Buying a Car In Rhode Island From Out Of State

Buying a car in Rhode Island from out of state can get complicated. Learn more here.
Written by Talullah Blanco
If you bought a vehicle from an out-of-state car dealer or private seller and want to register it in Rhode Island, you’ll need to submit a completed application for registration and title certification and a dealers tax form to the DMV.
From saving money to getting your hands on an out-of-stock vehicle, there are a lot of reasons to purchase a new vehicle from another state. But with paperwork requirements that change from state to state, the process can be difficult to navigate and lead to unwanted fines.
, the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
, is here to walk you through buying a car in Rhode Island from out of state and how to reduce
Rhode Island insurance costs
. Ready? Let’s go!
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How to buy a car out of state as a Rhode Island resident

So you live in Rhode Island and you bought a car across state lines. Now what? You need to apply for a Rhode Island title and registration through the local DMV.
Here’s the information you’ll need to submit to your DMV office to register your out-of-state vehicle:
  • Completed Application for Registration and Title Certificate (
    Form TR-1
  • Completed Use Tax form (
    Form T-334-2
  • Valid bill of sale signed by all owners as proof of purchase price
  • Title (for model year vehicles 2001 and newer) or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin
  • Rhode Island driver’s license or ID card
  • Gross vehicle weight
  • Proof of Rhode Island insurance 
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check
  • Payment for the sales tax and appropriate registration fees
If you’re leasing a vehicle from another state, you’ll also need to bring a completed Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate (
Form T-333-1
) with the leasing company listed as the purchaser and be granted Power of Attorney from the leasing company to your local DMV. 
Once you’ve paid the appropriate sales taxes and registration fees and submitted all the required paperwork, you’ll be granted a Rhode Island title and registration! You’ll then have five days to get your vehicle inspected

How to buy a car in Rhode Island if you live out of state

If you’re purchasing a car in Rhode Island as an out-of-state resident, you’ll need to cancel the Rhode Island plates and look into getting temporary plates for the ride home. Luckily, with Jerry, you can get proof of insurance to take to the DMV. 
Other than that, the process is fairly straightforward with slight variations depending on where you plan on registering the vehicle. Here’s what you can expect to do:
  • Drop the Rhode Island plates and a completed
    Affidavit for Cancellation of Registration
    form in the DMV drop box during normal branch hours
  • Get a valid bill of sale for the vehicle purchase (some states require a notarized bill of sale)
  • Bring the bill of sale, photo ID, proof of insurance and residency, odometer disclosure, and any other state-required documents for registration to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) 
  • Complete your vehicle registration in your state of residency
You may also need to pay local sales tax or the difference between Rhode Island sales tax and where you register the car.

What if I don’t have a physical title?

In Rhode Island, titles are only required for registration for vehicles that are 2001 and newer. If your car is in fact 2001 and newer, you’ll need to request a duplicate of the original title from the DMV in the state where you bought the car!
If your vehicle was manufactured before 2001, you won’t need a title and just need to submit a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin instead.
MORE: Title transfer in Rhode Island
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Tips for buying a vehicle out of state

If you’re planning on purchasing a vehicle out of state, you're in for a lot of paperwork, red tape cutting, and potential fines if done incorrectly. That’s why we’ve included a few tips below:
  • Don’t skip the vehicle history report. This step is particularly crucial if you are planning on buying a used car from a private seller. Services like
    provide you with a comprehensive vehicle history report that will inform you of any red flags like accidents or improper maintenance. 
  • Schedule your vehicle inspection. Your car will need to pass a vehicle inspection to meet the requirements in the state you drive and register the vehicle. In Rhode Island, you’ll have five days from the registration date to get your vehicle inspected.
  • Check to see if you need an emissions test. Depending on where you live, you’ll need to pass an emissions test to register your vehicle. Familiarize yourself with your local DEQ requirements before purchasing a vehicle!
  • Know your home state’s vehicle sales tax laws. Remember, you pay for sales tax in the state you plan to register it in, not the state you bought it.
  • Purchase car insurance before you drive off the lot. You will be required to carry coverage that meets
    Rhode Island’s minimum car insurance requirements
    before they’ll grant you temporary plates for your ride home.

How to save on car insurance in Rhode Island

With all the paperwork required when you purchase a car out of state, getting
car insurance
at the best rate possible is probably the last thing on your mind. That’s where the Jerry app comes in. 
is the easiest and most effective way to find a car insurance policy that is customized for you. 
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers in less than 45 seconds, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to!
Better yet? The average Jerry user saves over $800 per year on car insurance! That could be enough to cover your road trip home in your new car!
“I just had to buy a new car, and I needed quick help to get insurance before I could get my plates. Because I work so many hours,
was the ideal choice for getting things done without long phone calls and waiting periods.”  —Rosa G.
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