How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Rhode Island?

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A title transfer is required in Rhode Island to prove ownership if you bought a new or used car. The title transfer is necessary if you sold, donated, or gifted your car, too.

The title transfer process is easy in Rhode Island, requiring a few steps filing info, paying fees, and submitting paperwork. In this article, you’ll learn how to transfer a title between private parties, including as an inheritance or gift. Plus, how it’s done when coming from out-of-state or via dealers.

Rhode Island Auto Title Transfers: How It’s Done

Are you selling your vehicle or buying one through a private sale?

Consider both parties going to the DMV, as this makes the process wholly easier.

This is the process (including both parties):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Buyers: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Sellers: Provide a lien release to the buyer if needed
  2. Fill in the Rhode Island certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of the buyer and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
  3. Complete the Application for Title (TR-2/TR-9) and Use Tax Return (T-334-2)
    1. Buyer/seller information
    2. Vehicle Description
    3. VIN inspection (for out-of-state vehicles)
    4. Odometer declaration (if applicable)
    5. Application signatures
    6. Bill of sale
  4. Bring any necessary documents:
    1. Proof of identification
    2. Proof of RI residency
    3. Proof of insurance
  5. Pay the taxes and fees
    1. Title: $51.50
    2. Taxes: Variable (typically 7%)

You may also submit your information by mail. You will include these documents and payment, sending them to the Division of Motor Vehicles, 600 New London Ave, Cranston, RI 02920.

You should register your vehicle after titling it to avoid any complications. See our Rhode Island vehicle registration guide to learn how the process is done.

Alternative Title Transfers in Rhode Island

Rhode Island wants to know when titles are transferred outside of private sales, whether buying from a car lot or passing the vehicle & title around family and friends. See each section below for the alternative title transfer process you require.

Buying from Dealerships

Dealerships will process your title & registration, sending documents to their appropriate locations. If they don’t, request the forms and deliver them to an RI DMV. The DMV will process your information, and you’ll soon be on your way.

Out-of-State Vehicles

You’ll have about 30 days to register your vehicle if bringing it from another state, given the car is from 2001 or newer. The process is the same as transferring the title through a private transaction, except you’ll bring and submit your out-of-state information instead.

Inheriting a Vehicle

Inheriting a vehicle involves filing a bill of sale or affidavit (SU 87) form. The parties will sign/transfer the title, file a registration/title certificate, and claim the sales/use tax. Then, parties will pay the title transfer fee – there may be other documents depending on who’s handling the transfer.

You typically need a death certificate when passing vehicles between parties as part of an inheritance.

Gifted/Donated Vehicles

Gifting or donating your vehicle is largely the same as a private transaction. You will complete the process much like transferring a title through private sales. You’ll usually the sale price at $0 but may also need to file extra paperwork to get a tax incentive. See your local DMV for the specifics.