Frequently Asked QuestionsBecome a Member

1. Can I keep my current RI License plate number?

Yes. When you switch to the PBL plate, your current number is transferred to the new plate. Just think of it as ordering a new background design for your existing plate.

2. What if I currently have a 6-digit plate?

Because of the artwork that will be on the PBL plate, we are restricted to no more than 5 letters or numbers on the plate. In order to qualify for a PBL plate, you must obtain a 5 digit or less registration from DMV. They have just released new registrations that fulfill the requirement for 5 digits or less, so getting one of these plates should be easy.

3. Can I get whatever number I want?

We can only issue plates that are currently active. As a group, the Friends cannot grant anyone different plate numbers. Only the DMV can do that.

4. I have a commercial plate, can I get a PBL plate?

Yes! We are now offering both commercial and combination plates as a result of the 2013 State General Assembly allowing us to expand our plate program. We’ll first have to collect 900 orders of each respective additional plate type before the DMV will allow us to release them.

5. How much is the PBL plate and where does the money go?

For a set of two plates, the cost is $41.50 and is distributed this way: The Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse collect the money for the plate with payment made out to “PBL Plate.” $20 of the order will go to the Friends of Plum Beach Lighthouse and their efforts to repaint the lighthouse, $20 will go to the state to make the plate, and $1.50 is added to each order as a technology surcharge for the DMV.

6. Do I get charged every year for the new plate?

We made a conscious decision to make the fee for the PBL plate a one-time charge. The $41.50 you pay towards the PBL plate is the only payment you will have to make to the Friends. You will still need to pay your registration fee every two years to the DMV, but the fee for the new PBL plate happens only once.

7. When can I expect to receive my plate?

DMV tells us that it should take 6 to 12 weeks to get your plates. There are several factors involved with this timetable including when the ACI print shop schedules the PBL plates to be made, when the DMV sends the order to the ACI, and when in the cycle we receive your order. We are now on a monthly schedule with the DMV and each month collect orders for the plate. At the beginning of the next month we send the new orders to the DMV and they then schedule the printing of that order with the ACI. Once your order is complete you’ll be hearing from the DMV about when you can pick up your plates.

8. How long will you be selling the PBL Plates?

The PBL Plate program has only just begun. It took our organization two years to get through the regulatory process to get the right to make the plates, and now that we’ve started delivering them the program should be in place for years to come.

9. I have a Suburban plate, do I qualify?

The General Assembly has allowed us to expand the lighthouse license plate program to now allow for commercial and combination plates. There are no current plans to include suburban or other type plates.

10. Do I have to live in Rhode Island to get a PBL plate?

You must already have a Rhode Island registered car in order to get a PBL plate.

11. I collect old license plates, can I keep my old ones?

No, by Rhode Island law, in order to receive your new PBL plates, the DMV must be presented the two plates that are currently on your car. If you only have one plate to turn over to the DMV when you are picking up the PBL plate, in lieu of the plate you must have a police report for a stolen or missing plate.

12. Do I have to pick my plates up at the DMV?

Your new lighthouse plates must be picked up at the DMV, and at the present time they are only distributing them at the new headquarters at 600 New London Ave in Cranston. The DMV will notify you when your plates are ready to be picked up, and please do not go to the DMV until you get the notification from them. When you go there, go to the Plate Department on the first floor to get your plates. You will not have to wait in the main line, you do not have to get a ticket to get your plates at the Plate Department, but you must have your old plates with you to exchange them for the new lighthouse ones.

13. I’d like to get a vanity plate. Can you help me with this?

Our role is to simply replace your existing plate with a new background that includes the Plum Beach Lighthouse. If you’d like to change your current registration you must contact the DMV directly. Once you change your existing registration to the one you desire, then you can order a PBL plate provided that new plate is 5 digits or less.

14. My registration expires in July every other year. If I get the plate in June, do I have to register the car again in July?

Think of buying the PBL plate as simply replacing the look of your current one. We have nothing to do with the registration of your car, and if you get a new PBL plate in June it will come with a sticker that has the July expiration sticker on it. You will have to pay for the new registration extension for the next two years as yours expires. Whatever the expiration date sticker which is currently on your plate will still be the expiration date of your car.