Effective July 1, 2013, Rhode Island licenses and motor vehicle registrations are subject to surcharges as part of the Transportation Investment and Debt Reduction Act of 2011. The legislation created a special account known as the RI Highway Maintenance Account which will be administered by the director of the RI Department of Transportation (RIDOT). All funds collected will be used to provide the state match for federal transportation funds thereby reducing the state's reliance on borrowing to gain access to Federal Highway funds. The incremental increases begin in FY 2014 and will reach their peak in FY 2016 when they will generate approximately $16.8 million dollars annually.
A surcharge of thirty dollars ($30.00) will be assessed on each five-year operator's license upon issuance or renewal of a license to operate a motor vehicle. This surcharge will be phased in at the rate of ten dollars ($10.00).
A surcharge of fifteen dollars ($15.00) will be assessed on all vehicles subject to annual registrations and will be phased in at the rate of five dollars ($5.00). All initial and renewal registrations will pay the surcharge.
A surcharge of thirty dollars ($30.00) will be assessed on all vehicles subject to biennial registrations and it will be phased in at the rate of ten dollars ($10.00). All initial and renewal registrations will pay the surcharge.
Certain registration plate types will be subject to a lesser surcharge than those noted above. Unlike the standard registration plate types, the surcharges on these will be assessed in full beginning July 1, 2013 and thereafter.