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  • License Plates & Placards in Rhode Island

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    To obtain license plates for your vehicle, you must have it registered and titled with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You can do this at any of the DMV's locations.

    After submitting all proper fees and papers, you'll receive your car's license plates on the spot. However, if you opt for vanity plates, you'll be given temporary plates to use until your vanity plates are ready.

    Vanity Plates

    Form has finally caught up to function in the license plate world, allowing drivers to select plates that serve as personal expressions. Although Rhode Island is not as ambitious as other states, residents can still choose from a small selection based on novelty and military recognition.

    To request a vanity plate, you must adhere to the state's standard license format. But, keep in mind that not all applications are guaranteed. The DMV will reject those that it deems offensive.

    Vanity Plates Online

    The Rhode Island DMV now offers the ordering of vanity plates online! Payments may be made with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover card. A convenience fee applies.

    License Plate Designs

    Sailboat

    These license plates are available at a cost of $46.50.

    Conservation Through Education

    Get the application online. Cost: $41.50

    War Veteran

    In order to qualify, you must have served with the United States military.

    When ordering war veteran license plates, you need to provide either discharge papers (form DD-214) or other valid proof supporting your military record.

    There is a $20 initial charge for these license plates.

    Purple Heart

    To qualify you must present valid proof of your claim. All application and future registration fees are deferred.

    National Guard

    A letter from your commanding officer validating your National Guard status must be presented when applying. The cost for these plates is $25.

    Antique License Plates

    You can apply for antique plates if your vehicle is at least 25 years old and used only for exhibitions, parades, car club activities, and any other situation that might spark public interest. No inspection is required.

    If you also want to use your vehicle for everyday functions, Rhode Island will allow you to apply for a dual registration. This nifty option allows you to register for standard plates and the antique plate. The lone catch is that this option does require a vehicle inspection.

    To apply, you must submit:

    If you purchased the vehicle from a private party, you'll also need to submit a title or proof of prior registration.

    Surrendering Your Plates

    The state requires Rhode Island residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our RI License Plate Surrender page.

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