License Plates & Placards in Hawaii

SUMMARY: Hawaii License Plates

You can apply for license plates in Hawaii in person at your county DMV office. When it's time to renew your tags, most counties offer renewals online, by mail, and in person. You may be able to transfer tags between vehicles, and you must replace plates or stickers if they're damaged or missing.

Read below for helpful information about license plates and tags in Hawaii.

Looking for special interest plates? Find more information on our Types of Specialty Hawaii Plates and HI Specialty Plate Applications pages.

Eligible for disabled parking? Our Disability Plates and Placards page has complete details.

Types of Hawaii License Plates

If you live in Hawaii, your vehicle must have a license plate with a sticker that shows how long it is valid. License plates are issued by your HI county's DMV office:

  • Honolulu City & County Department of Customer Services, Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing (CSD): (808) 768-4324.
  • Hawaii County Motor Vehicle Registration : (808) 961-8351.
  • Maui County Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division : (808) 270-7363.
  • Kaua'i County Department of Motor Vehicles: (808) 241-4256.

License Plate Designs

Hawaii's standard license plate features a rainbow with a white background and black lettering.

The state also offers specialty license plates, including military honor plates and personalized tags.

For details, see our pages about Types of Specialty Plates in Hawaii and Specialty Plate Applications.

If you qualify, you may be eligible for disabled parking in Hawaii. Our Disability Placards and Plates page has more information.

Temporary Tags

If you buy a vehicle in Hawaii, you may be able to get a temporary registration allowing you to drive the vehicle while you wait for your permanent HI tags.

For more information, ask your vehicle dealer or contact your county motor vehicle agency.

Apply for License Plates

To apply for your Hawaii tags, you must register your vehicle with your county's motor vehicle office.

Vehicle registration is required when you:

  • Move to Hawaii (with an out-of-state vehicle).
  • Buy a vehicle.

Each county has its own registration process, requirements, and fees. See our Vehicle Registration page for more information.

Renew Your HI Vehicle Tags

You'll need to renew your tags before the sticker on your license plate expires.

You should receive a renewal notice before the expiration date.

Most Hawaii counties offer renewal:

  • Online.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

See our Registration Renewal page for instructions.

Replace License Plates or Stickers

If your license plate or expiration sticker is lost, stolen, or damaged, you can order replacements from your county DMV in Hawaii.

The process to get replacements differs for each county.

Honolulu City & County Replacements

If you live in Honolulu and your license plates are lost or stolen, you MUST file a police report. You don't have to report damaged plates.

You can then order replacement plates and decals by submitting:

Submit your materials:

  • In person at any Satellite City Hall office.
  • By mail to:
  • Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing
    P.O. Box 30320
    Honolulu, HI 96820

Hawaii County Replacements

To order replacement plates or expiration emblems in Hawaii County, you'll need:

  • The Application for Replacement License Plate and/or Decal.
  • Your current vehicle registration.
  • Any license plates that are still in your possession.
  • Payment for the replacement fee:
    • $5.50 for a license plate AND decal.
    • $0.50 for a decal only.
    NOTE: See the application form for other fees.

NOTE: Your vehicle's safety inspection must still be valid. The motor vehicle office may request your safety inspection certificate as proof.

Submit your documents in person at a Hawaii MVR office.

Maui County Replacements

To replace your license plate or sticker in Maui County, submit:

Submit your materials in person at a Maui county motor vehicle office.

Kaua'i County Replacements

If your license plate is lost or stolen and your vehicle is registered in Kaua'i County, you MUST report it to the police.

To order replacements, you'll need to submit:

  • Form MVR 1.
    • Get the form at the Lihue office or by calling (808) 241-4256.
  • Your current registration.
  • Your inspection certificate.
  • Any license plates you still have.
  • Payment for the applicable fees. Contact the Kaua'i MVR at the number above for exact fees.

Transfer & Surrender Hawaii Tags

You'll usually be able to transfer your tags when you sell or trade a vehicle and buy another one. In general, you'll transfer tags when you register your vehicle.

You may have to surrender your license plates in some situations, such as when you:

  • Move to another state.
  • Cancel your car insurance.
  • Get a new type of license plate (e.g., specialty or personalized).

Contact your local Hawaii DMV office for more information about transferring and surrendering license plates.

Fees for License Plates

The cost of license plates varies from county to county in Hawaii.

For the most accurate and current fees, contact your county's DMV office:

  • Honolulu: (808) 768-4324.
  • Hawaii: (808) 961-8351.
  • Maui: (808) 270-7363.
  • Kaua'i: (808) 241-4256.

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