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  • Plate Surrender in Rhode Island

    Registering a car?

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    The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles wants your license plates back if you move to another state or cancel your registration. Otherwise, you might want to transfer them to another vehicle.

    Moving to Rhode Island

    Welcome to Rhode Island!

    You have 30 days to transfer your registration and get new license plates, but don’t worry about surrendering your old plates to the RI DMV. Nobody there wants them.

    However, your old state might want them back. To find out, scroll to the top of this page and choose that state from the drop down menu.

    Moving from RI

    The RI DMV does want your plates if you move to another state. You must cancel the registration and return the plates.

    You might get a registration refund if you have at least 1 year remaining on your registration, so send a completed refund application if that applies to you.

    NOTE: For your protection, the RI DMV recommends using registered mail with a return receipt request. Also, keep your plate cancellation receipt to protect yourself against any future property tax claims.

    Selling a Used Car

    You can keep your plates after you sell your used car if you want to transfer them to another vehicle you own.

    Otherwise, you can cancel and return the plates using the address above or at any DMV branch location.

    Buying a Used Car

    When you buy a used car, the former owner will remove the plates. You can then transfer your own plates (if you have some, and if the name on the registration is the same), or apply for new plates.

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