Hawaii driver license

Yesterday I got my new Hawaii driver license. I thought I’d celebrate by posting a blog about it.

It took less than an hour to fill out the required forms, show my identification documents, take a vision test, take the written test, and get the new license. There was no queue at the Kahului Service Centre when I showed up at 8:10 am. [Avoid the queues on Mondays or holidays, especially after Furlough Fridays.]

Those of you with out of state licenses or even non-US drivers license, you may wonder whether it’s worth getting a Hawaii state drivers license.

The reason I did it was because mine was about to expire and I could no longer renew it online. Good-bye Texas!

People who have failed the test have told me to study for the 30 multiple choice written test. I spent a good week studying the manual which includes 60 pages of multiple-choice questions (no answers but pages for finding the answers in the main text). The 171 questions allowed me to review what I needed to know.

You pass as long as you get 6 or fewer answers wrong. If you fail, you have to wait 7 days before you can take it again. The test is just $2.00. You can take it an unlimited number of times, though you do need to pay each time.

If your license expires, then you also need to take the road test.

Here’s what you need to bring to the service center:

  1. Your social security card — not a photocopy and not a laminated one of the original. It has to be the original card, naked and not laminated. [Alternatively, use your Hawaii State Identification Card, Medicare Card, or Military ID or an original DD-214.]
  2. Your current driving license – cleared from all stoppers.
  3. Cash or cheque. You cannot pay by debit or credit card.

Note: if you don’t have your original social security card, you can ask for a replacement at the Social Security Office in Wailuku. It’s free.

What does it cost?

  • $2.00 for the written test
  • $10.00 to cancel your previous driver license from out of state. Sorry, you don’t get to keep it.
  • $40 for a Hawaii driver license which is valid for 8 years.

Total: $52.00

Unlike other states, Hawaii currently does not have an online license renewal system. Let’s hope it will in 8 years time!

Useful links:


About BLOGmaiden

As one of the earliest bloggers (since 1999), I enjoy meeting people who embrace "out-of-the-box" thinking and fear not the unknown. I believe in collaboration for sustainability because it increases stakeholder value.
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7 Responses to Hawaii driver license

  1. Ronnie says:

    Getting a Hawaii license is a HUGE plus if you live here. It entitles you to Kamaaina discounts which can be significant — hotel stays and tour activities are much cheaper and in some places, admission fees are waived. Good move on your part!

    Getting a license on Oahu is much more complicated. You need to make an appt for the road test and it is about a 3 month wait. Otherwise, you need to go down at 4 a.m. to line up for a walk-in appt. Space is limited.


  2. Beiyi says:

    Do you need to show proof of residency when applying for Hi driver license?


  3. Maui guy says:

    No but you need to show proof of citizenship (passport). Also need your SSN!


  4. Here is a site that has the manual highlighted with 170 practice tests:


  5. Melanie K Furrer says:

    Why would you need to take written test all over again?


  6. Tyler says:

    You may also need a qualified and licensed car & if your license expired you’ll also need a permit and a licensed driver to accompany you. The process can be complex with a lot of catches and strict qualifications. If you need a legal, qualified rental car with or without a full license that meets the requirements then Cruisin Maui Rent-A-Car has what you need. We can pick you up and provide you with a ride to the DMV Road Test Appointment, provide the car and licensed accompanying driver. We also have free advise for anyone looking for help, feel free to call or send us an email 🙂
    Tyler Dalley

    1.808.866.MAUI (6284)


  7. Pingback: Kama’aina in Lahaina | Maui Tips for Newcomers

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