Motor Vehicles

Car Tax Phase Out Chart
  1. Town Assessor's Office

    Phone: (401) 789-9331 x1229

Excise Tax

The Motor Vehicle Excise Tax is a tax on the privilege of registration and is based on the number of days the vehicle or trailer was registered during the preceding calendar year. Motor vehicles are taxed in arrears.  The motor vehicle tax is pro-rated to the actual number of days the vehicle is registered. Taxation of the vehicle or trailer is based on license plate activity from the previous year. All motor vehicle and trailer registration information is provided to the Town by the Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles.

All motor vehicles, motorcycles and commercial trucks are based on the 'clean retail' value as reflected in the NADA pricing guides (National Automobile Dealers Association pricing guides). The 'clean retail' value reflected in the NADA pricing guidelines does not take into consideration the condition or the total mileage of the vehicle.

Sell or Junk Your Car?  Did You Move?

If a vehicle is sold, disposed of, or if you move out of Rhode Island and register your vehicle in another state, you must cancel your registration and return your vehicle's license plates to the Rhode Island Registry of Motor Vehicles in order to avoid further taxes.  When a registration is canceled, the taxes for that registration will stop as of the date of cancellation.  In addition, if you move out of South Kingstown, you must update your address properly to ensure being billed for your Motor Vehicle Excise Tax by the appropriate city or town.  Address changes related to Motor Vehicle Excise Tax need to be made through the Rhode Island Registry of Motor Vehicles. Changing your address on your drivers license with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) does not change the address for your vehicle registration.