Representative Michelle McGaw (D-Dist. 71, Portsmouth, Tiverton, Little Compton) has introduced legislation that would give new car owners more time to transfer their registrations.

The bill (2021-H 6274) would extend the period of time that a newly purchased motor vehicle may be temporarily operated from 20 to 30 days, using the purchaser’s current license plates. The extension would also apply to out-of-state vehicle purchases and the temporary transfer of registrations. Cars bought in the private market, which are currently given only two business days to transfer the plate, would have 30 days for the transfer under the legislation.

“I’ve spoken to several people who had to replace a vehicle for one reason or another, but were unable to make an appointment to have the vehicle registered in a timely manner,” said Representative McGaw in a statement. “Right now, vehicle owners have to wait a month or more for appointment availability. This legislation would give people more time to schedule an appointment with the DMV.” 

Last year, at the height of the pandemic, the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles announced a reservation-only schedule in order to maintain social distancing at its facilities. Sometimes appointments have been unavailable for four weeks in advance, making it impossible to transfer a registration in the amount of time allotted under the current law.

The legislation, which is cosponsored by Representatives Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown), Brandon C. Potter (D-Dist. 16, Cranston), Jacquelyn M. Baginski (D-Dist. 17, Cranston), Nathan W. Biah (D-Dist. 3, Providence), Edward T. Cardillo Jr. (D-Dist. 42, Johnston, Cranston), Rep. Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung (R-Dist. 15, Cranston), Mary Duffy Messier (D-Dist. 62, Pawtucket) and Minority Whip Michael W. Chippendale (R-Dist. 40, Foster, Glocester, Coventry), has been referred to the House Committee on State Government and Elections.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).