How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island

How to Transfer Car Title in Rhode Island

Purchasing or vending a vehicle in Rhode Island can be thrilling, but it also entails significant legal obligations that must not be disregarded. One of these responsibilities is transferring the car title to the new owner.

The car title is a crucial legal document that verifies vehicle ownership and is necessary for car registration and acquiring a new license plate. Transferring a car title in Rhode Island can be confusing for those purchasing or selling a vehicle for the first time.

This article will teach you how to transfer a car title in Rhode Island and offer valuable suggestions to facilitate a hassle-free experience.

Rhode Island Car Title Transfer Fees

The subsequent charges represent the typical fees for transferring a vehicle title in Rhode Island:

  • Vehicle title transfer fee: $52.50
  • Filing fee: $11
  • Security interest assignment: $1
  • Per lien recordation fee: $2
  • Vehicle transfer tax: $10
  • Public safety vehicle fee: $3.50

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island If You Purchased From a Private Seller

If you procure a car from an individual seller, you are responsible for requesting an RI DMV car title transfer.

To apply for an RI DMV car title transfer, you will need the following:

  • A filled-out Application for Title (Form TR-2/TR-9)
  • A filled-out Use Tax Return (Form T-334-2)
  • The vehicle's title certificate
  • Evidence of a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection (if you purchased the vehicle from another state)
  • Confirmation of a valid RI residency
  • Your RI driver's license or ID card
  • A completed bill of sale
  • Payment of $52.50 for the RI vehicle title transfer and sales tax.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island If You Bought From a Dealership

If you procure a car from a dealership in RI, the dealer will take care of the vehicle title transfer documentation and submit it to the RI DMV on your behalf.

It's also worth noting that only 2001 model year or newer vehicles will possess a RI vehicle title certificate.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island If You're the Seller

Suppose you have recently sold a car in RI; in that case, specific documents are necessary to enable the vehicle title transfer process to the buyer. These documents include the following:

  • The vehicle title certificate (if relevant)
  • Providing your details in the "seller's" section of the Application for Title and the Use Tax Return
  • A bill of sale
  • The subsequent steps required to complete the RI DMV vehicle title transfer will be the responsibility of the vehicle's purchaser.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island if It Is Inherited

If you inherited a car, you must visit your local RI DMV to transfer the title to your name. You will require the following documents and items to complete the title transfer process:

  • A bill of sale.
  • The title certificate (only required for vehicles of the model year 2001 or newer)
  • A completed Application for Registration Certificate
  • A completed Sales Tax Exemption Certificate-Motor Vehicles
  • Payment of $52.50 for the RI vehicle title transfer fee (if applicable)

You might need to provide additional documentation depending on your specific situation. For example:

  • If the vehicle owner passes away, the Administrator or Executor appointed to the will may have to present a Notice of Appointment. The executor is required to complete the vehicle title as the "seller."
  • For the next of kin/adult children/parents of the deceased (no executor or surviving spouse), you must complete an Affidavit and Assignment of Title-Sole Heir (REV 2020) and present the death certificate. The ownership transfer section on the car's title must be left blank.
  • If there are no survivors or executors, you must present the death certificate and Voluntary Executor form, available at your Rhode Island City.
  • If there is a surviving spouse, you must present a permission letter from the lien holder/bank, the death certificate, and the current vehicle registration.

It is essential to note that you need to complete the vehicle title certificate as both the "buyer" and "seller." You must submit the documents mentioned above and payments for the RI vehicle title transfer fee to your local RI DMV office in person.

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island With an Out-of-State Title

To transfer the title of an out-of-state car in Rhode Island, you must fulfill different requirements. Below is the required paperwork to transfer the vehicle title to Rhode Island:

  • Valid proof of identification, including a driver's license
  • The original out-of-state vehicle title
  • Proof of valid Rhode Island vehicle insurance
  • Completed application for a certificate of ownership
  • Completed Rhode Island vehicle registration application

If a lien holder possesses your vehicle title, you must complete an application to request the title's release.

Rhode Island Bill of Sale

bill of sale in Rhode Island is not mandatory when transferring a vehicle title. However, it is still recommended as a legal document that can serve as a receipt to protect both the buyer and seller.

The following information is included in a bill of sale:

  • Full name and signature of both parties
  • Price of the vehicle
  • Make, model, and year of the vehicle
  • Vehicle Identification Number

How To Transfer a Car Title in Rhode Island If the Owner Is Dead

If you want to keep, gift, or sell a car, you must transfer its title to the new owner. If you are the beneficiary, surviving spouse, or joint owner, you have the legal authority to transfer the car title to someone else after the owner dies.

Transferring the car title of a dead person depends on whether the title was solely in the descendant's name or was jointly owned.

If the car title was solely in the descendant's name, it is necessary to determine if the estate is being probated.

Probate is the legal process of administering a deceased individual's estate when no beneficiary is listed in the will.

The probate court validates the deceased individual's assets and property and determines how their belongings should be distributed according to their will.

If the car in question is part of a probated estate, the following steps need to be followed to transfer its title:

1. Contact an Attorney or Probate Court

If you are the executor of the deceased, contact an attorney immediately to determine the necessary steps. Note that a vehicle title cannot be transferred until the probate process is complete.

Once the process is completed, the heir will receive the car unless the executor was given the vehicle. In that case, the executor may choose to sell the vehicle.

2. Gather the Necessary Documentation

While the required documents may vary slightly by state, in Rhode Island, you need the following documents to transfer the vehicle's title:

  • Probate Court order to transfer the vehicle
  • Death certificate
  • Odometer disclosure statement
  • Certificate of the title
  • Vehicle title transfer fee

3. Visit the Title Office

As the executor of the deceased individual's estate or the beneficiary of the vehicle, visit your local RI title office with the above-listed documents to start the car title transfer process.

Gifting Cars to Family Members

In Rhode Island, transferring the ownership of a gifted vehicle to a family member requires completing a vehicle title transfer process at a local DMV office.

To transfer the title of a gifted car, you should:

  • Fill out the ownership transfer sections on the original vehicle title.
  • Write zero in the "price" section of the title.

As the recipient of the gifted car, you may be exempt from paying car sales tax. However, you may owe tax on the vehicle's current market value when you register.

Provide the signed original car title to the city clerk to complete the new RI vehicle title application.

Things To Do When Signing a Rhode Island Title

When signing the title certificate, it's important to remember the following information:

  • Use only black or blue ink, as any other color will invalidate the title.
  • Write legibly and neatly.
  • Use only your legal name.
  • Do not use correction fluid (white-out).
  • Do not erase anything.
  • Any spelling errors will render the document invalid.

How To Request Another Car Title in Rhode Island If the Original Is Damaged

Note that in Rhode Island, only the vehicle owner can apply for a duplicate vehicle title.

If there is a lien on the car, the original lien release letter must be provided to show that the vehicle loan has been fully paid off.

After losing or damaging the original, you must go to the Pawtucket DMV office to request a duplicate car title in Rhode Island. To apply for a duplicate vehicle title in Rhode Island, you must:

  • Fill out and notarize an Application for Title (Form TR-2/TR-9).
  • Provide proof of identity.
  • To complete your application for a duplicate vehicle title in Rhode Island, provide proof of residency dated at most 60 days prior. You can submit a utility bill, personal check, or bank statement as proof of residency.
  • Provide the lien release letter, if applicable.
  • Pay the duplicate vehicle title fee of $52.50.