Selling a Car in Rhode Island

Selling a car in Rhode Island means signing over the vehicle's title and documenting the purchase through a bill of sale.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Selling a car in Rhode Island is a reasonably straightforward process—to do so, you’ll need to complete a title transfer and document the procedure through a bill of sales.
Every state has its own rules for selling a car—and Rhode Island is no exception. By following the procedure correctly, you can legally transfer the ownership of a car and rid yourself of any responsibility once it’s left your possession.
car insurance
and brokerage super-app
has everything you’ll need to know for selling a car in Rhode Island.

What you need to sell a car in Rhode Island

Selling a car in Rhode Island means you’ll need two basic things: a certificate of title and a bill of sale. You’ll need the following information to complete the forms: 
  • Proper form of identification
  • Basic information about the vehicle (such as make, model, year)
  • Your signature
  • Signature of any lienholder(s)
  • Signature of the buyer
  • The car’s current registration
If you’ve lost your title, you can only request a duplicate title from the
Cranston DMV location
. Make sure to plan ahead, however, because the replacement process could take up to 90 days.

Getting a pre-sale inspection

Many states require emission inspections to be done yearly. Rhode Island requires newly purchased vehicles to pass a safety and emissions inspection within five days of registration—failing to do so will result in the suspension of your vehicle registration.
Rhode Island does not allow inspection from out-of-state shops. A certified inspection will cost you $55.00 and will be valid for two years.
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Documenting the sale

In Rhode Island, you must document the sale of a vehicle by giving the new owner a bill of sale. it’s also usually a good idea to keep a copy for your records. A bill of sale includes the following:
  • Basic information about the car, including make, model, year, color
  • Your car’s VIN
  • Purchase price
  • Your address (the new owner will need this information to apply for new registration)

Signing the title over

Signing over the title in Rhode Island is as easy as placing the signatures of the buyer and seller in the requested locations on the back of the title certificate.
If you have multiple buyers (or sellers), be sure to include all names and signatures on the title. 

Reporting the sale

Rhode Island doesn’t require you to report the sale of your vehicle. Still, keeping a bill of sale on hand is a great way to make sure you’re protected if any government entities request information about the current owner. 

Finding affordable car insurance 

Selling a car may be a complicated process, but finding the right car insurance doesn’t have to be.
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Services like
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can give you accurate estimates of your car's value by looking at its model, make, and condition.
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