Paperwork When Selling a Car in Rhode IslandPage Overview
Paperwork Required to Sell a Vehicle in Rhode Island
Much of the work of selling a car in Rhode Island is the same as it is anywhere. You’ll first evaluate your vehicle’s condition as well as its present market value to come up with a reasonable price, and then strategize the best way to advertise it to potential buyers. A great resource for planning and organizing this process is our Guide to Selling Your Car page. Check it out for some “roadworthy” tips!
If you’ve managed to find a buyer, congratulations! The rest of the process is pretty straightforward. You’ll sign over the title—that is, if the vehicle is of model year 2001 or newer—and render a completed bill of sale for the new owner. For details on the titling process, please visit our page on Title Transfers in Rhode Island.
To sell your car in Rhode Island, you and the buyer will need to complete some documentation to comply with state regulations. Here’s a list of the paperwork you’ll need:
- Vehicle title: In Rhode Island, you’ll need to officially complete a title transfer when selling a car of model year 2001 or newer. (Cars registered in 2000 or earlier are not titled in the state.) You and the buyer will sign in the respective places on the back of the car title, and you’ll also provide the current odometer reading to show the two of you formally agree on the vehicle’s mileage.
- Bill of sale: As the seller, you’ll also be responsible for furnishing the buyer with a Rhode Island bill of sale. You’ll need to sign this form as well as provide your address (which the buyer needs to register the vehicle later on). The bill of sale should include the following information:
- The vehicle’s year, make, and model.
- The vehicle identification number (VIN).
- The color.
- The purchase price.
If your vehicle is model year 2001 or newer and you’re missing its certificate of title, you’ll have to obtain a duplicate before making the sale. The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) notes that getting a duplicate title can take quite a while, so you’ll want to think ahead to make sure selling your car isn’t delayed.
If there’s a lien on the title, only the lienholder can apply for the duplicate title.
The fee for a duplicate title is $51.50.
For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Title in Rhode Island page.
If you’ve damaged or misplaced the registration for your vehicle, you can obtain a duplicate copy by going to any branch office of the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles or, if you’re a AAA member, at any AAA branch office.
You'll need to submit a completed Application for Registration and Title Certificate (Form TR-1) and pay the $18.50 fee to receive the replacement.
For more information, visit our Replacing a Lost Registration in Rhode Island page.
Selling a car in Rhode Island is all about being straightforward, honest, and having clear communications. Keep in mind, a wise buyer of a used car seeks out a vehicle history report to check on pertinent details of a given car’s past, such as any previous wrecks, recalls, odometer fraud, or theft. You can learn more about the value of vehicle history reports and the process of obtaining them through our handy guide.