Driver's License Examination
A driver’s license examination includes a test of the applicant’s eyesight (20/40 visual acuity required) and any further physical examination the examiner of drivers finds necessary to determine the applicant’s fitness to operate a vehicle, a written exam demonstrating ability to understand highway signs and rules of the road, and a roadside examination.
Every applicant under 18 years old must provide proof of completion of an approved driver education program and a behind-the-wheel training course.
An applicant that is at least 16 years old, but not more than 17 years old, will not be examined by the examiner of drivers unless the applicant has held a valid instruction permit for at least 90 days.
The examination for an instruction permit does not include a roadside test.
An applicant who fails the knowledge or practical test must wait 1 week before retaking the exam.
Graduated Driver's Licensing
Hawaii has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15 and 6 months, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit.
- Permit holders must hold it for at least 6 months, and must practice driving for at least 50 hours, including 10 hours at night.
At age 16, drivers are eligible for an intermediate license.
- During this stage, individuals may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (exceptions include driving to and from work or authorized school activities).
- Transportation of more than 1 passenger under age 18 who is not a family member also is prohibited during this stage.
- Drivers must remain free of convictions for traffic related offenses and may not be at fault for any crashes in order to progress in the graduated licensing program.
Drivers who have held a provisional license for 6 months and are at least 17 years of age, or have turned age 18, are eligible for an unrestricted license.
Driver education is required for all license applicants under age 18.
Driver's License Issuance/Application
A license will not be issued to any person whose license has been suspended or revoked, or has within 2 years been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Learner’s permit may be issued to a person who is at least 15 years old; such permits are valid for 1 year and allow the holder to operate a vehicle, other than a motorcycle, only when a licensed driver at least 18 years old accompanies the permit holder in the vehicle.
A driver’s license may be issued to a person who is at least 16 years old, but less than 18 years old, but such persons must provide proof that they have completed an approved driver education program and a behind-the-wheel training course in this state or a prior state.
An application by any person under 18 years of age for a driver’s license or instruction permit must be signed by the applicant’s father and mother, the custodial parent or guardian(s), or any responsible individual who is willing to assume obligation for negligence or misconduct of the minor applicant; whichever individual(s) signs for the applicant will be held jointly and severally liable for any negligence or misconduct by the minor applicant when driving a motor vehicle.
All applicants must produce a valid motor vehicle or liability insurance identification card; the examiner of drivers will not issue a license without such liability card.
An application for a driver’s license or temporary permit must include such information as necessary to allow the examiner of drivers to register the applicant with the United States Selective Service System; failure to include such information will cause the examiner of drivers to refuse to issue a license or permit.
A license must include a color photograph. License does not include social security number.
Anyone applying for an original or renewal of their Hawaii driver’s license or permit must show proof of legal presence in the U.S.
Allows a person who does not have a social security number to receive a driver’s license if they have a Social Security Administration letter stating that the applicant is ineligible to obtain a social security number; and either show a government issued photo identification document or other identification documents deemed as acceptable by the DMV Director.
If the holder of a license changes residence or his or her name, the licensee must notify the examiner of drivers, in writing, of the person’s old and new addresses, or former and new name, within 30 days of the change; failure to comply with these rules carries a fine of not more than $25.
Driver's License Renewal
Licenses expire on the first birthday of the licensee not less than 8 years after the license was issued. If the licensee is 24 years old or younger, the license will expire on the first birthday of the licensee not less than 4 years after the license was issued. If the licensee is 72 years old or older the license expires 2 years after the date of issuance. An application for renewal may not be made more than 6 months prior to expiration of a license, and an application for renewal that is made more than 90 days after expiration of an old license will be treated as an application for a new license and the applicant will be examined as such.
A license holder seeking renewal must apply in person before the examiner of drivers but is not required to undergo re-examination of the person’s driving skills.
No driver’s license will be renewed until the applicant has passed the vision test.
Application for renewal may be made by mail if the licensee holds a category (1), (2), or (3) license and is temporarily absent from the state when the license expires. The licensee must submit a statement from a licensed physician not more than 6 months prior to the date of expiration of the license indicating the applicant meets the necessary physical requirements to operate a vehicle and the licensee must also include a notarized statement certifying he or she is a resident of the state and does not hold a valid license from any other jurisdiction.
Active duty military personnel and their accompanying dependents are exempt from renewal requirements if their drivers license expires while they are deployed outside of the United States until 30 days after return to the U.S.
Types of Driver's Licenses
Licenses are issued according to 4 categories:
Category (1) permits operation of a moped.
Category (2) permits operation of a motorcycle or a motor scooter.
Category (3) permits operation of passenger cars of any GVWR, buses designed to carry 15 or fewer passengers, and trucks or vans with a GVWR of 18,000 lbs. or less.
Category (4) permits operation of any category (3) vehicle and any non-commercial vehicle having a GVWR of between 18,001 and 26,000 lbs.