Tax Collection Division


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Why did I get a tax bill for a car that I don’t own anymore? Or I moved from East Providence, why am I getting a vehicle tax bill from there?

Answer: Motor vehicle excise taxes are charged for the period that the vehicle was registered, as well as where it was registered, in the previous calendar year, not the current calendar year. For instance, your 2014 excise tax bill reflects vehicles that you owned in 2013. Please be aware that vehicle excise tax information is provided to East Providence from the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles. If you no longer own a vehicle, make sure that you turn your plates into the RI DMV, as this is the only way to end taxation on that vehicle. Additionally, if you move, make certain that you notify the RI DMV of your new address.

Question: Why can’t I register my car on-line?

Answer: If your motor vehicle registration renewal form indicates that you have unpaid excise taxes due to the City of East Providence, you cannot renew your registration on-line because you must pay the outstanding taxes to the Treasury Department, and then obtain an approval stamp on your vehicle registration form prior to being eligible for renewal.

Question: I need to register my vehicle right away, but I am blocked from doing so because I owe excise taxes. Why can’t I pay my excise taxes with a personal check?

Answer: Personal checks can take up to two weeks to clear your account. If you have sufficient time before your registration expires, you can certainly pay by personal check. However, if you require same-day clearance to register your car you will have to pay your entire due vehicle excise tax in person at the East Providence Tax Collection Department by cash, bank check or credit card. Please note that credit card payments are subject to a 3% convenience fee that the City of East Providence receives no part of.

Question: I escrow my real estate taxes, why am I receiving a tax bill?

Answer: You will receive a copy of your bill even if you escrow. It most likely won't be necessary to send your mortgage company a copy. If we have received a request from your mortgage company, they will be sent the information automatically.