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New to Hawaii

SUMMARY: New Hawaii Residents

If you're new to Hawaii, there are many important things to take care of, like registering your vehicle and transferring your out-of-state driver's license. Each county has its own regulatory agency that you'll need to go through for these services. You'll need to obtain Hawaii car insurance, and have your vehicle inspected prior to registration. Additionally, if you want to have a voice in the next election, you'll need to re-register to vote in your new state. Military members newly stationed in Hawaii may have exemptions to certain requirements based on your active duty status.

Hawaii State Departments

Upon moving to Hawaii, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the agencies handling your various transactions with the state.

Each county has its own agency that handles licensing and registration tasks:

  • Honolulu: Division of Motor Vehicle, Licensing, and Permits (DMV).
    • Regulated by the Department of Customer Services.
  • Maui: Motor Vehicle and and Licensing Division (MV&L).
    • Regulated by the Department of Finance.
  • Kauai:
    • Motor Vehicle Section.
    • Drivers License Division.
      • Both regulated by the Department of Finance.
  • Hawaii County: Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division.
    • Regulated by the Department of Finance.

Additionally, certain agencies have state-wide authority, including:

  • The Department of Transportation: Oversees airports, harbors, and highways.
  • The State Judiciary: Enforces state laws and handles traffic violations.

Hawaii Vehicle Registration

If you're bringing your out-of-state vehicle into Hawaii, it must be registered in the county that you moved to. For more information on this topic, please refer to our Car Registration in Hawaii page.

Special Vehicles

If you own an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or a scooter or moped, the registration process is a little different. You can find more information on our page detailing Hawaii Special Vehicle Registration.

Car Insurance

Like most other states, the Hawaii DMV requires you to have adequate car insurance coverage before your car can be registered. Moving states is a great time to compare rates and make sure you're getting the best deal for your situation.

To find out about Hawaii's minimum coverage requirements and whether you could be getting more value, be sure to visit our Car Insurance in Hawaii page.

Inspection Requirements

Currently there are no emissions standards or requirements in Hawaii; however, vehicles new to the state may be subject to a safety inspection. For more information, please refer to our Hawaii Vehicle Inspections page.

HI Driver's Licenses and ID Cards

If you have an out-of-state driver's license, you will need to transfer it for a HI license. Depending on your county, you may have different deadlines for making this transfer. Contact your local HI DMV office for more information.

To learn how to apply for a standard Hawaii driver's license, you can find everything you need to know on our Adult Driver's License page.

If you're a teenager, you must meet the Hawaii graduated driver's licensing (GDL) requirements before you can obtain a full, unrestricted driver's license. For more information about learner's permits and intermediate licenses, please refer to our Teen Driver's License page.

NOTE: If you need to transfer your out-of-state commercial driver's license (CDL), visit our Replacing a Lost CDL in Hawaii page.

Identification Cards

If you don't drive a car, you'll still need a form of identification such as an identification card. To find out how to get one, please visit our Identification Cards in Hawaii page.

Voter and Organ Donor Registration

A couple of things you may forget to do is update your voter and organ donation registration details. When you change address, this information does not automatically update, you must do this yourself after your move.

For more information, visit our following pages:

NOTE: You may be able to update this information when you apply for a HI driver's license or ID card.

Active-Duty Military Stationed in HI

If you're an active-duty military member from out of state, but you're currently stationed in Hawaii, you may find our Drivers in the Military page helpful. Here you'll find information about using your out-of-state driver's license and vehicle while in HI and other benefits you and your family may receive.

Hawaii DMV Offices and Resources

Do you know where your closest Hawaii DMV office is? You can find out now by using our DMV Office Finder.

You may also want to review the following HI DMV's driver's manuals as some road rules may differ to what you're used to:

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