DMV requires you to surrender your license plates upon cancellation. Plates may be returned and cancelled at any DMV branch location or at a AAA office, if you are a member. You can also send the cancelled plates by mail to the Division of Motor Vehicles, Attention: Plates, 600 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920. You should use registered mail with a return receipt request. Keep the plate cancellation receipt to avoid future property tax claims if your city or town does not remove you from their records. Stolen plates must be reported to your local police department. To obtain a cancellation receipt, submit a police report to the DMV, or complete the Affidavit for Cancellation of Registration for Lost Plates. You can claim a registration refund if you have a full year remaining on a two-year registration. To file a claim, fill out a refund application form. If the vehicle was leased, you must have the form completed by the leasing company.
You are allowed to give your plates to a friend or relative. DMV can process the transfer with a gift letter. If your plate is considered a preferred plate – defined as passenger plates with 1 letter and 1-3 digits or 2 letters with 1-2 digits, passenger plates with 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 digits, commercial/motorcycle plates with 1-4 digits, combination plates with 1-4 digits, suburban/war veteran's plates with 1-3 digits, and National Guard plates with 1-2 digits, the transfer must first be authorized by the governor's office. Contact the governor's office in person or by faxing the request to 401-222-5724. You will receive an authorization card to present to DMV along with your registration certificate and the plates.
For more information about license plates and registrations, please visit our website at www.dmv.ri.gov.