at the DMV headquarters in Cranston can assist you in documenting the vehicle's information.

Notes on liens and lienholders:

  • Rhode Island does not require a person to apply for a new title once the lien has been satisfied. RI only requires the lien to be released by your lien holder signing off on the title and/or providing you with a letter of lien release to attach to the title.
  • You can only apply for a duplicate title if you are the owner listed on the original title. If you still have a lien on the vehicle, the lienholder can apply.
  • If your title has a lienholder listed on it but you've paid off the loan, you will need an original lien release from the lienholder and present it with your application.


The following documents and fee must be submitted when the Owner of the vehicle is applying for a Rhode Island Salvage Title:

  • Salvage application completed by the Owner listed on the face of the existing Rhode Island title.
  • Existing Rhode Island title in the Owner's name.
  • A letter from the insurance company stating the vehicle is a total loss and the owner is retaining the vehicle AND indicating Class A (parts only) or Class B (repairable) classification.
  • Written estimate/appraisal of the damage from the insurance company.
  • $52.50 fee (check or money order).

** A reservation is not required to do this transaction. All required documents and the fee can be mailed to the Cranston DMV, 600 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920 or dropped off at the Cranston DMV Drop Box. The drop box is accessible only during normal business hours - Monday thru Friday, 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. If a Research Office reservation is needed, please follow the DMV's instructions on making a reservation.

All repairs to a "salvage" vehicle must be performed by a Rhode Island licensed salvage rebuilder. For additional information or a list of salvage re-builders, you can visit the Department of Business Regulations website.

Once the vehicle is restored, a salvage inspection is required.


Affidavit in Lieu of Certificate of Title for Salvage Vehicles

The Affidavit in Lieu of Certificate of Title for Salvage Vehicle form is only to be used by Insurers or by Rhode Island Dealers, the primary business of which is the sale of salvage motor vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, applying for a Salvage Title to certify that a valid Certificate of Title for the vehicle acquired by the applicant is not available due to circumstances as detailed in RIGL 31-46-1. Do not use this form if you have the vehicle’s Certificate of Title. Mail this completed form, along with a completed Application for Title (TR-2 / TR-9) and any supporting documents, to the address at the top of the form. Attach originals of 2 written attempts sent by certified mail to contact the vehicle’s former owner and any known lienholder (originals required). Fee: $52.50. The Registrar may refuse to accept an incomplete filing.

    Custom Builds

    A custom built car or motorcycle can be registered or just titled and re-sold. You must present the DMV with documentation for all parts used to build the vehicle. The Enforcement Section of the Division of Motor Vehicles will verify all your documents.

    • Additional information about Kit Vehicles and Custom Builds
    • If you have questions, you can call the Enforcement Section of the Division of Motor Vehicles at (401) 462-5736 or visit the Enforcement Section located at the DMV headquarters in Cranston.