Getting a Hawaii Drivers License Or State ID

Posted Jan 11, 2012 at 5:08pm

If you have an unexpired drivers license from another U.S. state, Canada, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands: You may continue to use that license to drive in Hawaii, as long as you are at least 18 years old. If you are under age 18, you must apply for a Hawaii license as a new applicant.

If you have a drivers license from another U.S. state/territory: Make sure you transfer your out-of-state U.S. license to a Hawaii license before it expires, so you’ll only need to take a written drivers test to get the Hawaii license. If you let your out-of-state license expire before getting a Hawaii license, then you’ll have to take a written test plus a road test. Military members: If your license expires while you’re deployed outside the U.S. on active military duty, your license will remain valid for 90 days after your return to the U.S.

If you continue to use your out-of-state driver’s license, you should still get a state ID card as proof of your Hawaii residence. Having this quick proof of residence is useful for many things: getting kama’iana discounts, applying for a Hawaii library card, getting a Hawaii P.O. box, and lots more.

If you are licensed to drive in another country (other than the ones mentioned above): You may drive in Hawaii for up to 1 year after entering the U.S., provided that you have:

  • A valid drivers license from a country that is listed as a result of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949), and the Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American States. (For a complete listing of recognized countries, call AAA at 808-593-2221.)
  • An International Driving Permit.
  • A valid passport showing the date you entered the U.S.

If you have never had a drivers license before, OR your out-of-state license is not valid for use in Hawaii, OR you are under age 18: You must apply for a Hawaii license as a new applicant.

Getting a Hawaii state ID

To get a Hawaii state ID card:

  • Legal name and date of birth
  • Legal presence in the U.S.
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of principal residence in Hawaii (two documents required)

Transferring an out-of-state U.S. drivers license to a Hawaii license

NOTE: You may transfer your out-of-state U.S. drivers license only if it hasn’t expired yet. If it has already expired then it is no longer transferable, and you must apply for a Hawaii drivers license as a new applicant. Military members: If your license expires while you’re deployed outside the U.S. on active military duty, your license will remain valid for 90 days after your return to the U.S.

