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How Much Do Rhode Island License Plates Cost?

If you buy a used car from a private seller in Rhode Island, you’ll need to get new license plates when you go to register the vehicle. Standard Rhode Island passenger vehicle plates cost $32.50 on top of registration fees.
Rhode Island also has a variety of specialty and personalized plates to choose from, which cost more. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.

Let’s get into the details of license plate costs in the great state of Rhode Island.

The Cost of License Plates in Rhode Island

Rhode Island license plates range from $32.50 to $82.50 depending on which type of plate you choose.

Here are the types of passenger license plates Rhode Island offers:

Standard passenger plates
Vanity plates
Specialty plates
Military plates
Disability plates

How Much are Standard License Plates in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island requires a front and rear plate, with standard passenger plates costing $32.50.

A standard Rhode Island license plates is issued in any of the following scenarios:

For new vehicles being registered in the state for the first time
When purchasing a used car in Rhode Island
For replacing damaged, lost or stolen plates

For more info on Rhode Island’s license plate fees, visit the official Rhode Island DMV page.

How Much are Personalized Plates in Rhode Island?

Want to make a statement? Personalized plates, also referred to as vanity plates, let you customize your ride with a unique letter and number combo in Rhode Island.

You can choose between two designs:

1. Ocean plate: $68.50 initial fee
2. Sailboat plate: $82.50 initial fee

When selecting the lettering for your custom Rhode Island plate, there are some restrictions:

You are limited to 6 total characters and spaces
No special characters or punctuation can be used
Offensive or inappropriate words and phrases are prohibited

How Much are Rhode Island Specialty Plates?

Show some team spirit or support a cause with specialty plates available in Rhode Island. Choices include college mascots, military service plates, and various organizations.

The cost for all Rhode Island specialty license plates is $42.50, plus additional registration fees.

Here are some of the available designs:

Breast Cancer Awareness
Conservation: Osprey
Audubon Society
National Guard
New England Patriots
Plum Beach Lighthouse
Purple Heart
Boston Red Sox
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
Wildlife Conservation
Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation

For more information about specialty license plates, visit Rhode Island's official DMV website.
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How Much are Rhode Island Military License Plates?

Rhode Island offers several military license plates to honor service.

Some key options and fees include:

Disabled veteran plates: No fee for eligible disabled veterans
National guard: $32.50 initial fee for active members
Prisoner of War: No fee for verified POWs
Purple Heart: No fee for verified recipients
Veteran: No fee for verified veterans
Gold star family: No fee for eligible family members

Rhode Island provides free military license plates to disabled veterans, POWs, Purple Heart recipients, general veterans, and Gold Star families. National Guard plates cost $32.50 initially.

How Much are Rhode Island Handicap License Plates and Placards?

Rhode Island offers disability license plates and placards to accommodate individuals with disabilities. These plates and placards provide designated parking access and other privileges to better serve disabled residents. In Rhode Island, handicap placards are free.

The main options include:

Temporary disability placards are red in color and are issued for a period of 2-12 months.
Long-Term disability placards are blue in color and are issued for 1-3 years.
Permanent disability placards are also blue in color and are issued for a period of 6 years.

How Much are Commercial Vehicle License Plates in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, commercial vehicle license plates cost $60 annually. This fee applies to all commercial vehicles including trucks, tractors, trailers, and other vehicles used for business purposes.

How Much are Motorcycle License Plates in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, standard motorcycle license plates cost $32.50 per year on top of registration. Personalized motorcycle plates cost $42.50 after registration.

How Much are Motor Home (RV) Plates In Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, recreational vehicle license plates cost $60.

Does Rhode Island Require a Front License Plate?

In Rhode Island, your vehicle must have two license plates: one on the front and one on the back. This two-plate requirement applies to the majority of vehicle types, including passenger vehicles, trucks, vans, and motorcycles.

What Do I Do With Old License Plates in Rhode Island?

When you receive new Rhode Island license plates, either during renewal or for a new vehicle registration, you will need to properly dispose of your old license plates.

Here are your main options:

Return: Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices will take back your old plates when issuing new ones and properly dispose of them. This is the recommended option.
Recycle: you can remove any registration stickers and recycle the aluminum plates through your local recycling program, if available in your area.
Keep: some people opt to keep old registration plates as souvenirs or decorations. Just be sure to invalidate any active registration stickers.
Transfer: in Rhode Island, you can legally transfer license plates from one vehicle to another with proper paperwork through the DMV.

It’s always a good idea to deface your old license plates before returning or recycling it. This prevents someone else from illegally using it. Always remove registration stickers before disposing of your plate.

See our state-by-state guide to license plates to learn which states require removal from the vehicle and which states allow the plates to remain with the vehicle when it’s sold.

How to Get RI License Plates?

Here are the steps for getting new license plates in Rhode Island:

1. Gather the required documents. You'll need your certificate of title, valid Rhode Island car insurance, driver's license or ID, and vehicle information.
2. Visit your local DMV branch office.
3. Fill out and submit the Rhode Island registration application form.
4. Pay applicable fees. This includes the passenger car registration fee, title transfer fee, and license plate fees.
5. Get your plates and registration. You'll receive your new plates and registration certificate from the DMV office once they're approved.
6. Attach your new plates. Rhode Island requires front and rear license plates.

How Much Does Title Transfer Cost?

The following are the standard vehicle title transfer fees in Rhode Island:

Vehicle title transfer fee: $52.50
Filing fee: $11
Security interest assignment: $1
Per lien recordation fee: $2
Vehicle transfer tax: $10
Public safety vehicle fee: $3.50

Check out our comprehensive guide to transferring a car title in Rhode Island for more information.

How to Transfer an Out-of-State Title?

Those who have an out-of-state car in Rhode Island will need to submit the following paperwork to the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles:

Proof of identification (government-issued ID)
The original out-of-state vehicle title
Proof of a valid RI auto insurance policy
Completed application for a certificate of ownership
Completed RI vehicle registration application (Form TR-1)

How Much Does RI Vehicle Registration Cost?

The registration fee for passenger vehicles is based on the weight of the vehicle. Registration fees range from $30 to $48, plus a $15 DOT annual surcharge.

To register your vehicle, you will need to submit the following to your local DMV office:

Proof of ownership
Completed application for registration
Proof of valid RI insurance
Driver's license or ID
Payment for registration fees: $30 to $48
Payment for the DOT surcharge: $15

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Sell Your Car In Rhode Island

Here are 10 easy steps to sell your vehicle in Rhode Island:

1. Gather the required documents for selling a car in Rhode Island
2. Register on PrivateAuto and get verified
3. List your car
4. Set your terms
5. Vet incoming offers
6. Choose a buyer
7. Schedule a meeting
8. E-sign documents
9. Get paid, instantly
10. Transfer title

RI License Plates FAQ

Do you need a VIN check in RI?

In Rhode Island, you're required to have a VIN check when you register your vehicle unless you meet the following criteria:

1. A VIN check is required if the title is from another state, regardless of model year.
2. A VIN check is required if the vehicle was previously registered in another state, for model years 2001 or newer.

Does Rhode Island require emissions inspections?

How much is Rhode Island registration renewal?

What is the most popular license plate design in Rhode Island?

Which vehicle inspections does RI DMV require to register a vehicle?