Search
Search & Choose State
  • Location:

  • Title Transfers in Hawaii

    Introduction

    This page details how to update your HI title when a car transfers ownership in Hawaii, including when you buy a car, inherit a car, pay off a car loan, get a car as a gift, or when the owner’s legal name changes.

    Hawaii Title Transfer

    A title, or pink slip, is a piece of paper proving ownership of a vehicle. Titles change hands when vehicles are:

    • Bought or sold
    • Inherited
    • Donated
    • Gifted
    • Paid off (released from a lien)

    There is no central Hawaii DMV office. Hawaii title transfers are handled at the county level. When you sell a car, you should notify your county’s registration office within 10 days, or you risk a $100 fine.

    Hawaii, Honolulu, and Maui counties require that you complete a Notice of Transfer form, which releases you from liability for the vehicle.

    There is no form required for Kauai County. Call (808) 241-4256 for more information.

    Selling a Vehicle in HI

    You must have the Hawaii car title to sell a vehicle. If you need a duplicate, visit our Replacing a Lost Title page.

    When selling:

    • On the back of the HI car title, sign and date the seller lines (or previous owner section).
    • If there are joint owners, both of you must sign the title over.
    • Fill in the odometer reading.
    • Have the buyer sign the “new owner” section.
    • Give the new owner the most recent certificate of registration and the state of Hawaii safety inspection certificate.
    • If required by your county, submit a Notice of Transfer form. If you reside in Kauai County, call (808) 241-4256 for more information.

    Transferring a Car to a Family Member in Hawaii

    You can transfer a car title to family members without actually selling it to them.

    • Sign the back of the title over to the new owner and write in the mileage.
    • Have the new owner sign and date the title.
    • Give the new owner the most recent registration card and safety inspection certificate.
    • The new owner brings these documents to their county office and pays the transfer fee:
      ―Hawaii County: $5 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).
      ―Honolulu County: Check the Honolulu Motor Vehicle Fee Inquiry Site for fees.
      ―Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for fees.
      ―Maui County: $10 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).

    When transferring a title to a family member, they are not required to pay a use tax. Have them complete and submit a Motor Vehicle Use Tax Certification. For more information call the Hawaii District Tax Office at (808) 974-6321.

    The new owner will need to register the vehicle before driving.

    Donating a Vehicle in Hawaii

    If you don’t want the hassle of selling a car, consider donating it to charity. You’ll get the write-off, the charity gets the car, everyone is happy.

    You will need your Hawaii car title. See our section on Replacing a Lost Title if you need a duplicate.

    Transfer the title to the organization or representative of the nonprofit:

    • Sign and date the title as the seller.
    • The organization representative fills out the buyer section.
    • Under sale price, write “gift” or “donation.”
    • Get a bill of sale or similar receipt for tax purposes.
    • Hand over the latest registration card and safety inspection certificate.

    Buying a Vehicle in Hawaii

    New Vehicles

    Completing a car title transfer when you buy a new car is simple because the dealer does it for you.

    If you take out a car loan, the title will be issued to the lienholder until you pay it off.

    Used Vehicles

    Buying a car from an individual is more involved than buying from a dealership.

    To buy a vehicle from an individual:

    • Have the seller sign, date, and write the mileage on the back of the Hawaii car title.
    • Sign and date the title yourself.
    • Get a bill of sale as a receipt.
    • Take the title, the most recent certificate of registration, and the state of Hawaii safety inspection certificate to your county registration office.
    • Register your car at the same time.
    • If the prior owner’s registration has lapsed or will expire within 45 days, you’ll have to pay the fee and any back taxes in addition to the transfer fee:
      ―Hawaii County: $5 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).
      ―Honolulu County: Check the Honolulu Motor Vehicle Fee Inquiry Site for fees.
      ―Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for fees.
      ―Maui County: $10 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).

    Hawaii does not currently require smog checks. However, your safety certificate must be renewed annually. Visit an authorized service station or vehicle repair shop and present the safety check inspector with:

    • Proof of registration
    • Proof of car insurance

    Out-of-State Vehicles

    If you purchase a vehicle from outside of Hawaii, you will need to complete and sign the Application for Registration form for your county:

    • Hawaii County
    • Honolulu County: Call (808) 768-9311 for more information
    • Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for more information
    • Maui County

    Bring the following to your county office:

    • Out-of-state title signed over to you.
    • Out-of-state certificate of registration.
    • Shipping receipt showing when your car arrived in Hawaii.
    • Current Hawaii safety inspection certificate.
    • Proof of use tax paid in the previous state, or a Motor Vehicle Use Tax Certification form.

