how to get Hawaii driver's permit

Getting Your Hawaii Driver’s Permit: Rules and Requirements

by Zutobi · Updated Dec 21, 2021

This article will cover all you need to know about getting your Hawaii instruction permit, also known as a driver’s permit. We will go through requirements, restrictions, and a step-by-step walkthrough of the process.

Hawaii Driver’s Permit Requirements

All new drivers under 18 are required to start with a permit as the first step of getting their Hawaii driver’s license. It allows you to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old.

  • If you are between 15 ½ and 18 – obtaining a permit is mandatory (as a part of the Graduated License Program).
  • If you are 18 or older – you can skip the permit stage and obtain a full driver’s license straight away.

How to Get an Instructional Permit in Hawaii

There are a number of steps that you must complete, such as passing the vision and knowledge tests. We’ll go through all the steps in detail below.

  1. Gather your documents. You will need to provide original state-approved documents when applying for your permit. Make sure you have documents proving the following:
    • Legal Presence
    • Legal Name
    • Date of Birth
    • Social Security Number
    • Hawaii Residency (PO Boxes do not count)
  2. Book an appointment with a Driver’s License Service Center.
  3. Fill out this Permit Application Form.
  4. Have a parent or guardian accompany you to the Service Center. 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.
  5. Pass a vision screening. 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. The test contains 30 questions, and you must get 24 right to pass. While it may not seem very difficult to pass, many people fail their test. Our summarized Hawaii Driver’s manual and practice tests will help you memorize and retain the knowledge you need to ace your test on the first try AND be a safe driver.
  7. Pay the required fees and receive your new Hawaii driver’s permit. Credit and debit cards will not be accepted.

Driving Restrictions

Congratulations! In Hawaii, a driver’s 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. Make sure to abide by the following restrictions:

  • You must carry your permit with you any time you are operating the vehicle.
  • You may only drive under the supervision of a person 21 years 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.
  • All occupants in your vehicle must wear seatbelts at all times. Children under 4 must be properly restrained.

The Requirements to Progress to a Provisional License

To progress to a provisional license, you need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • Be between 16 and 18 years old
  • Hold your instruction permit for at least 180 days (with no active suspensions or revocations).
  • Complete a drivers ed course and have both a classroom and behind-the-wheel certificate.
  • Pass the road skills test

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about how to get your driver’s permit in Hawaii. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, Hawaii practice tests, and a gamified learning experience.

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