To transfer your drivers license from another U.S. state/territory to a Hawaii drivers license:
  1. You must be at least 18 years old. (If you’re under 18, you must get a Hawaii drivers license as a new applicant.)
  2. Identify the type of Hawaii drivers license(s) you want:
    1. Class 1 license – For driving mopeds only. A moped is defined by the state of Hawaii as a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle with a motor that has no more than 2 horsepower.
    2. Class 2 license – For driving motorcycles and mopeds.
    3. Class 3 license – For driving vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 15,000 pounds or less, and that transport 15 or fewer passengers (including the driver). This includes most cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. This also includes mopeds, but not motorcycles.
    4. Class 4 license – For driving any non-commercial motor vehicles with a GVWR up to 26,000 pounds, such as travel trailers, RVs, and motorhomes. This also includes mopeds, but not motorcycles. You must be at least 21 years old and have a Class 3 license to apply.
    5. Class A, B, or C licenses – For driving commercial vehicles. You must be at least 21 years old to apply. The rest of this article focuses only on non-commercial drivers licenses, but you can find out more about Class A, B, and C licenses at the State of Hawaii’s Motor Vehicle Safety Office webpage (scroll down to “Commercial Drivers” section).
  3. Study the Hawaii Driver’s Manual and Test Questions, and take Practice Test Part 1 and Part 2. This will prepare you for the general knowledge written exam. Hard copies of the Hawaii Driver’s Manual are also available at Long’s drugstores, bookstores, and Hawaii public libraries. If you are transferring a Class 1 (moped) or Class 2 (motorcycle) license, study the Motorcycle Operator Manual as well.
  4. If you are a foreign national: Go to the nearest Social Security office and apply for a Social Security number. If you’re not eligible to receive one, have the office fax a letter verifying this to a Hawaii drivers licensing office in your county (see locations in next step below).
  5. Go to a drivers license office in your county: City & County of Honolulu (Oahu), Maui County (Maui, Molokai & Lana’i), Hawaii County (Big Island), and Kauai County (Kauai).
  6. Bring with you:
    1. Unexpired, out-of-state U.S. drivers license.
    2. If you are eligible to get one: Original Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”), Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”).
    3. Proof of legal presence (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page titled “List of Acceptable Documents: Hawaii Drivers License” and look under the column labeled “Legal Presence”).
    4. Hawaii vehicle registration certificate. (Mopeds require a Hawaii bicycle registration certificate instead: City & County of Honolulu, Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County.)
    5. Hawaii vehicle safety inspection certificate.
    6. Vehicle insurance card. (Not required for mopeds.)
    7. If you have a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, then also bring a completed Medical Report form.
    8. If you were deployed outside the U.S. on military duty when your license expired, then also bring your military ID and deployment orders that show when and where you were deployed, including the date you returned to the U.S.
    9. If the names on any of the above documents don’t match due to a legal name change, then also bring documentation of the name change: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”).
  7. Fill out an application for an out-of-state transfer. If your county doesn’t have such a form, fill out an application for a new drivers license — make sure it’s for the class of license you want (Class 1, Class 2, etc.).
  8. Take the general knowledge written test. (If you can’t read or write in English, this test can also be administered orally.) If you fail the written test, you must wait at least 7 days before retaking it.
  9. Take a vision test.
  10. Upon passing the written test and vision test, you will be given a Hawaii drivers license that is valid for 8 years.
  11. Pay your fees (cash or check only). Fees will vary, depending on the county you live in. Estimated fees: $4 for application, $2 for written test, $10 if written test must be administered orally, $40 for license.
  12. Relinquish your out-of-state U.S. drivers license. (Hawaii state law will not allow you to have 2 valid drivers licenses at the same time, so if you have any sentimental attachments to your out-of-state license, make sure you make a photocopy of it before getting your Hawaii license!)

