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Hawaii Driver License

There are 3 types of driver licenses that you can obtain  in Hawaii:

  1. Instruction Permit. If you are between 15 ½ and 18 you can apply for this license. It’s the first phase of a three-stage graduated licensing program for drivers under age 18.
  2. Provisional Driver License. If you hold your instruction permit for at least 180 days you can apply for the provisional license, which is the second phase of a three-stage graduated licensing program.
  3. Full Driver’s License. If you hold your provisional license for at least 6 months you can apply for the full driver’s license. But, if you don’t have a provisional license you can apply for the full one as a first-timer.

In Hawaii Driver’s License Classes

In the state of Hawaii, there are almost 5 driver’s license classes. And, for each type of license, there’s a corresponding type of instruction permit.

Class 3 Driver’s license

This is the regular non-commercial driver’s license. With this license, you are allowed to operate any passenger car or any single vehicle. The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) should not exceed 18,000 pounds. Moreover, any vehicle is designed to carry no more than 15 passengers including the driver.

Class 1/2 (Moped/Motorcycle) Driver’s License

In short, class 1 allows you to operate mopeds on highways. Class 2 allows you to operate motorcycles.

Class A Driver’s License

In short, class A allows you to operate any combination of truck/tractor and trailer that exceeds 26,001 GVWR pounds with a trailer that exceeds 10,001 GVWR.

Class B Driver’s License

To clarify, class B is for any single vehicle that has a GVWR of 26,001 pounds.

Class C Driver’s License

Class C is for any single vehicle that does not meet the GVWR of Class B but requires passenger or hazardous endorsement.
These class A, B, and C licenses are commercial.

Hawaii Driver License Requirements

If you are a driver in the state of Hawaii or want to become one, you will need to obtain a Hawaii driver’s license. To get a license, you will need to provide several documents, pass a vision test, written and road tests.

There are 3 types of driver’s licenses that you can obtain:

  1. Instruction Permit. If you are between 15 ½ and 18 you can apply for this license. It’s the first phase of a three-stage graduated licensing program for drivers under age 18
  2. Provisional Driver’s License. If you hold your instruction permit for at least 180 days you can apply for the provisional license, which is the second phase of a three-stage graduated licensing program
  3. Full Driver’s License. If you hold your provisional license for at least 6 months you can apply for the full driver’s license. But, if you don’t have a provisional license you can apply for the full one as a first-timer

Instruction Permit

A Hawaii driver’s instructional permit allows you to practice driving, supervised by a licensed driver who’s at least 21 years old. He should sit in the front seat next to you. You can’t drive alone from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

How to apply

  1. Visit the Hawaii Driver Licensing Office. But, before you visit the office make sure they provide that service and make an appointment.
  2. Complete the application form and have your parent’s signature.
  3. Pass a vision test.
  4. Pay a total of $12 for the application form, written exam, and instruction permit.
  5. Pass a written test.
  6. Take a photo of yourself.

The required documents

Submit the documents to verify your

  • a. Identity, including your legal name
  • b. Date of birth
  • c. Social Security Number
  • d. US citizenship, and residential address

You will receive the permit within 2 to 4 weeks by mail.

Provisional Driver’s License

With this DL you will be able to drive unsupervised. But there are several restrictions you should follow. For example, you can’t drive alone between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. Or, you may not carry more than one passenger younger than 18 years of age who is not your family member.

How to apply

To be able to apply for the provisional license you should hold an instruction permit for at least 180 days (6 months):

  1. Take a driver’s education course at a local public or a state-certified private school
  2. Take a road test. You should pass the test under the supervision of a 21 years old licensed driver and with your own car
  3. Pay $16 for the application, road test, and license

The required documents

Submit the documents to verify your

  • a. Identity, including your legal name
  • b. Date of birth
  • c. Social Security Number
  • d. US citizenship
  • e. Residential address
  • f. Certificates from your driver’s education course

You will receive your license within 2 to 4 weeks by mail.

Full Class 3 Driver’s License

When you turn 17 you can upgrade your provisional license to the full driver’s license. But, if you don’t want you should do it in your 19s.

So, to upgrade the provisional license:

  1. Visit a Hawaii Driver Licensing office and submit the application form
  2. Pay $26

The required documents

  • a. Your provisional license
  • b. Proof of your legal presence in the US

You will receive your DL within 2 to 4 weeks.

If you are going to apply for the first time you should:

  1. Visit the Hawaii Driver Licensing Office
  2. Complete the application form
  3. Pass a vision test
  4. Pay $12 as an application, written, and road exams fee
  5. Pass a written test
  6. Take a photo of yourself
  7. Pass a road test
  8. Pay your license fee. If you are 24 or younger you should pay $20. Your license will be valid for 4 years

The required documents

  • Identity, including your legal name
  • Date of birth
  • Social Security Number
  • US citizenship
  • Residential address

You will receive the permit within 2 to 4 weeks by mail.

Hawaii Driver’s license renewal

To renew your Hawaii DL you should either visit the licensing center or do it by mail.

Renew in person

  1. Visit the nearest licensing center,
  2. Pay the renewal fee.

If you are from 25 to 71 you should pay $40. Your new license will be valid for 8 years.
For people who are 72 and older the payment is $10 and the license is valid for 2 years.

The required documents

  • Current driver’s license,
  • Proof of your identity,
  • Proof of legal presence in the US, and
  • Social Security Number.

You can renew your DL 6 months before the license expiration date. You have 90 days as a grace period.

Renew by mail

Write a letter requesting renewal by mail

Submit the documents to prove the following:

  1. Your identity, including your legal name
  2. Your date of birth
  3. Your Hawaii driver’s license number
  4. Your phone number or email address
  5. Your mailing address
  6. Your signature

You will receive an answer with the list of required documents.

Send the documents needed and payment check to the following address:

Department of Finance
Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division
Driver License Section
349 Kapiolani Street
Hilo, HI 96720

If you are from 25 to 71 you should pay $40. Your new license will be valid for 8 years.

For people who are 72 and older the payment is $10 and the license is valid for 2 years.

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