hawaii driver information
Welcome to our overview on driving in the Aloha State. You'll find stats, facts, traffic laws, and licensing info relevant to the Hawaiian driver.
Stats, facts, and info for Hawaiian drivers
Number of licensed drivers: 890,000
Registered vehicles: 895,000
Licensing and registration authorities
Moving violations, accidents, and your driving record
Hawaii does not maintain a point system associated with your driving record. Instead, traffic offenses are split into 2 categories: minor traffic infractions and serious traffic crimes.
Traffic violations in Hawaii
Most minor traffic violations are considered civil offenses and are handled with the payment of a fine or fee. Serious traffic crimes, like reckless driving or DUI, may come with larger fines and the possibility of jail time.
Penalties for DUIs and OVUIIs
Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher and driving under the influence of a controlled substance can lead to a DUI (driving under the influence) or OVUII (operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant) charge.
Penalties that Hawaii drivers may face for a first-offense DUI or OVUII can include:
- One-year license suspension
- A fine of $150–$1,000
- Required substance abuse program
- 72 hours of community service
- 48 hours to 5 days in jail
Penalties are increased for subsequent DUI or OVUII convictions.
Reporting a car accident in Hawaii
If you're involved in an accident that causes any injuries or $3,000 or more in damage, you'll need to report it to the police and to your insurer.
Even if the damage seems minor at first, we suggest calling the police to the scene of any car accident.
Drivers license "stoppers" and how to clear them
If you're convicted of a moving violation or equipment citation, it's important to pay any fines in full within 30 days. If you don't, a "stopper" may be put on your license. Stoppers prevent you from obtaining or renewing your drivers license.
You can clear a stopper by paying all fines and complying with any court orders, which might include court appearances or completion of a driver's education course.
A stopper may also be placed on your drivers license for other reasons, including:
- Failure to respond to a summons or citation
- Failure to appear in court when requested
- Failure to comply with a court order
Stoppers can also be placed on your car's registration.
Drivers license and registration info
Each Hawaiian county has its own registration department. In most cases, your registration expires after one year.
Hawaii drivers license
You can renew your drivers license up to 6 months before its expiration date.
For the first 2 renewals, you can handle it through the mail. You're required to appear in person on the third renewal.
Restricted drivers license
If you're a mature driver or have a medical condition that has diminished some (but not all) of your driving skills, you may be eligible for a restricted drivers license. The state's licensing authority will review your medical records and give you additional testing before determining your eligibility.
A restricted drivers license may specify that the driver needs to wear glasses or can drive only during daylight hours, for example.
Drivers in the military
If you're a Hawaii resident and you're deployed outside of Hawaii, your drivers license will stay valid during your deployment. After you return home, you'll be given an additional 90-day grace period to renew your license.
Young drivers in Hawaii
Young drivers in Hawaii are required to complete a state-approved drivers education course. Drivers under 18 must have written permission from a parent or guardian to drive.
Graduated licensing program in Hawaii
- Minimum age for an instruction permit: 15 1/2 years old
- With a permit, you must have a licensed driver who is 21 or older in your front passenger seat at all times
- Minimum age for a provisional license: 16 years old
- To attain a provisional license, complete 50 practice hours with a parent or guardian
- You may not drive between the hours of 11 p.m.–5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian (unless driving to and from work or a school activity)
- You may transport only one non-household passenger who is under the age of 18 between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian
- Minimum age for a full drivers license: 17 years old
- If you're under 18, you must have a provisional license for at least 6 months to apply for a drivers license
Stolen cars in Hawaii
According the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the most commonly stolen vehicles in Hawaii in 2011 were:
- 1993 Honda Accord
- 1999 Honda Civic
- 2006 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 2005 Dodge Pickup (full size)
- 2003 Toyota Corolla
- 2007 Toyota Tacoma
- 1999 Toyota Camry
- 1996 Acura Integra
- 2006 Nissan Altima
Comprehensive coverage, which may be required by a lease or a finance company, offers financial protection in case your car's stolen.
Guide to car insurance in Hawaii
Browse through coverage requirements and related info in our Hawaii fact sheet.
Hawaii Vehicle Registration and Licensing Division
Find information about driving and registration on the Big Island.
Maui Division of Motor Vehicle and Licensing
Go here for info on licensing and registration on Maui.
Kauai Drivers License Division
Visit the official site for Kauai's drivers.
Honolulu Drivers License Division
Get registered and find more information about driving on Oahu.