Getting a Hawaii license as a new applicant

If you are under age 18:
  1. Wait until you are at least 15 1/2 years old (15 years, 6 months).
  2. Identify the type of Hawaii drivers license(s) you want:
    1. Class 1 license – For driving mopeds only. A moped is defined by the state of Hawaii as a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle with a motor that has no more than 2 horsepower.
    2. Class 2 license – For driving motorcycles and mopeds.
    3. Class 3 license – For driving vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 15,000 pounds or less, and that transport 15 or fewer passengers (including the driver). This includes most cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. This also includes mopeds, but not motorcycles
  3. Study the Hawaii Driver’s Manual and Test Questions, and take Practice Test Part 1 and Part 2. This will prepare you for the general knowledge written exam. Print copies of the Hawaii Driver’s Manual are also available at Long’s drugstores, bookstores, and Hawaii public libraries. If you want a Class 1 (moped) or Class 2 (motorcyle) license, study the Motorcycle Operator Manual as well.
  4. Go to a drivers license office in your county: City & County of Honolulu (Oahu), Maui County (Maui, Molokai & Lana’i), Hawaii County (Big Island), and Kauai County (Kauai).
  5. Bring with you:
    1. Original or certified copy of birth certificate.
    2. Original Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”), Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”).
    3. Proof of legal presence (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page titled “List of Acceptable Documents: Hawaii Drivers License” and look under the column labeled “Legal Presence”).
    4. If the names on any of the above documents don’t match due to a legal name change, then also bring documentation of the name change: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”).
    5. Parent(s) listed on the birth certificate (to sign a consent form in the presence of the examiner) or a notarized consent form that has been signed by the parents/guardians. Consent forms: Maui County (forms for all other counties are available only at their offices). Other acceptable signatures: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Signature Filing for Minors”), Maui County, Hawaii County, and Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Signature Filing for Minors”).
  6. Fill out an application for an instructional drivers permit — make sure its for the class of license you want to eventually get (Class 1, Class 2, etc.).
  7. Take the general knowledge written test. (If you can’t read or write in English, this test can also be administered orally.) If you fail the written test, you must wait at least 7 days before retaking it.
  8. Take a vision test.
  9. Upon passing the written test and vision test, you will be given an instructional drivers permit. Whenever you drive, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older (not required if you drive a moped or motorcycle). If you drive between 11pm-5am, that licensed driver must be your parent/guardian. If you drive a moped or motorcycle, you must wear a helmet and you are not allowed to carry any passengers or drive during hours of darkness.
  10. Pay your fees (cash or check only). Fees will vary, depending on the county you live in. Estimated fees: $4 for application, $2 for written test, $10 if written test must be administered orally, $10 for permit.
  11. Hold your instructional permit for at least 180 days.
  12. Complete a state-certified driver education program.
  13. Schedule an appointment to take a road test in your county: City & County of Honolulu, Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County.
  14. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the road test.
  15. Bring to the road test:
    1. Licensed driver age 21 or older
    2. Instructional drivers permit
    3. Driver Education Student Completion Certificate
    4. Behind-the-Wheel Student Completion Certificate
    5. Vehicle safety inspection certificate
    6. Vehicle insurance card (not required for mopeds)
    7. Vehicle registration certificate (bicycle registration certificate for mopeds)
    8. Proof of legal presence (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page titled “List of Acceptable Documents: Hawaii Drivers License” and look under the column labeled “Legal Presence”).
    9. If the names on any of the above documents don’t match due to a legal name change, then also bring documentation of the name change: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”).
  16. Upon passing your road test, you’ll receive your provisional drivers license. When you drive, you can’t transport more than one person under age 18 (unless they’re a household member) without a parent/guardian accompanying you. If you drive between 11pm-5am, you must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.
  17. Pay your fees (cash or check only). Fees will vary, depending on the county you live in. Estimated fees: $10 for road test, $5 for provisional license.
  18. Hold your provisional drivers license for at least 6 months (and don’t get any traffic tickets).
  19. Wait until you are at least 17 years old.
  20. Return to a drivers licensing office in your county to receive your full Hawaii drivers license! Your driving is no longer restricted.

