Hawaii Drivers License: A New Driver’s Guide

Today you will learn what’s required to get a Hawaii driver’s license.

To begin, a Hawaii license is required for anyone wanting to legally drive on state roads and highways. The license application process doesn’t take long if you have the appropriate paperwork and time needed when visiting your local HI DMV.

The process in this article assumes you’re an adult applying for a new license or have a provisional license as a teen through the state’s GDL program. If this doesn’t describe you, see our learner’s permit and/or provisional licensing guides to begin the steps through the graduated licensing program.

Ready? Let’s begin.

Getting Your License in Hawaii: Step-by-Step

This guide assumes one of the following:

  • You’re an adult and want to apply for a new license
  • You need to transfer your out-of-state license
  • Your old license expired you allowed it to lapse renewal/reinstatement
  • You’re holding a learner or provisional license (going through the GDL)

If one of these describes you, you can apply for a new driver’s license by visiting a Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT). There, you’ll submit the appropriate paperwork, pass your required tests, and pay the appropriate fees to get your HI license.

Other requirements when applying include:

  • Being 18 years old or older
  • Being 17 and completed the GDL
  • Be an HI and U.S. resident
  • Be safe to drive a vehicle

Kauai does require residents to hold their learner’s permit before they can apply for a full license.

When you’re ready, you will complete these steps to get a Hawaii license:

  1. Complete the driver’s license application (here)
  2. Provide proofs:
    1. Identification
    2. Lawful presence
    3. HI residency
    4. Social Security number
    5. Name change (if applicable)
  3. Pay the fees (see below)
  4. Pass your tests:
    1. Vision
    2. Knowledge
    3. Driving
  5. Receive your license

The written/knowledge test examines your understanding of road rules and signs. You can practice using the state’s license manual. Or, take an online practice test to improve your passing chances.

The road test examines your ability to control the vehicle and adhere to signs and commands. This may include your ability to change lanes, maneuver the vehicle, park, and more. Check with the local DMV as you may need to request an appointment before taking the test.

Your vehicle is required to have HI auto insurance when taking this test.

Hawaii Licensing Fees

The fees vary by your county – this includes:

Hawaii County

  • Application: $1
  • Written test: $1
  • Road test: $10
  • Licensing:
    • 18 to 24: $20 (4 years)
    • 25 to 71: $40 (8 years)
    • 72 and older: $10 (2 years)
    • Up 1-year validation: $5


  • Written: $2
  • Road: $8
  • Licensing:
    • Under 25: $20 (4 years)
    • 25 to 71: $40 (8 years)
    • 72 and older: $10 (2 years)

Maui County

  • Written: $5
  • Road: $20
  • Licensing
    • 16 to 24: $40 (4 years)
    • 25 to 71: $80 (8 years)
    • 72 and older: $20 (2 years)

Kauai County

  • Written: $2
  • Road: $10
  • Licensing:
    • 2 years: $8
    • 4 years: $16
    • 8 years: $32

You may also pay a $1 verification fee to verify your U.S. presence. And, a $5 – $10 oration fee if you need someone to read aloud the written test.

Congratulations, You’re a Licensed Driver in Hawaii

Submitting these documents, taking these steps, and passing the tests will grant you a driver’s license in Hawaii. Keep note of your license expiration date as you’ll want to renew a HI license as it draws close. Failing to renew on time can result in loss of driving privileges.

The open roads of Hawaii are now yours to explore. Enjoy yourself and happy travels!