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Special Licenses in Hawaii

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Special Driver's License Classes and Endorsements in Hawaii

Depending on what kind of vehicle you want to drive and how many passengers you want to carry, you may need a license class or endorsement other than your non-commercial driver's license.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT) will likely offer the driver's license class or endorsement you need.

On this page you'll find general information on the classes of licenses available.

If you need information about applying for a standard driver's license, please visit our pages on:

Hawaii Commercial Driver's License

If you want to drive a heavy vehicle or a vehicle that can transport a large number of passengers, you'll likely need to apply for a commercial driver's license (CDL).

Vehicles that usually require a CDL with special endorsements include school buses, city buses, and vehicles transporting hazardous materials.

Depending on the class of CDL you need to apply for, you'll likely need to:

  • Pass a CDL-class specific written test.
  • Take a driving skills test in the type of vehicle you want to drive.
  • Pay a commercial driver's licensing fee.

For more information about obtaining a new commercial driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Hawaii page.

Bus License

All school bus drivers will generally need to:

  • Obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) with "P" and "S" endorsements.
  • Pass a physical exam.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Pass a traffic history check and maintain a clean driving record.
  • Become certified and trained as a school bus driver.
  • Pass a school bus written test.
  • Take a driving skills test in the type of bus they want to drive.

Taxi License Requirements in HI

There are no statewide rules for owning a taxi driver's license. Each municipality sanctions its own requirements.

Honolulu, for example, requires:

  • Passing a written test.
  • Passing a location test.
  • Passing a Honolulu Police Department criminal background check.

You may also need to:

  • Pass a physical exam.
  • Maintain a clean driving record.
  • Pass a driver's training course or taxi driver training course.

Contact your local city government for the requirements in your jurisdiction.

Hawaii Shuttle Van Requirements

No commercial driver's license (CDL) is required, provided the van you're driving does not:

  • Carry at least 16 passengers or more, including yourself.
  • Exceed 26,001 lbs in gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).

Contact the Hawaii DMV for more information.

Sport Vehicles

Thrill Crafts

No one under 15 years old can operate a "thrill craft," which Hawaii categorizes as:

  • Jet skis.
  • Wet bikes.
  • Wave-runners.
  • Surf jets.
  • Miniature speed boats.
  • Hovercrafts.
  • Any other fun-machine that employs an internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump for propulsion, and is designed to be steered while standing, sitting, or kneeling.

The state also recommends that if you're under 16 years old, you have an adult with you, who can immediately take over control of the craft in case of trouble.

For certain types of vehicles, you may need to obtain a motorcycle license. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Hawaii page.

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