Rhode Island Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney


A Rhode Island motor vehicle power of attorney is a legal document that permits an individual to take care of vehicle transactions and sign documents for the owner. The individual, also called the attorney-in-fact, must act according to the instructions left by the owner. The form’s primary purpose is to allow the attorney-in-fact to make decisions and perform tasks that the owner could do if they were present.

Assigned responsibilities can include (but are not limited to) the purchase or sale of a vehicle, car registration and titling, or the recording or a lien. The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or another third party must ensure that the form has been properly completed, signed, and/or notarized. The state of Rhode Island does not require notarization; however, the owner should have the form signed by a Notary Public to prove its validity.

The owner must appoint a trustworthy attorney-in-fact. Selecting the right person prevents fraud and lessens the possibility of the assigned person abusing their power. For this reason, the owner should choose someone they know well and frequently visit. A close family member, friend, or business partner tends to make for a reliable attorney-in-fact.

In addition to choosing the best representative, the owner should ensure they choose the correct transaction type in the form to limit the assigned person’s power. If the attorney-in-fact makes unapproved choices when acting in place of the owner, they become responsible for repaying debts that occur.

Signing requirements: Notarization recommended.