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  • Plate Surrender in Hawaii

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    Your Hawaiian shirt collection isn’t the only souvenir you’ll take with you when moving out of the state. You can also take your license plates since the Department of Transportation (DOT) does not require surrendering them. Read on for other plate-transferring scenarios.

    Moving to Hawaii

    Hawaii is unique in that it is not governed by one central DMV office. Vehicle registration requirements vary by county. And unlike other states, Hawaii honors your out-of-state registration. This means you do not have to apply for Hawaii plates until your current registration expires. When you do register you may, depending on the policies of your former state, be required to surrender your old plates.

    When registering, you’ll have the choice between standard and specialized plates.

    Visit our relocation guide for information on Hawaii.

    Moving from HI

    Hawaii license plates stay with you. This means you do not have to surrender your plates after moving to a new state. Keep the plates as warm reminders, or dispose of them as you wish.

    Visit our Moving Out of Hawaii page for a list of things to take care of after settling into your new home.

    Selling a Used Car in Hawaii

    After agreeing to sell, remove the car’s license plates before handing over the keys. You then have the option to transfer the license plates to another car that’s in your name.

    NOTE: If you own specialty plates, you may be required to surrender them. Confirm with your county’s DOT office.

    Visit our Title Transfers page for more information on selling your car.

    Buying a Used Car in HI

    Hawaiian license plates stay with the owner. This means you will need to register the vehicle with your county and obtain Hawaiian license plates.

    For required documents when purchasing a vehicle, visit our Vehicle Title Transfers page.

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