Title 31
Motor and Other Vehicles

Chapter 46
Rhode Island Salvage Law

R.I. Gen. Laws 31-46-1



 31-46-1.  Duty of insurance company and salvage motor vehicle dealer.


(a) 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. If the insurance company is unable to obtain the certificate of title of the vehicle for more than thirty (30) days after payment of the total loss claim on the vehicle, the insurance company or its agent may apply for and obtain, free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership, a salvage certificate of title in the insurance company's name without delivering the certificate of title to the division of motor vehicles. The application shall be accompanied by evidence that the insurance company has paid a total loss claim on the vehicle and has attempted to obtain the certificate of title by sending at least two (2) written attempts, sent by certified mail or by another commercially available delivery service providing proof of delivery and addressed to the last known owner of the vehicle and any known lienholders, at the address shown on the records of the appropriate registry, in the state in which the vehicle is registered.

(b) If:

(1) A motor vehicle dealer, the primary business of which is the sale of salvage motor vehicles on behalf of insurance companies, is asked by an insurance company to take possession of a motor vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued in this state;

(2) The motor vehicle is the subject of an insurance claim; and

(3) Subsequently a total loss claim is not paid by the insurance company with respect to the motor vehicle, the motor vehicle dealer may, if the motor vehicle has been abandoned at the facility of the motor vehicle dealer for more than thirty (30) days, apply for and obtain, free and clear of all liens and claims of ownership, a salvage certificate of title in the dealer's name without surrendering the certificate of title to the division of motor vehicles. The application shall be accompanied by evidence that the motor vehicle dealer made at least two (2) written attempts, sent by certified mail or by another commercially available delivery service providing proof of delivery and addressed to the last known owner of the vehicle and any known lienholders, at the address shown on the records of the appropriate registry, in the state in which the vehicle is registered, to have the vehicle removed from the motor vehicle dealer's facility. In such application, the motor vehicle dealer shall also classify the vehicle as Classification A or Classification B, as the classifications are described in 31-46-1.1.

History of Section.
P.L. 1977, ch. 144, 1; P.L. 1983, ch. 221, 1, 3; P.L. 2021, ch. 423, 1, effective July 20, 2021; P.L. 2021, ch. 424, 1, effective July 20, 2021.