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Safety stickers for new cars should be valid for 2 years

By June Watanabe

LAST UPDATED: 6:42 a.m. HST, Jun 17, 2011

Question: I bought a new car in September. I heard that brand-new vehicles get two-year safety stickers, but I only got a one-year one. How do I get a two-year sticker?

Answer: Since July 1, 2003, Hawaii law (Section 286-26(b) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes) says a new vehicle purchased in Hawaii “shall not require inspection within two years of the date on which the vehicle was first sold.”

In your case, the safety inspection sticker should be good until September 2012.

There was a problem at the end of 2010, when the vendor contracted by the state to print the safety decals had production and shipping delays because of “extreme weather conditions” at its Midwestern plant, said Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division. Because of that, delivery of 2013 year decals was delayed until mid-February.

New vehicles sold in January and February may have been issued 2012 year decals by the new vehicle dealers although they were entitled to two-year safety decals.

However, the delay should not have affected you, since you purchased your vehicle in September.

Kamimura noted that new vehicle dealers have vehicles inspected as part of their preparation process so that a customer may take immediate possession.

It is possible that a new vehicle dealer might not have time to “re-safety inspect” a vehicle to provide the entire two-year safety inspection expiration date, he said.

He recommends contacting your dealer directly. If you’re not satisfied with the response, he said to contact the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association at 593-0031.

Question: Last year ( you wrote about the state Department of Transportation installing signs asking trucks and buses to use the center lane from

5 a.m. to noon while driving up Pali Highway, to determine the source of perceived vibrations. What happened with the study?

Answer: It’s continuing and is likely to continue for the near future, according to a department spokesman.

“Vibrations from the Kailua-bound right lane on the Pali Highway, between the makai and mauka intersections with Nuuanu Pali Drive, are still being sporadically reported inside adjacent homes,” he said.

Instructing heavy vehicles, such as commercial trucks and buses, to use the center lane between 5 a.m. and noon has improved the situation, but “occasional vibrations” are still being felt when heavy vehicles use the right lane, he said.

Because of that, the department is still collecting data to try to pinpoint the precise conditions causing the vibrations, then figure out the best way to minimize them.

The problem is that “data is largely limited to reports by residents.” So far, the reports have not been conclusive enough to determine the causes of the underlying problem, the spokesman said.

“Although the vibrations have been observed by highway engineers, they do not occur with every type of heavy vehicle or on every occasion when such vehicles use the right lane,” he said.


To honest people. Hours after shopping at Target in Kapolei on Sunday, May 29, my husband realized he forgot his bag in the shopping cart. In a panic he called Target, and was overjoyed to hear that someone had turned it in. I, too, experienced the same situation. My pocketbook was found in the parking lot of Dole Cannery Stadium Theaters, and I received a call from management. We want to express our gratitude for the honesty shown. — Nolan & Johnnie-Mae Perry


Write to “Kokua Line” at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

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