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How to Register a Custom or Antique Vehicle in Rhode Island

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Like most other motor vehicles, custom-built and antique vehicles must be properly registered and titled in the state of Rhode Island. However, the process of registering an antique or custom-built vehicle is different from registering a regular vehicle. If you have brought an antique or custom-built vehicle into Rhode Island for a first time registration, or if you have custom-assembled a vehicle in the State, you will be referred to a DMV office near you.


  • In Rhode Island, an antique vehicle is defined as any motor vehicle that is more than twenty-five years old.
  • The State defines a custom-built vehicle as one that has been built by someone other than the manufacturer. Reconstructed Vehicles or Kit Vehicles are examples of such vehicles.


You will have to visit a DMV office near you to register your antique or custom-built vehicle. When registering a reconstructed or kit vehicle, you will first have to go through Rhode Island's two-step inspection procedure, both of which must be passed for your vehicle to be registered.
For reconstructed or Kit Vehicles, you will need the following documents:

  1. Photocopy of the Certificate of Title or manufacturer's certificate of origin.
  2. Four color photographs of the constructed vehicle and a photocopy of your driver's license along with a contact number where the DMV can notify you.
  3. For reconstructed or kit motorcycles, along with the above documents, you will additionally require photocopies of a completed Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin for the frame, motor and transmission.

Once all your paperwork is in order, you can mail everything to the Enforcement Section of the DMV, located in Pawtucket. Once your application is processed, you will be notified when to bring in your vehicle for inspection.
After passing inspection, all your sales tax receipts must be audited by a Rhode Island Sales Tax Revenue Agent, before you can apply for vehicle registration.
Finally, you will need to visit the Titling office, also located in Pawtucket with your Inspection report, assigned VIN and proof of insurance.
You will have to visit a DMV office near you to register your antique vehicle. For registering an antique motor vehicle, you will need the following documents:

  1. A completed Application for Registration Title and Certificate.
  2. Proof of insurance.
  3. Proof of identity.
  4. Bill of sale.


When registering reconstructed or kit vehicle, you will be required to pay the appropriate titling fees. In addition, you will have to pay sales tax for your antique vehicle which is calculated on the value as published in the Cars of Particular Interest guide, if bought privately; or is calculated on the sale price if bought from a dealer. The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles accepts cash, money orders or checks.


Your custom-built or antique vehicle's registration will clearly indicate when it will expire. The process for renewing the registration on a custom or antique vehicle is the same as renewing the registration on a regular motor vehicle.


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