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Rhode Island State Title Processing Procedures

  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of a vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?
  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Salvage Certificate of Title with Classification A or B depending upon damage?
  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Bill of Sale (if vehicle is 10 years old or older)?
  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?
  5. What steps must an insurer take in Rhode Island to process an owner-retained vehicle?
  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?

  1. What form of title must an insurer obtain in connection with the sale of a vehicle that has been acquired through the settlement of a claim?

    Any insurance company taking possession of a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in this state, that has been declared a total loss because of damage to that vehicle, in settlement of a claim for damage or theft shall within ten (10) days deliver to the division of motor vehicles the certificate of title of that vehicle and obtain a salvage certificate of title for that vehicle as prescribed for by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-46-1]

    There shall be two (2) classifications of salvage vehicles: Classification A indicates the vehicle has extensive damage and is good for "parts only." Classification B indicates the vehicle has considerable damage but is considered repairable. It will be the responsibility of insurance companies to evaluate and classify salvage. The classification is subject to review and evaluation by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles or his or her designee.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-46-1.1]

    If the insurance company sells the motor vehicle for any reason, it shall make application for a salvage certificate of title. The division of motor vehicles shall issue the salvage certificate of title on a form prescribed for by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles, that shall be of a color easily distinguished from the original certificate of title, and shall bear the same number and information as the original certificate of title. The salvage certificate of title shall be assigned by the insurance company to a salvage dealer or any other person for use as evidence of ownership upon the sale or other disposition of the salvage motor vehicle, and the title shall be assignable to any other person. The division of motor vehicles shall charge the insurance company a fee of fifty dollars ($50.00) for the cost of processing each salvage certificate title.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-46-2]

    This chapter shall apply to all model vehicles designated as 2001 models and all subsequent model year vehicles. All vehicles designated as model years prior to 2001 shall be excluded from these provisions, provided that no title certificate shall be required once a vehicle is twenty (20) years old.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-3.1-38] back to top


  2. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Salvage Certificate of Title with Classification A (parts only) or B (repairable) depending upon damage?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer by insured or endorsed by insurer accompanied by a power of attorney from insured to insurer), an odometer disclosure statement, a release of any liens, and a letter from insurance company stating vehicle has been declared a total loss.

    Copart will submit these documents along with a Title Application (TR-9) and the appropriate fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    Thereafter, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Salvage Certificate of Title with Classification A (parts only) or B (repairable) depending upon damage in the name of the insurer.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s Salvage Certificate of Title to the purchaser. [Rhode Island Statutes § 31-46-1; 31-46-1.1; 31-46-2; 31-3.1-38] back to top

  3. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a vehicle on a Bill of Sale (if vehicle is 10 years old or older)?

    The insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer by insured or endorsed by insurer accompanied by a power of attorney from insured to insurer), an odometer disclosure statement and a release of any liens.

    Copart, acting under a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction on a Bill of Sale.

    Thereafter, Copart will submit these documents along with the appropriate fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-3.1-38] back to top

  4. What documents must an insurer provide to Copart in order to sell a recovered theft vehicle recovered substantially intact with no substantial damage, where title is still in the name of the insured?

    When a vehicle has been stolen, the insurer shall provide Copart with a Certificate of Title or a comparable ownership document issued by another state or jurisdiction (either endorsed over to the insurer by insured or endorsed by insurer accompanied by a power of attorney from insured to insurer), an odometer disclosure statement with last known mileage, and a release of any liens.

    After receipt of these documents, Copart will submit these documents along with a Title Application (TR-9) and the appropriate fee to the Division of Motor Vehicles for processing.

    Thereafter, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall issue a Unrecovered Theft Title in the name of the insurer and return it to Copart. Upon receipt, Copart will forward the Unrecovered Theft Title to the insurer for safekeeping.

    If the vehicle is recovered, the insurer will return the Unrecovered Theft Title to Copart. Copart will submit these documents along with the appropriate application to the Division of Motor Vehicles.

    Thereafter, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall issue the appropriate title depending upon the damage to the vehicle.

    Copart, acting upon a power of attorney for the insurer, will then sell the vehicle at auction and reassign the insurer’s appropriate Title to the purchaser.

    [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-46-1] back to top

  5. What steps must an insurer take in Rhode Island to process an ownerretained vehicle?

    f the owner of a motor vehicle retains the vehicle upon a settlement with an insurance company, the owner must obtain a salvage certificate of title. The owner must submit the following documents to obtain a salvage certificate of title: 1) title Application completed by owner; 2) original Certificate of Title; 3) letter from insurance company stating the owner is retaining the vehicle and indicating Classification A (parts only) or Classification B (repairable) classification; 4) written estimate/appraisal of damage from insurance company; 5) appropriate fee. [Per DMV] back to top

  6. What legal duties are imposed upon a lienholder following satisfaction of the lien?

    1. Upon the satisfaction of a security interest in a vehicle for which the certificate of title is in the possession of the lienholder, the lienholder shall, within fifteen (15) business days, execute a release of his or her security interest, in the space provided for it on the certificate or as the division of motor vehicles prescribes, and mail or deliver the certificate and release to the next lienholder named in it, or, if none, to the owner or any person who delivers to the lienholder an authorization from the owner to receive the certificate. The owner, other than a dealer holding the vehicle for resale, shall promptly cause the certificate and release to be mailed or delivered to the division of motor vehicles, which shall release the lienholder's rights on the certificate or issue a new certificate.
    2. Upon the satisfaction of a security interest in a vehicle for which the certificate of title is in the possession of a prior lienholder, the lienholder whose security interest is satisfied shall within ten (10) days execute a release in the form the division of motor vehicles prescribes and deliver the release to the owner or to any person who delivers to the lienholder an authorization from the owner to receive it. The lienholder in possession of the certificate of title shall either deliver the certificate to the owner, or the person authorized by him or her, for delivery to the division of motor vehicles, or, upon receipt of the release and registration card, mail or deliver them with the certificate to the division of motor vehicles which shall release the subordinate lienholder's rights on the certificate or issue a new certificate.
    3. It shall be unlawful for the lienholder to charge any fee for the delivery of the certificate and release.
    4. Failure of the lienholder to provide the certificate and release as required by this section shall subject the lienholder to liability for any damages to the owner caused by that failure. back to top

     [Rhode Island General Laws § 31-3.1-22]



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