Motorcycle Registration in Rhode Island

In order to ride a motorcycle on Rhode Island's roads, you must register your bike with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Use this guide to learn more about Rhode Island motorcycle registration for new residents AND current residents who recently bought a bike.

If you need to renew your motorcycle registration, head over to our RI registration renewals guide.

New to Rhode Island

Upon establishing Rhode Island residency, you'll have 30 days to register your motorcycle.

If your motorcycle is model year 2001 or newer, you need to have a vehicle identification number (VIN) check completed at a RI police department BEFORE registering your bike. Contact your local police department for details.

To complete the registration process, visit your local DMV office with the following items:

Additionally, you'll need to complete a safety and emissions inspection within 5 days of receiving your RI motorcycle registration. For details, visit our guide to vehicle inspections.

How to Register a Motorcycle in Rhode Island

The process for registration varies depending on whether you purchased your motorcycle from a dealership OR private seller AND if the bike is leased.

Below are the steps required to register your newly purchased bike with the RI Division of Motor Vehicles.

Motorcycles Purchased at Dealerships

After buying a motorcycle at a Rhode Island dealership, the dealer will usually complete the registration process for you. See below for an idea of the motorcycle registration fees and taxes you'll be required to pay.

If the motorcycle you purchased does not have license plates, the dealership may issue you temporary plates and registration until your permanent documents arrive in the mail. Check with the dealership before leaving to see if any additional action is required on your end.

Motorcycles Purchased Through Private Sellers

If you purchased your motorcycle through a private seller in Rhode Island, you'll need to register the motorcycle yourself by presenting the following items at your local RI DMV:

Leased Motorcycles

If you're leasing a motorcycle, the following registration documents may be required in addition to those listed above:

  • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO).
  • Power of attorney from the leasing company.
  • Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate (Form T-333-1) with the leasing company listed as the purchaser.

To learn more about the ins and outs of leasing, hop over to our Leasing 101 guide.

RI Motorcycle Registration Fees & Taxes

When you register or renew your motorcycle registration in Rhode Island, you may be required to pay the following fees and taxes:

  • Original motorcycle registration: Prorated by date, plus $1.55.
  • Duplicate registration: $19.50.
  • Motorcycle license plates:
    • Regular: $32.50.
    • Vanity: $42.50.
  • Sales tax: 7% of the motorcycle's purchase price.


Application for Registration and Title Certificate
Title and register your vehicle with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. Can also be used to request a renewal, duplicate, or transfer of vehicle registration.
Sales or Use Tax Exemption
Request exemption from paying Rhode Island sales and use tax when registering a vehicle you bought in another state if you weren't a RI resident at the time of purchase.
Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate Motor Vehicles
Submit this form to claim exemption from paying RI sales and use tax on a vehicle if you meet the criteria listed on the form.
Use Tax Return
Request a refund for use tax paid on a vehicle you registered in Rhode Island.
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