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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Hawaii

    SUMMARY: How to Apply for a Hawaii Driver's License

    You will need to apply for your HI driver’s license in person at a DMV office. You will need to pass a vision exam, written test, and driving skills test. You will need to submit various documents and pay the required fees, which differ depending on the county you live in.

    Continue reading to learn more about applying for a driver’s license in your Hawaii county.

    NOTE: If you’re a teenager, you will need to meet the requirements of the graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) program before you will be eligible for a driver’s license. Please see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) page for more information.

    New to Hawaii?

    If you’ve just moved to Hawaii from another U.S. state, you may be able to transfer your current out-of-state driver’s license. Your procedures and requirements may differ depending on which Hawaii county you reside in.

    You will generally need to provide all of the required documents as outlined below in addition to surrendering your out-of-state driver’s license. As long as your out-of-state license is valid, your driving test may be waived, but you will still need to pass the written knowledge and eye test.

    NOTE: If you live in Maui county, you will also need to submit a signed notification letter stating you voluntarily surrendered your driver’s license.

    For more information, contact your local Hawaii DMV office.

    Types of Hawaii Driver’s Licenses

    In Hawaii, there are different types of licenses issued depending on your age and the vehicle you are driving.

    Eligibility Requirements

    Generally, you will be eligible for a regular Class 3 driver’s license if:

    • You are 17 years old and have completed the graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.
      OR
    • You are 18 years old.

    NOTE: Regardless of your age, the Kauai Treasury Division of Finance requires you hold a Hawaii instruction permit or out-of-state driver’s license before you can apply for a driver’s license in the county.

    Contact your local Hawaii DMV office before applying to make sure you’re eligible.

    Apply for a HI Driver’s License

    To apply for your driver’s license, you will need to visit your local Hawaii DMV office with:

    • A completed State of Hawaii Driver License Application.
    • Proof of your identity and legal U.S. presence, such as your:
      • U.S. passport.
      • U.S. birth certificate (certified copy).
      • Foreign passport with valid U.S. visa.
    • Proof of your Hawaii residential address (2 documents), such as your:
      • Recent bank statement.
      • W-2 form.
      • Mortgage agreement.
    • Proof of your Social Security number (SSN), such as your:
      • Social Security card.
      • W-2 form.
      • 1099 form from a previous year.
    • Proof of your name change (if applicable), such as your:
      • Marriage certificate.
      • Court order.
      • Divorce decree.
    • Payment for the required fees.

    For a complete list of accepted and required documents, please see the Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) website.

    You will also be required to pass the following tests:

    • Vision exam.
    • Written knowledge.
    • Road (driving) test.

    Driver’s License Tests

    In addition to passing a standard eye exam, you will need to pass both a written knowledge and driving test in order to obtain your first Hawaii driver’s license.

    Written Test

    Your written test will include questions based on information found in the Hawaii DMV Driving Manual. Topics include:

    • Local traffic laws.
    • Road signs.
    • Safe driving techniques.

    Generally, you will be given multiple choice test, of which you must get a certain number correct in order to pass. .

    If you fail the exam, you may have to wait a certain number of days before re-taking it. There is usually a waiting period of before you can re-take the exam.

    NOTE: The Hawaii has an oral option if you need the test read out loud to you. The is a higher fee for this service. If you live in Honolulu county, the oral exam is offered at the City Square and Wahiawa offices only.

    Driving Test

    To take your driving test, you will need to provide a vehicle, a current safety inspection certificate, and no-fault insurance card. Contact the Hawaii DMV before your test to make sure you have all the documents you need.

    You will be tested on your ability to safely operate your vehicle and follow road signs and traffic rules.

    Hawaii County

    You can take your road test at any of the following Hawaii Department of Finance offices:

    • Hilo.
    • Kona.*
    • Pahoa.*
    • Na’alehu.*

    * Appointment required.

    To make an appointment, simply call the office you plan to visit, or send an email request to roadtestappt@hawaiicounty.gov.

    Fees for a HI Driver’s License

    You will need to pay various fees to obtain your Hawaii driver’s license. These fees may vary depending on which county you live in. For more fee information, including accepted payment methods, contact your local HI DMV office directly.

    NOTE: Some offices do not accept credit/debit cards.

    Hawaii County

    • Application fee: $1.
    • Written test: $1.
    • Oral test: $10.
    • Skills test: $10.
    • Driver’s license:
      • 18 to 24 years old: $20 (for 4 years).
      • 25 to 71 years old: $40 (for 8 years).
      • 72 years old or older: $10 (for 2 years).
      • Valid for 1 year or less: $5.

    Honolulu

    • Skills test: $8.
    • Written test: $2.
      • If you need the test read out to you, you will need to visit City Square or Wahiawa office and pay a $10 fee.
    • Driver's license:
      • 17 to 24 years old: $20 (for 4 years).
      • 25 to 71 years old: $40 (for 8 years).
      • 72 years old or older: $10 (for 2 years).
    • Non-U.S. citizen verification (if applicable): $1.

    Maui County

    • Written test: $2.
    • Oral test: $2.
    • Skills test: $10.
    • Driver’s license:
      • 16 to 24 years old: $20 for 4 years.
      • 25 to 71 years old: $40 for 8 years.
      • 72 years old and older: $10 for 2 years.

    Kauai County

    • Written test: $2.
    • Oral exam (in place of written test): $10.
    • Skills test: $10.
    • Driver’s license:
      • $8 for 2 years.
      • $16 for 4 years.
      • $32 for 8 years.
    • Verification of lawful U.S. presence: $1.
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