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Title Transfers in Rhode Island

How to Complete an Auto Title Transfer in Rhode Island
  • Seller & buyer sign the title.
  • Complete the proper forms.
  • Bring title to DMV.
  • Pay the $51.50 title transfer fee.

Continue reading for more details.

New to Rhode Island?

If you're new to the state, you have 30 days to complete a car title transfer and register your vehicle in Rhode Island. Read below for details on the title transfer process, and visit our Car Registration in Rhode Island page for instructions on registering your vehicle with the state.

NOTE: A RI title is only required for vehicles that are a model year 2001 or newer.

Buying or Selling a Vehicle

NOTE: Only vehicles that are a model year 2001 and newer will have a Rhode Island title certificate.

Buying a Vehicle

Dealership Sales

If you've bought a vehicle from a Rhode Island dealership, the dealer will usually take care of your auto title transfer with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Private Sales

If you bought a vehicle from a private seller, you'll need to apply for a DMV title transfer yourself.

You'll need:

Send the above to:

Division of Motor Vehicles
600 New London Ave
Cranston, RI 02920

You'll also need to register the vehicle once you've titled it. Visit our Car Registrations in Rhode Island page for more information.

Selling a Vehicle

If you've recently sold a vehicle, you'll need to provide the buyer with some documents to complete the auto title transfer:

From there, it's up to the buyer to apply for the DMV title transfer.

RI Vehicles Without a Title

Since the Rhode Island DMV doesn't title vehicles that are a model year 2000 or older, they do offer alternative documentation to prove you own the car.

To get this document, you'll need:

NOTE: You can only request information about a vehicle that you currently own.

Mail the form and payment to the address on the form, or contact the RI DMV to see if you can submit your request in person.

RI DMV Title Transfer Fees

  • New title: $51.50
  • Title transfer fee: $51.50.
  • Duplicate title: $51.50.
  • Ownership document for vehicles without a title: $11.50.

You will also need to pay sales tax:

  • New or used vehicles: 7% of purchase price or NADA retail value.
  • Gifted vehicles: No sales tax unless there are taxes due.

Gifting or Donating a Vehicle

If you're thinking of giving a vehicle as a gift or donation, the car title transfer process may be similar to a transfer between a buyer and seller (see above).

The donor will likely need to act as the “seller" and the receiver as the “buyer."

For more information about this process, contact the Rhode Island DMV.

For some tips about donating your vehicle to a charity or non-profit organization, visit our Car Donation page.

Inheriting a Vehicle in Rhode Island

If you've inherited a vehicle, you'll need to complete a DMV title transfer in order to get the title in your name.

You'll need the following documents and items:

Additional documents you may need will depend on your specific situation:

  • Administrator or executor appointed to will:
    • Notice of Appointment naming the administrator/trix or executor/trix.
    • NOTE: the Administrator/executor must complete the title as the “seller."
  • Next of kin/adult children/parents of deceased (no executor or surviving spouse):
  • No survivors or executor:
    • Death certificate.
    • Voluntary Executor (for small estates) form (available at a Rhode Island City or Town Hall).
  • Surviving spouse:
    • NOTE: Complete the title certificate as both the “buyer" and “seller."
    • Permission letter from the lienholder/bank, if there is a lien/loan on the vehicle.
    • Current registration.
    • Death certificate.

You may also need additional documents to register the vehicle with the RI DMV. Visit our Car Registration page for more information.

Submit the above documents and payment for the car title transfer fee to the Rhode Island DMV in person.

Removing a Lien from Your Title

In Rhode Island, you do not need to apply for a new title once you have satisfied your lien. Your lienholder will simply sign off on the title and attach a lien release letter.

If you want a replacement title in your name, you can apply for a duplicate.

Changing Title Information

If you've changed your name for any reason—such as marriage, divorce, or other court order—you'll need to change your title certificate. Visit our Name Change page for complete instructions.

If you have moved to a new address in Rhode Island, you'll need to update your DMV records. Our Changing Your Address in RI page has more information.

Replace Your RI Title

If the title for your vehicle is lost of stolen, you'll need to get a duplicate. We explain this process in detail on our Replacing a Lost Title in Rhode Island page.

NOTE: You'll only need a title if your vehicle is a 2001 model year or newer.

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