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Rhode Island Plates

This DMV law concerning call letter plates is one that always causes issues. The people at the registry usually aren't aware of the law and when they find it, they want to charge you a Vanity plate fee or $20 or 30 per year. The law was enacted in 1955 and is absolutely NOT part of the Vanity program, which came along decades later. So, DO NOT pay any extra fee. It should carry the normal fee each year for your car. If you go to this Internet site, you'll find the Amateur Radio sub part of the law.

The method that works best is to print a hard copy or two of § 31-3-39 and bring it with you when you go to apply for your plates. The clerk can take a copy and attach one to your application (because she probably won't believe that it's right). But it is RI law and you must not let the people at registry talk you out of it even if they try.

TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehiclesCHAPTER 31-3
Registration of VehiclesSECTION 31-3-39 

§ 31-3-39  Amateur radio operator plates. – The administrator of the division of motor vehicles shall issue for any motor vehicle eligible for registration as an automobile or eligible for registration as a commercial vehicle and having a gross weight of nine thousand (9,000) pounds or less for the motor vehicle of a radio amateur, other than a novice, licensed by the federal communications commission, as long as he or she shall remain so licensed, and such registration plates as issued shall identify the registrant by the station and operator "call sign" assigned to him or her by the federal communications commission. This issuance of special plates shall be in accordance with the statutory requirements relating to the registration of motor vehicles and upon the payment of the regular registration fee. Application for the special plates shall be made in advance and upon the special form or forms as the administrator of the division of motor vehicles shall designate.

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