    Removing a Lien

    Having a lien on a vehicle means that a person or company has loaned the car owner money to buy that vehicle, and the person/company has a legal right to take the vehicle back if the car owner stops paying back the loan.

    When you pay off your vehicle or sell it to an individual, the loan needs to be paid and the lien removed from the vehicle.

    After you make the final payment:

    • The lender will sign the title over and mail it to you.
    • You may need to notify the lien holder in order to get the title sent to you.
    • Sign the flip side of the title in the box that says “new owner.”
    • Take the title to your I{DMV Office Finder}county registration office}.
    • Bring the current registration card and safety certificate.
    • Pay the transfer fee:
      ―Hawaii County: $5 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).
      ―Honolulu County: Check the Honolulu Motor Vehicle Fee Inquiry Site for fees.
      ―Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for fees.
      ―Maui County: $10 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).

    You will need to pay any outstanding registration renewal fees if the registration on the vehicle has expired or will expire within 45 days.

    Receiving a Vehicle as a Gift

    Receiving a vehicle as a gift is similar to buying a vehicle.

    To transfer a title when you get a vehicle as a gift:

    • Have the previous owner sign, date, and put the odometer reading on the back of the title.
    • Sign and date the title yourself as the “buyer.”
    • Under sale price, write “Gift.”
    • Get a bill of sale as a receipt.
    • Get the latest registration card and safety inspection certificate from the prior owner.
    • Go to a registration office and pay the title transfer fee:
      ―Hawaii County: $5 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).
      ―Honolulu County: Check the Honolulu Motor Vehicle Fee Inquiry Site for fees.
      ―Kauai County: Call (808) 241-4256 for fees.
      ―Maui County: $10 transfer fee ($50 late transfer fee if not completed within 30 days).

    If you receive a vehicle as a gift, you are eligible for a use tax exemption. To qualify, complete and submit a Motor Vehicle Use Tax Certification form. For more information, call the Hawaii District Tax Office at (808) 974-6321.

    After obtaining the title you will need to register the vehicle and affix the plates.

    Inheriting a Vehicle in Hawaii

    If a joint-owner with whom you owned a vehicle has passed away, sign the vehicle over to yourself on the back of the title, and then proceed with the following:

    Take the title and death certificate to a registration office to complete the car title transfer.

    Your county office may require the following:

    Keep in mind you may need to re-register your car at the same time, especially if the registration has lapsed or will expire within 45 days.

    Making Name Corrections to a HI Title

    There are many reasons to make a name correction to a vehicle's title. Names may change due to marital status, or you may need to add or delete a name because of changing ownership.

    Changing a Name

    If an owner of a vehicle changes their name legally, they also need to change the name on their vehicle title.

    Take the documents showing the change (such as marriage certificate or divorce decree) to your county registration office. You may also need to present:

    • Proof of car insurance.
    • Your current registration certificate.
    • A current safety inspection certificate.

    Provided you have the proper documents, you'll be issued a new title.

    For fee information, contact your county's registration office:

    • Hawaii―(808) 961-8351
    • Honolulu―(808) 768-9311
    • Kauai―(808) 241-4256
    • Maui―(808) 270-7363

    If you need an official copy of your name change, order a vital record online.

    Deleting a Name

    The most common reasons to delete a name are divorce and death of a vehicle owner. In cases such as these, expect to show legal documents such as a divorce decree or death certificate to verify the change.

    Additionally, if the car has an active vehicle lien on it, you may need to obtain written permission from the lienholder before removing a name from a Hawaii vehicle title.

    The joint owner must sign the title over to the remaining owner. After this is done, take the title and supporting paperwork to your local county registration office where you'll be issued a new title.

    For fee information, contact your county's registration office:

    • Hawaii―(808) 961-8351
    • Honolulu―(808) 768-9311
    • Kauai―(808) 241-4256
    • Maui―(808) 270-7363

    Adding a Name

    Note the change on the title and have both parties sign under “new owner.”

    Take the title and any supporting paperwork, such as a marriage license or court decree, to your county registration office. A new Hawaii car title will be issued.

    If you have a car loan, you may need to obtain written permission from the lienholder before adding a name to your Hawaii vehicle title.

    For fee information, contact your county's registration office:

    • Hawaii―(808) 961-8351
    • Honolulu―(808) 768-9311
    • Kauai―(808) 241-4256
    • Maui―(808) 270-7363
    Be a Hero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 0

    heroes have registered as organ donors.