How to Transfer a Vehicle Title in Hawaii

You’ll need to complete a title transfer to pass ownership of the vehicle in Hawaii.

The Hawaii title transfer process involves signing over the title, completing an Application for Certificate of Title, submitting a Bill of Sale (or Sales/Use Tax and Tire Fee Statement), and paying the appropriate fees and taxes.

The two parties exchange the title, file the appropriate paperwork, and pay any necessary fees. This process doesn’t take long given you’re prepared. Or, if both parties go to the DMV (recommended).

Below, you’ll learn how the Hawaii title transfer process works for private transactions.

Hawaii Title Transfer: Step-by-Step

It’s recommended that both parties go to the DMV as this clears any confusion and potential issues when passing ownership of the vehicle. However, you’re more than welcome to exchange the title on your own time and later visit the DMV to complete the process.

You will visit a Hawaii Motor Vehicle Registration office (see our directory) to submit your forms.

As a buyer, you’ll do the following (within 30 days of the purchase):

  1. Retrieve the vehicle’s title or request a duplicate title
    1. Buyers: You may need a lien release from the current owner
    2. Sellers: Provide a lien release to the buyer if needed
  2. Complete the certificate of title – including:
    1. Full legal name and address of buyer and current owner
    2. Date of sale (month, day, and year)
    3. Vehicle price the buyer paid
    4. Odometer reading
    5. Signatures from both parties
  3. Submit the title application
  4. Submit a bill of sale
  5. Submit a certificate of vehicle inspection if it hasn’t had one recently
  6. Bring and submit any necessary documents:
    1. Proof of HI identification
    2. Proof of HI residency
    3. Proof of HI auto insurance
  7. Pay the variable fees:
    1. Honolulu: See fee chart
    2. Maui: $10
    3. Hawaii: $5
    4. Kauai: Call 808-241-4256

As a seller, you may need to complete these items when selling the vehicle:

  • Provide a Bill of Sale for the buyer
  • Provide documents showing the vehicle’s safety inspection
  • Provide a Notice of Transfer (this form) if the parties involved are in Hawaii County

Do note that you cannot submit a title with errors – you will need to order a replacement and redo the titling if you’ve made mistakes.

What’s Next? Get the Vehicle Registered in Hawaii

You should register your vehicle after titling it to avoid any complications. See our Hawaii vehicle registration guide to learn how the process is done. If you haven’t got it yet, do consider adding or dropping auto insurance. Or, shopping around for a new policy as you may find new discounts.

Congratulations.

If you’ve completed the steps above, you’ll have finished the title transfer process in the state of Hawaii.