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Can I get a car titled even though it isn’t drivable?

staticwire | April 2, 2024
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According to a recent question posed by Greg H., his husband purchased a 2005 Toyota Corolla in Massachusetts in 2022, but has not yet titled or registered the vehicle in Rhode Island. The car is currently not running, but there are plans to fix it and get it up and running in the state. However, before any repairs can be made, the car needs to be titled, which raises concerns about whether this can be done if the vehicle is not currently drivable and cannot be taken for a VIN check.

In response to Greg’s query, Chuck Hollis, assistant administrator of the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles, offered guidance on how to proceed in such a situation. Hollis recommended that Greg’s husband Tax & Title the vehicle, which would involve bringing the Massachusetts title and bill of sale to the DMV. Additionally, a VIN check will be required due to the out-of-state title associated with the vehicle.

To facilitate the VIN check process, Greg’s husband can visit the DMV website to find a list of VIN stations in the area, along with their operating hours and specific requirements. If temporary plates are needed to obtain the VIN check, the DMV can issue these to allow for the necessary inspection to take place. However, if the vehicle cannot be taken to a VIN station, completing the transaction may prove challenging as a VIN check is mandatory for all out-of-state titles and vehicles.

On the DMV website, forms required for the transaction can be accessed, including the Application for Title & Registration (TR-1) and Sales Tax Use (T-334). It is important to note that if the vehicle was purchased in 2022, penalties and interest may apply to any unpaid sales tax, which must be settled by the 20th of the month following the purchase date, even if the vehicle is not yet registered.

For those preferring to conduct the transaction in person, reservations are necessary to enter any DMV branches. Information on branch locations and reservation procedures can be found on the DMV website. Alternatively, documents can be dropped off or mailed, along with payment, to the Cranston DMV. The Woonsocket DMV branch is recommended for in-person reservations if that is the preferred option.

Once the vehicle is repaired and functional, Greg’s husband can choose to register it or sell it, as he will hold the vehicle’s title in his name. Ultimately, the key steps to take include Tax & Titling the vehicle, obtaining a VIN check, addressing any outstanding sales tax obligations, and completing the necessary forms and transactions at the DMV.

For further inquiries or questions related to navigating the titling and registration process for vehicles in Rhode Island, individuals can reach out to Chuck Hollis by emailing with “Ask the DMV” in the subject field.

In conclusion, while the process may involve several steps and considerations, Greg’s husband can work towards obtaining the title and registration for the 2005 Toyota Corolla in Rhode Island to proceed with the necessary repairs and eventual use of the vehicle within the state’s regulations.

Written by staticwire


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