How do I correct the license plate description on my registration? | Ask the DMV

Q: Your recent answer regarding the wrong plate description on registrations did not include directions for correcting the error for those of us with sailboat plates with wave descriptions. Is there a process to request the correction, or is this only something you can do when notified?

— Mary B.

A: The best way to let the DMV know that your registration certificate is incorrect with the wrong plate design is to use the “Questions & Feedback” tab on our website ( It can be found on the bottom of every page on our website. Simply fill it out and someone will get back to you.

This column is used to answer questions, provide answers and educate the public. Many people use the Adjudication Office email, and this email is ONLY for Adjudication Office questions concerning suspensions and reinstatements, and not other DMV issues.

Q: I recently moved from Connecticut to Rhode Island and am trying to complete the paperwork to transfer the registration for my three cars. I own all three and have the titles. The one issue I'm having is finding the original bill of sale.

Unfortunately, my house is under construction and my belongings are in giant piles — I will be able to access them at a later time and should be able to find the bill of sale at that time. I would think that the original title, in my name, should supersede a bill of sale, but despite my Google search attempts I cannot find that answer.  Are you able to help answer this for me?

— Hilary N., Newport

A: On our website ( in the “Registration, Plates & Title” tab, we have a section for people who are moving into Rhode Island and want to register their vehicle(s).

Moving into RI from Out of State

Forms and Fees

● You need to complete and sign the Application for Registration (TR-1 form).

● Refer to the third page of the Application for Registration for a list of documents needed to perform this transaction (Registration Checklist).

● You need to complete and sign the Sales or Use Tax Exemption Certificate (T-334) form, or you need to complete and sign the Sales Tax Exemption Affidavit (T-333-1).

● Transferring In From Out-Of-State form (SU-NR-1)

● Proof of Identity and Proof of Residency are required. The “Registration Checklist” will give you examples of acceptable documents for these two required proofs.

Things to Know

● Within 30 days of moving to Rhode Island, you must obtain a new title and registration for your vehicle.

● Insurance is mandatory in Rhode Island. You must carry liability at the minimum, and your insurance company must be licensed to do business in the State of Rhode Island.

● New residents need to have their cars inspected within five days of being registered.

● If the model year of the vehicle is 2001 or newer, a title is required to register the car.

● If two owners are on the title, both parties must be present during registration; if not, the signature of the absent party must be notarized on the Application for Registration.

● If the title is from another state or the vehicle was registered in another state, and the model year of vehicle is 2001 or newer, a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) check is required before you register the car. Contact the police station you are going to visit to inquire what forms of payment they accept, as not all police departments accept cash.

● If the lien holder has sent your valid out-of-state title to the RI DMV, you must first obtain it from the Research Office at the Cranston DMV before any transaction can be processed.

All forms can be found on our website. Go to the “Forms” tab and look in the “Registration Forms” and the “Taxation Forms.”

The titles should be enough for you to register all your vehicles. I hope this information helps. If you need to transfer your license, too, please refer to our website for all that information.

Chuck Hollis
Chuck Hollis

Chuck Hollis is assistant administrator of the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. Please email your questions to with “Ask the DMV” in the subject field.

This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: How do I correct the plate description on my registration? | Ask RI DMV