If you are at least 18 years old:
  1. Identify the type of Hawaii drivers license(s) you want:
    1. Class 1 license – For driving mopeds only. A moped is defined by the state of Hawaii as a 2- or 3-wheeled vehicle with a motor that has no more than 2 horsepower.
    2. Class 2 license – For driving motorcycles and mopeds.
    3. Class 3 license – For driving vehicles with a GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of 15,000 pounds or less, and that transport 15 or fewer passengers (including the driver). This includes most cars, SUVs, minivans, and pickup trucks. This also includes mopeds, but not motorcycles
    4. Class 4 license – For driving any non-commercial motor vehicles with a GVWR up to 26,000 pounds, such as travel trailers, RVs, and motorhomes. This also includes mopeds, but not motorcycles. You must be at least 21 years old and have a Class 3 license to apply.
    5. Class A, B, or C licenses – For driving commercial vehicles. You must be at least 21 years old to apply. The rest of this article focuses only on non-commercial drivers licenses, but you can find out more about Class A, B, and C licenses at the State of Hawaii’s Motor Vehicle Safety Office webpage (scroll down to “Commercial Drivers” section).
  2. Study the Hawaii Driver’s Manual and Test Questions, and take Practice Test Part 1 and Part 2. This will prepare you for the general knowledge written exam. Print copies of the Hawaii Driver’s Manual are also available at Long’s drugstores, bookstores, and Hawaii public libraries. If you want a Class 1 (moped) or Class 2 (motorcyle) license, study the Motorcycle Operator Manual as well.
  3. If you are a foreign national: Go to the nearest Social Security office and apply for a Social Security number. If you’re not eligible to receive one, have the office fax a letter verifying this to a Hawaii drivers licensing office in your county (see locations in next step below).
  4. Go to a drivers license office in your county: City & County of Honolulu (Oahu), Maui County (Maui, Molokai & Lana’i), Hawaii County (Big Island), and Kauai County (Kauai).
  5. Bring with you:
    1. If you are a foreign national – Valid passport with I-94 card attached.
    2. If you are eligible to get one – Social Security Card or other proof of your Social Security number: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”), Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Social Security Number”).
    3. If you are not a foreign national – Original or certified copy of birth certificate, or other proof of your birth date: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Name and Birth Date: Including 18 years old”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Proof of Name and Birth Date: Including 18 years old”).
    4. If you are not a foreign national – Photo ID.
    5. Proof of legal presence (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page titled “List of Acceptable Documents: Hawaii Drivers License” and look under the column labeled “Legal Presence”).
    6. If the names on any of the above documents don’t match due to a legal name change, then also bring documentation of the name change: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”).
  6. Fill out an application for an instructional drivers permit — make sure its for the class of license you want to eventually get (Class 1, Class 2, etc.).
  7. Take the general knowledge written test. (If you can’t read or write in English, this test can also be administered orally.) If you fail the written test, you must wait at least 7 days before retaking it.
  8. Take a vision test.
  9. Upon passing the written test and vision test, you will be given an instructional drivers permit. Whenever you drive, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older (not required if you drive a moped or motorcycle).
  10. Pay your fees (cash or check only). Fees will vary, depending on the county you live in. Estimated fees: $4 for application, $2 for written test, $10 if written test must be administered orally, $10 for permit.
  11. As soon as you’re ready, schedule an appointment to take a road test in your county: City & County of Honolulu, Maui County, Hawaii County, Kauai County.
  12. Make sure your vehicle is ready for the road test.
  13. Bring to the road test:
    1. Licensed driver age 21 or older
    2. Instructional drivers permit
    3. Vehicle safety inspection certificate
    4. Vehicle insurance card (not required for mopeds)
    5. Vehicle registration certificate (bicycle registration certificate for mopeds)
    6. Proof of legal presence (scroll down to the chart at the bottom of the page titled “List of Acceptable Documents: Hawaii Drivers License” and look under the column labeled “Legal Presence”).
    7. If the names on any of the above documents don’t match due to a legal name change, then also bring documentation of the name change: City & County of Honolulu (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”), Hawaii County, Kauai County (scroll down to “Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Sex, Birthdate”).
  14. Upon passing your road test, you’ll receive a Hawaii drivers license that is valid for:
    1. Ages 18-24: 4 years
    2. Ages 25-71: 8 years
    3. Age 72 and older: 2 years
  15. Pay your fees (cash or check only). Fees will vary, depending on the county you live in. Estimated fees: $10 for road test, $40 for license.
  16. Relinquish any out-of-state drivers license that have (including foreign drivers licenses). Hawaii state law will not allow you to have 2 valid drivers licenses at the same time, so if you have any sentimental attachments to your out-of-state license, make sure you make a photocopy of it before getting your Hawaii license!

For more up-to-date, detailed info on moving to Hawaii, check out my e-book: Moving To Hawaii: A Step-By-Step Guide

Posted in Kids, Moving

Comments

  1. Melanie Hill

    I applied for state id Last year December 03, 2013 with my son. HE ALREADY RECEIVED HIS STATE ID, BUT I HAVE NOT RECEIVE MY STATE ID, CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT HAPPEN TO IT OR WHEN SHOULD I RECEIVE IT?

    • Michele Meyer

      Hi, Melanie:

      It looks like the state changed their process for getting ID cards at the beginning of January, so your application may have gotten lost in the shuffle. To get a state ID card, you must now apply in person at a driver licensing location (they provide a list). Try giving one of the locations near you a call to see if your application is still being processed, or visit them in person.

      Good luck!
      Michele

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