Rhode Island Car Title Transfer Information

In order to properly complete a Rhode Island Certificate of Title when selling a vehicle, follow these instructions:

Seller / Registered Owner Title Transfer

  • If there are any liens shown on the front of the title that are not released, you will need to have it signed off by the lienholder, or obtain an original release document from the lienholder. Note: Vehicles from years 2000 and earlier will not have valid titles. See step 8 below.
  • On the back of the title you will fill out completely the upper block of information that says TRANSFER BY OWNER.
  • Print the buyer(s) name and address on the first line in the spaces provided.
  • Fill in the odometer reading in the space provided. Enter your mileage EXACTLY AS IT APPEARS ON YOUR ODOMETER. DO NOT INCLUDE “TENTHS”. If the odometer does not reflect the actual miles on the car, check the box that says “ The odometer reading is NOT the actual mileage WARNING ODOMETER DISCREPANCY”.
  • Below the odometer section the seller(s) signs and prints name(s) on the two lines provided at the left. MAKE SURE TO PRINT YOUR NAME (OR NAMES) EXACTLY as appears on the front of the title below “VEHICLE OWNER(S)”. (DON’T USE SHORT NAMES OR NICKNAMES!). Where there are TWO registered owners listed on the title, you must check to see if there is an“OR” or nothing listed between the registered owners’ names. If there is an “OR”, EITHER registered owner can sign and print their name using the instructions above. Otherwise, the signatures and printed names of BOTH registered owners are required. Enter the date in space provided by the signature(s).
  • The buyer makes similar signatures in the spaces to the right.
  • Along with the buyer make a Bill of Sale. This must include the make, model, year, color, VIN, date, purchase price, and license plate number. Must include name(s) and addresses of both the seller and buyer. Seller must sign it.
  • Give the buyer the title, Bill of Sale, and current registration. Make copies for your records. For vehicles year 2000 and older give the buyer the same documents, except that the title itself is not required.
  • Keep your license plates.
  • Rhode Island DMV office locations can be found at http://www.dmv.ri.gov/contact/#2.

Useful Title Tips

  • Do not erase anything or use “white-out”
  • Do not cross out or scratch anything out
  • Write neatly with good handwriting
  • Only use BLACK or BLUE ink
  • Use actual names…no nicknames!
  • Don’t Make Mistakes!
  • Any errors can void the document!

Duplicate Titles

If your Rhode Island car title was lost or damaged check out our helpful resources.

Where Seller Signs Rhode Island Title


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