Apply for a License (Under 18) in Hawaii
COVID-19 Effects on Licensing Services
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state DMVs nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. Residents are encouraged to utilize their county's online services. Follow the DOT's recent updates for the latest information.
Applying for a Teen License in Hawaii
If you're a teenager applying for a new driver's license, you'll need to satisfy the requirements of the Hawaii graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.
The GDL program will provide you with the driving instruction and practice necessary to build safe, responsible driving habits and gain enough experience to pass your DMV driving test.
On this page you'll find information about the Hawaii DMV GDL requirements and the steps you'll need to take to get your first unrestricted driver's license.
Hawaii REAL ID Driver's Licenses
The Hawaii DOT and county DMVs issue federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to standard non-compliant licenses. After October 1, 2021, only a REAL ID credential will allow you to continue to use your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings. After this date, a standard license will not be accepted—you will need alternative federal identification for these activities.
Hawaii Graduated Licensing Program
If you are younger than 18 years old and are applying for your first driver's license, you'll need to satisfy the requirements of the Hawaii graduated driver licensing program.
The Hawaii DMV's GDL program is divided into the following phases:
- Instruction permit, which allows:
- Supervised driving with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Supervised driving with your parent/guardian at any time.
- Provisional driver's license, which allows:
- No more than 1 passenger younger than 18 years old, unless he or she is a family member.
- Unsupervised driving between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Driving between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. with a parent/guardian, OR when traveling to or from work/school with a signed statement.
- Unrestricted driver's license.
The minimum ages to begin each phase of the Hawaii GDL program are as follows:
- Learner's permit: 15 1/2 years old.
- Provisional license: 16 years old.
- Full, unrestricted driver's license: 17 years old.
Hawaii Learner's Permit
You can begin the first steps of the Hawaii GDL program when you are least 15 1/2 years old by obtaining your learner's permit and completing Driver's Ed.
For more information on the Hawaii driver's education requirement, please see our Driver's Ed in Hawaii page.
To apply for your HI learner's permit, you'll need to visit your local Hawaii DMV office with your parent/guardian and:
- Complete a Driver's License Application. It's important to note that depending on which county you live in, both parents must either be present or sign your application and have it notarized. Please check with your county for more information.
- Provide proof of your:
- Birth date,
- Social Security number,
- Legal presence.
- Hawaii residency (2 documents).
- Pass a vision exam.
- Pass the DMV written test.
- Pay the Hawaii learner's permit fee. Fees may vary by county.
The Hawaii DOT offers a complete list of accepted and required documents for a REAL ID-compliant permit. If you're unable to provide these specific proofs, you'll receive a non-compliant license instead.
You must hold your learner's permit for at least 180 days and complete HI driver's education before moving on to the next steps of the GDL program.
Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions
With your learner's permit, you can:
- Drive with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Drive with your parent/guardian at any time.
For more information about learner's permits, please refer to our Driver Permits in Hawaii page.
Hawaii Provisional Driver's License
You will be eligible for a provisional driver's license once you:
- Are at least 16 years old.
- Have held your learner's permit for at least 180 days.
- Have completed driver's education.
To obtain your provisional driver's license, you'll need to schedule and pass a driving test at your local Hawaii DMV office.
To take your DMV road test and earn your provisional license, you'll need to:
- Provide a vehicle in safe condition
- current registration.
- safety inspection.
- proof of insurance documents.
- Be accompanied by a licensed adult.
- Provide your valid Hawaii learner's permit.
- Pay the provisional license fee. (Fees may vary by county.)
- Provide state approved documents that prove your identity, your name and legal presence. (As reference, please review the documents outlined by the County of Hawaii. For more details, please contact your local Hawaii DMV office.)
You must hold your provisional driver's license for at least 6 months before moving on to obtain your unrestricted driver's license.
Provisional License Driving Restrictions
Your provisional driver's license allows you to drive:
- With no more than 1 passenger younger than 18 years old, unless he or she is a family member.
- Unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- Between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. with a parent/guardian OR when traveling to or from work/school. You must have a statement signed by your parent/guardian or employer.
There's nothing to it. When you are driving keep your attention to the task at hand. Distracted driving kills. Learn all about the dangers of driving distracted in our section on Distracted Driving.
Full Unrestricted Hawaii Driver's License
Once you are at least 17 years old and have held your provisional license for at least 6 months, you can upgrade to an unrestricted driver's license. You'll need to visit your local Hawaii DMV and:
- Provide your provisional license.
- Pay the driver license fee. Fees may vary by county.
Congratulations! You're now a fully licensed Hawaii driver. Just remember – be sure to follow the rules of the road and drive with caution and courtesy at all times.
If you want to track your progress towards your driver's license, you can use our new license checklist.