facebookGetting Your Hawaii Driver's License: The Ultimate Guide
How to Get Your Hawaii Driver’s License: The Ultimate Guide

How to Get Your Hawaii Driver’s License: The Ultimate Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Feb 23, 2021

In this guide, we’ll discuss the requirements and processes behind getting your Hawaii driver’s license (specifically the Class 3 license). While the process can seem daunting at first, you have nothing to worry about!

We here at Zutobi have collected all the information you need in an easy-to-understand article.

Who Needs a Hawaii Driver’s License?

Everyone driving the public roads of Hawaii needs a driver’s license unless you are temporarily operating road machines or farming equipment.

If you are a visitor, you must still have an equivalent license from your home state with you when you drive.

You do not qualify for a valid Hawaii driver’s license if:

  • Your current license is suspended or revoked
  • You have any outstanding traffic fines or citations
  • For two years after being convicted of drunk driving without a license
  • You can not comply with financial responsibilities laws
  • If you are under 18 and your parent or legal guardian does not provide consent for you to drive.
  • If you are physically or mentally disqualified by law, or your examiner has good cause to believe you have a disability that would contribute to unsafe driving.

The Stages to Getting Your Hawaii Driver’s License

  • If you are under 18, you will start with your permit in Hawaii’s Graduated Driver’s License Program. 
  • If you are 18 or older, you can skip straight to the steps to attain your full license.

Stage 1: Instruction Permit

If you are between 15 ½ and 18 you will start with a Hawaii instructional permit. The permit allows you to drive as long as you are accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21.

If you just moved to Hawaii, your out-of-state instructional permit does not transfer. You will need to start the process over at your local driver’s license office.

How to Get Your Permit

  1. Your parent or guardian must give written consent in front of the examiner or a notary public. This form makes them legally and financially responsible if you violate a law or get into an accident. They can also withdraw their consent at any time before you turn 18.
  2. Gather your documents. You will need original state-approved documents to prove the following:
    • Legal Presence
    • Legal Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Social Security Number
    • Hawaii Residency (PO Boxes do not count)
  3. Book an appointment with a Driver’s License Service Center.
  4. Fill out a Permit Application Form ahead of time or at the center.
  5. Pass a vision screening with or without corrective lenses. If you need lenses to pass the test, you will be required to wear them while driving.
  6. Pass the written knowledge test. It is designed to test your knowledge of roadway signs and laws featured in the Hawaii Driver’s Manual. It contains 30 questions, and you must get 24 right to pass.

    Our summarized Hawaii Driver’s manual and practice tests will help you memorize and retain the knowledge you need to pass your test AND be a safe driver.
  7. Pay the required fees. They take cash, check, money order, or a cashier’s check. They will not accept credit or debit cards.

Driving Restrictions with an Hawaii Instructional Permit 

You can drive under the supervision of anyone 21 or older with a valid Class 3 license. Between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM, you cannot drive unless your parent or guardian is in the seat beside you. 

The permit is valid for one year after being issued. It can be renewed up to 30 days before it expires and up to 90 days after it expires. There is no grace period in Hawaii.

Stage 2: Provisional License

The Hawaii provisional license is also known as a restricted license. It allows you to drive unsupervised, except during curfew. It also limits the number of non-family members that you can transport. 

If you are under 18, you must have this license for at least 6 months before being eligible for a full driver’s license.

To qualify for a provisional license, you must:

  • Be between 16 and 18
  • Hold an instruction permit for at least 180 days, and there must be no active suspensions or revocations.
  • Complete a drivers ed course and possess both a classroom and behind-the-wheel certificate.

How to Get Your Provisional License

Follow these steps to apply for a provisional driver’s license:

  1. Your parent or guardian must give written consent in front of the examiner or a notary public. This form makes them legally and financially responsible if you violate a law or get into an accident. They can also withdraw their consent at any time before you turn 18.
  2. Gather your documents. You will need original state-approved documents to prove the following:
    • Legal Presence
    • Legal Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Social Security Number
    • Hawaii Residency (PO Boxes do not count)
  3. Book an appointment with a Driver’s License Service Center.
  4. Fill out a Hawaii Provisional License Application Form ahead of time or at the center.
  5. Pass a vision screening with or without corrective lenses. If you need lenses to pass the test, you will be required to wear them while driving.
  6. Pass the driving skills test. It is designed to test your familiarity with a vehicle and your practical knowledge of safe driving practices in Hawaii. You will need to provide your own vehicle, and you must be listed on the insurance coverage. If the vehicle is deemed unsafe to drive, you will need to wait and reschedule your road test once the issues are corrected.

    Don’t just depend on your memory of driver’s ed. Our summarized Driver’s manual and Hawaii practice tests will help you memorize and retain the knowledge you need to pass your test AND be a safe driver.
  7. Pay the required fees. They take cash, check, money order, or a cashier’s check. They will not accept credit or debit cards.
  8. Have your picture and fingerprint taken.
  9. You will receive a temporary paper license. Your physical license could take up to six weeks to arrive.

Hawaii Provisional License Restrictions

  • You can not drive with more than one non-family member under the age of 18 in the vehicle with you unless you are accompanied by your parent or guardian.
  • You may not drive between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am unless your parent or guardian is in the seat beside you. You may be exempt from this restriction if you have a signed statement from the school or work stating you need to commute during these hours. You MUST have this statement on you when you drive.
  • Your provisional license will expire on your 19th birthday. It can be renewed up to 30 days before it expires and up to 90 days after it expires without a late fee. There is no grace period in Hawaii.

Stage 3: Full Hawaii Driver’s License

If you are 18 or over, you will start here. A full driver’s license lets you drive a personal vehicle that is not for commercial use. 

If you are under 18, you must meet the following requirements before you can apply:

  • Be at least 17.
  • Complete the required steps for your instruction permit and provisional license above.
  • Hold your provisional driver’s license for at least six months.

If you are in the Graduated Driver’s License Program AND satisfy the requirements, you can simply book an appointment to upgrade your license to a full Class 3 license.

How to Get Your Class 3 Driver’s License as a New Driver

If you are applying for a full Hawaii driver’s license the first time, you will need to complete the following steps.

  1. Gather your documents. You will need original state-approved documents to prove the following:
  • Legal Presence
  • Legal Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Social Security Number
  • Hawaii Residency (PO Boxes do not count)
  1. Book an appointment with a Driver’s License Service Center.
  2. Fill out a Hawaii Class 3 License Application Form ahead of time or at the center.
  3. Pass a vision screening with or without corrective lenses. If you need lenses to pass the test, you will be required to wear them while driving.
  4. Pass the written knowledge test. It is designed to test your knowledge of roadway signs and laws featured in the Hawaii Driver’s Manual. It contains 30 questions, and you must get 24 right to pass. 
  5. Pass the driving skills test. It is designed to test your familiarity with a vehicle and your practical knowledge of safe driving practices in Hawaii. You will need to provide your own vehicle, and you must be listed on the insurance coverage. If the vehicle is deemed unsafe to drive, you will need to wait and reschedule your road test once the issues are corrected.

    Make sure to prepare for your tests the right way. Nearly 50% fail their permit tests nation-wide each year. Don’t become one of them. Our online practice tests and summarized manual will help you ace your tests on the first try!
  6. Pay the required fees. They take cash, check, money order, or a cashier’s check. They will not accept credit or debit cards.
  7. Have your picture and fingerprint taken.
  8. You will receive a temporary paper license. Your real Hawaii driver’s license could take up to six weeks to arrive.
Take our full course with tests and theory

450+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens