In the State of Rhode Island when you buy or sell a vehicle in a private transaction you must complete a Bill of Sale Form. This is important for you and also the buyer, because the Bill of Sale form is needed for titling and registration of the vehicle at the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles.
If the vehicle is 2001 or newer, you must give the new owner your title, signed over on the back of the document. The seller needs to sign on the title as well as the buyer. Make sure you include the vehicle’s current mileage reading.
If you do not have the title, you must apply for a duplicate title at a DMV location. This process can take up to 90 days, so you should do this as soon as possible. Costs are listed in the DMV Fee Table.
You must also give to the new owner a completed Bill of Sale form. The Bill of Sale should include all the basic information about the car. So complete details as year, make, model, VIN number, color. It must also include the purchase price. You need to sign the Bill of Sale and fill in your address, as the new owner will have to supply that information on the registration application when he registers the car.
Rhode Island Bill of Sale Form
Click here to download and print a generic Rhode Island Bill of Sale Form.
In case you are buying the car from a dealership, they may offer a service to register and title the car for you.
However if you are buying the car from a private party, keep your plates and go to any Rhode Island DMV branch location with proof of insurance, your bill of sale, the title (which must be signed over to you by the previous owner), and the car’s previous registration. You will need to fill out forms to register and title the car and transfer your plates to your recently purchased vehicle.
So if the vehicle is 2001 or newer and the title is from another state, the vehicle must have a VIN inspection at your local police department. Therefore call the local police department for days and hours of operation.
To obtain a 5 day temporary plate to bring your vehicle to the police department for a VIN check you would need to bring your bill of sale, title, and proof of insurance. Bring these documents to any Rhode Island DMV office, and a temporary plate will be issued.
Even if the vehicle is a gift from a relative you need a letter stating both your names and addresses, the relationship and vehicle’s information (year, make, model, and VIN number). If you are also keeping the vehicle’s current plates, he/she must give permission for you to do so in this letter. If the vehicle is 2001 or newer you must have the title to the vehicle, signed over to you by your relative in the ‘transfer by owner’ section on the back of the title. You must also have with you your current RI license and insurance information.
How to complete the Rhode Island Bill of Sale Form
The Rhode Island generic Bill of Sale Form is composed of three sections. Below you’ll learn how to fill out this form:
The first section contains the vehicle information. Here you’ll need to fill out the Make, Model, Year, Style (Body type), Color, VIN or Vehicle Identification Number. Also fill out the Odometer Reading at the time of transfer (use only digits, no tenths) and seller registration number. Lastly you need to answer if you previously filed an application for title of this vehicle:
In the second section you have to fill out first the Seller information. This means to fill out the full name of the seller. The seller’s name must be PRINTED. This means to use only Capital Letters to write SELLER’S NAME. Then fill out seller’s street address, seller’s city and state. Further you will need to fill out the Buyer information – the full name of the buyer. The buyer’s name must be PRINTED. This means again to use only Capital Letters to write BUYER’S NAME. Additionally fill out buyer’s street address, buyer’s city and state. After these details you will have to write the sum of the transfer price of the vehicle or the worg GIFT. And if it’s the case indicate if this vehicle was a gift and to indicate the relationship with the buyer (e.g. parent, spouse, friend):
The last third section represents the seller’s statement about the details contained in this Bill of Sale. Finally fill out seller’s signature and date:
Please note that you can fill out this Bill of Sale form by hand. However don’t forget to use a pen and not a pencil. If you are filling out this form on your device (phone, tablet, computer) this form is a fillable PDF that works best with Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Learn more about the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles
For more information go to Rhode Island Department of Revenue – Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles.
To be sure you can check here the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles Fee Table. The acceptable forms of payment are: cash, money orders, personal checks, bank checks, and credit or debit cards.