When buying or selling a vehicle in the state of Rhode Island, you will need to have a Rhode Island bill of sale. Aside from acting as a receipt,
A Rhode Island bill of sale acts as a legal document that gives details about the transaction, the vehicle itself, and any disclosures regarding the car. It also protects both the seller and the buyer from liability should there be any issues relating to the vehicle.
For example, if the vehicle was issued a traffic ticket or was in an accident, the Rhode Island bill of sale is proof of who was in the ownership of the vehicle at the time. The buyer will also need to have the Rhode Island bill of sale when registering and titling the vehicle.
Other Relevant Documentation
If there is no room on the Certificate of Title to enter the odometer reading, you will need to complete an Odometer Disclosure Statement.
If you are going to have someone else register and title your vehicle for you, they will need to complete a Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney.
Creating a Rhode Island Bill of Sale
The Rhode Island DMV does not supply its own version of a bill of sale, so you will need to either create one or download a template. The Rhode Island bill of sale must have the following details:
- The date that the document was created
- Full legal names of both the buyer and the seller
- Contact details of both the buyer and the seller, which must include their full address and phone number
- Details about the vehicle being sold must contain the make, model, year, color, body type, VIN, and any disclosure information.
- Details about the sale must include how much the vehicle was sold for, the date it was sold, how it was paid for, and any relevant details, such as paid in installments or paid in full.
- The signatures of both the buyer and the seller
Bill of Sale Forms
Registering a Vehicle in Rhode Island
By law, in order to operate a motor vehicle in Rhode Island, residents must register the vehicle first. If the vehicle was purchased through a dealership, the dealership submits the title and registration documents on behalf of the buyer. If the vehicle was purchased in a private sale. Registration must be done within 30 days from the date of sale.
New registrations must be done in person at your local Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles. Registration renewals are done either every year or every two years, depending on the type of vehicle. This can be done in person at your local DMV or using their Online Renewal Service.
Documentation for Registering a Vehicle in RI
In order to register and title your vehicle at your local DMV, you will need to have the following documentation:
- A current and valid Driver’s License or State ID card
- A completed and signed Bill of Sale
- A completed Form TR-1 (Application for Registration)
- Certificate of Title. If this has been lost, you will need to complete Form TR-2/TR-9 to obtain a duplicate title. The title is needed for vehicles of year model 2001 or newer
- For Out of State vehicles, a VIN check is required
- Gross Vehicle Weight, which can be located on the door jam of the Driver’s side of the Vehicle
- A completed Form T-334-2 (Use Tax Form)
- If someone else is registering the vehicle for you, they will need to complete a Vehicle Power of Attorney.
- Proof of Emissions and Safety Inspection
- Funds to cover the Required Fees
- Proof of Rhode Island Vehicle Insurance, which must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Cover of $25,000 for injuries per individual
- Cover of $50,000 for injuries per incident
- Cover of $25,000 for damage to property per incident
Rhode Island VIN and Safety Checks
As of September 1st, 2021 vehicles with out-of-state titles or that have been registered outside of Rhode Island are required to have a VIN check done prior to registering. This is also required for vehicles with the model year 2001 and newer.
You will need to have the original title for the vehicle or a copy/duplicate for vehicles that have a lien on them. This can be done at your local Police Department.
Vehicles that have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 8,500 pounds or under are required to have a safety and emissions inspection done. This will need to be done every one to two years, depending on when you renew your vehicle.
For new vehicles, you are required to have them inspected within 2 years from the purchase date or before your vehicle has reached 24,000 miles. Used Vehicles are required to pass a safety and emissions test within 5 days of their registration date.
For diesel vehicles that have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 8,500 pounds or under, you will need to have an emissions test done. Also, diesel vehicles from the model year 1997 and newer are required to pass an ODB II test.
Emissions and Safety testing must be done at a certified Inspection Station. The fee for having an Emissions Inspection is $55.00. Vehicles that fail their initial test will have 30 days to re-test, for free, at the testing station where the initial test was done.