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Buying And Living In Rhode Island With A 2002


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Hi Nor'Easters,

I've been keeping my eye on 2002 sales for quite a while now. I wanted some extra information on owning one in Rhode Island and everyone's experience registering and inspecting the car.

In addition to any advice that you have, I have some specific questions that I could not find good answers for on the RMV's site:

1. Is passing safety inspection troublesome? What are key areas to look at in a new car in terms of safety?

2. The car is emissions exempt, right?

3. When purchasing from a private party that may not have a title, is there a Rhode Island-specific bill of sale?

4. If I were to purchase out of state, are there additional considerations for bringing the 2002 home?

5. Anything else to consider about owning a 2002 in Rhode Island or New England in general?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can't answer your RI specific questions though I will try to help as much as I can.


1. If you register the car as an antique you should be inspection exempt. 2002s are only as safe as a 40+ year old car can be if it is well maintained. Not as safe as a modern car.


2. In Maine we do not have emissions. see #1 if the car is registered as an antique.


3. The seller can down load a form bill of sale from the internets, or white one up.


4.You will have to have insurance on the vehicle, pay any RI sales tax and get a temp plate or fully register the car before driving it back home. That's how we drove Vern, the M3 & the 2007 X3, 2014 X3 home from out of state.


5. DO NOT DRIVE IN WINTER salt will kill the car, it will rust like the wicked witch of the west if it gets wet or is exposed to salt air and salted water. Buy it as a summer driver, garage it in winter and in inclimate weather. If you can't do that a 2002 is not for you. 

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Thanks for the reply. I really appreciate the insight... The DMV website doesn't quite lay out what you need to do when buying a used classic car out-of-state. 


I know that driving it during salt season is bad. I know it's not as good as a garage, but how would a 2002 handle being covered for the winter? I would ideally like to not pay to store it.

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Covering is not the best way to store a non galvanized rust prone car. If that's the best you can do so be it. As you know a dry rodent free garage is the best place to store it. Up here in Maine it costs about $250 for the winter to store a vehicle.


In CT I was paying $300/month for 2 cars in a heated show room of an antique car dealer. When I moved the cars to Maine I was paying $100/month for 2 cars.


Shop around for garage space or buy a hoop garage.

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