Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Registration

I am always surprised by how busy we are when we return to our home port in the spring. Despite trying not to ignore administrative matters, inevitably something slips past me. The first concern to surface this year was that I did not received my coveted 2010 Newport resident parking sticker in the mail as expected.

It's already May, which means big changes in Newport, when parking meters are in effect from 8am to 9pm seven days a week through fall. With no time to waste I gathered all of my car documents and proof of residence to take to city hall where I was shocked to learn my car registration had expired in February--only 9 months from the date I had registered my new car! How could this be?

Turns out Rhode Island motor vehicle registration is based on the alphabet, so people with last names starting with A or B, like myself, renew in January. Plus, for the first year the length of registration is always less than one year. (The only mystery that remains is why I did not receive a renewal form in the mail.)

Because I was delinquent more than 3 months, I was forced to re-register verses renew, which means more money and another less-than-one-year registration term. After the first renewal, January 2011 for me, motor vehicle registration is every two years. Now I'm a much smarter RI resident.

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