1. Get Started With Car Registration Renewal Assistance Online

In order to renew your Rhode Island car registration, you need to complete a number of important steps when applying. In order to simplify the process, you will need to gather the necessary documents, calculate your required fee payment before being able to renew your Rhode Island car registration. Online assistance can help you complete all of these steps quickly and easily by providing you with all of the information you need to know about replacing your license. Start simplifying your application process today.

2. By Mail

Rather than get ahead with online assistance and services, some Rhode Island residents prefer to handle their DMV transactions via mail. Drivers can complete a few different procedures by mail, but payment methods are restricted, and the transactions have inconvenient and lengthy turnaround times for results.

3. Via a DMV Office

Certain transactions must be completed in person at a Rhode Island DMV office. However, before visiting a local branch, be sure to verify that the location offers the service you require. Not all DMV procedures can be completed at every location. Additionally, note that wait times are typically lengthy. So make sure to take advantage of online assistance to prepare for your visit.


Rhode Island vehicle registration renewal must occur every two years on non-commercial vehicles, and annually for vehicles used for commercial purposes. Drivers may renew car registration in RI online, by mail, via drop box at DMV branch offices, or at their nearest AAA location. The state requires that vehicles renewing car registration pass an emissions test and safety inspection within five days of renewal. RI DMV recommends that drivers use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s free recall look-up tool before renewing car registration, to check for problems before having the inspection. Rhode Island is a compulsory insurance state, which means that all drivers must maintain adequate insurance coverage on their vehicles. Motorists must provide proof of insurance at the time of car registration renewal even though the Rhode Island Insurance Verification System (RIIVS) checks for compliance every three months by matching existing policies with vehicle identification numbers. Study the auto registration renewal information detailed below to learn more about specific renewal procedures in Rhode Island.

When to Renew Car Registrations in Rhode Island

Drivers must renew car registration in RI every two years. The RI DMV will mail a vehicle registration renewal notice well in advance of the expiration date, but even if you do not receive a printed notification, you are responsible for renewing the registration on time. All non-commercial Rhode Island car registration renewals are valid for a two-year period.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Rhode Island Online

Certain drivers may renew car registration online, except for residents of Barrington, Central Falls, Exeter and Warren. Renewing car registration online is not available to drivers in these towns due to municipal tax clearance requirements. For residents of all other towns, access to RI auto registration renewal online is based on the type of license plate on the vehicle being renewed. Basic passenger vehicle plates and most specialty plates can be renewed online, including military and antique tags. Owners of leased vehicles may also renew car registration online, as long as their address remains the same. To process an online renewal, visit the RI DMV website with the following information at hand:

  • DMV vehicle registration renewal notice or current registration certificate
  • Valid auto insurance card
  • Current billing address
  • Valid credit card

Applicants who renew car registration online will need access to a printer, to print out the receipt that will serve as registration verification while waiting on the permanent documents to arrive in the mail. DMV vehicle registration renewal documents usually arrive by mail within two weeks.

How to Renew Car Registrations in Rhode Island in Person

Rhode Island car registration renewals are no longer available on a walk-in basis at DMV branch office locations. Instead, applicants may use the car registration renewal drop boxes located at every DMV office. Simply complete the vehicle registration renewal form, include your auto insurance information and write a check for the exact amount due. Seal all documents in an envelope and place it into the renewal drop box at your nearest DMV branch office. If the registration is expired for more than 90 days, you may have to re-register the car with the RI DMV. In that case, you will need to renew the registration in person with a DMV agent.

The Rhode Island DMV has also partnered with the American Automobile Association (AAA) to offer in-person car registration renewals at eight AAA branch offices located across the state. These AAA offices can process a variety of DMV transactions, including expired car registration renewals that are 90 or more days past the expiration date. All AAA branch offices are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. AAA offices providing car registration renewal services and RI DMV branch locations both accept cash, money orders, personal checks, bank checks and credit card payments. Make checks payable to Division of Motor Vehicles.

How to Renew Vehicle Registrations in Rhode Island by Mail

RI vehicle registration renewals by mail include the same basic information as other renewal methods. Send the completed car registration renewal notice, a copy of your valid auto insurance card and a check or money order for the exact payment amount to:

Division of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Registration Renewal
600 New London Ave.
Cranston, RI 02920

How to Renew a Rhode Island Car Registration as a Military Member

Military personnel must renew car registration in Rhode Island by the same methods available to other drivers. There are no specific auto registration renewal procedures for military members stationed in Rhode Island or out-of-state. Members of the U.S. armed forces should renew expired car registration within 90 days of the expiration date and those stationed out-of-state find this easiest through mail or online transactions. Military personnel can also apply for a variety of military and veteran license plates at a reduced rate.

How to Renew a Rhode Island Vehicle Registration on Someone Else’s Behalf

Although the state does not directly address how to renew car registration in Rhode Island on someone else’s behalf, it is possible to obtain it for another person by mail or drop box. Simply have the registrant sign the vehicle registration renewal notice and write a check for payment. Then mail the documents to the address above or place them in the nearest DMV drop box on the registrant’s behalf.

Rhode Island Car Registration Renewal Fees

Basic Rhode Island car registration renewal fees vary according to vehicle weight. These auto registration renewal statutory fees may have other smaller fees attached on a case-by-case basis, such as when the driver orders personalized or specialty license plates.

Last updated on Friday, September 21 2018.

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