Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Sunday, May 26, 2024 76° Today's Paper

Kokua Line

State driver’s licenses, ID cards do not conform to federal rules

Question: Regarding the Department of Homeland Security giving states until January 2013 to comply with the REAL ID Act (Kokua Line, April 21): Does any Hawaii license issued so far comply? I got my driver’s license in March, but I can’t tell the new one from the old one. (Combination of two questions.)

Answer: No Hawaii driver’s license or state ID card is fully compliant with security features required under the REAL ID Act, according to the city Motor Vehicles & Licensing Division and state ID Office.

Under the Department of Homeland Security’s REAL ID mark guidelines, a fully compliant card will feature a gold circle with a star cut out to reveal the background. That mark will be placed on the front top third of the license or ID.

Question: Someone from a skin-care company left an advertisement in our mailbox without any stamp. It is one of many fliers that we receive in the mailbox. Isn’t there a law against this? It’s hard for legitimate businesses who spend money on postage to compete against those that just leave a flier in the mailbox. Also, whoever opens our mailbox could take our mail. If it is against the law to do this, what are the penalties and who do we contact?

Answer: It is against U.S. postal regulations to place “any matter not bearing postage, including items or matter placed upon, supported by, attached to, hung from, or inserted into a mail receptacle.”

The penalty for anyone who “knowingly and willfully deposits any mailable matter … with intent to avoid payment of lawful postage” faces a maximum fine of $5,000 per individual or $10,000 per organization.

Contact the postmaster or your local post office to report any violation. Telephone numbers for individual offices can be found at http://usps.whitepages.com/post_office or by calling 1-800-ASK-USPS (275-8777).

Asked what happens when a complaint is filed, Postal Service spokesman Duke Gonzales said if the distributor of the unpaid mailable matter can be identified, the postmaster would notify that person or company of the postage due. If the distributor agrees to the pay the postage, payment is accepted and the pieces are delivered.

If the distributor cannot be identified, the item is returned postage due to the publisher or manufacturer, if known, he said. If not, the material is treated as dead mail.

“It doesn’t happen every day but, in these challenging financial times, when the Postal Service is looking for every opportunity to operate more efficiently and to maximize revenue, it is most definitely a problem any time individuals, companies or organizations attempt to appropriate without payment the Postal Service’s exclusive access to mail receptacles,” Gonzalez said.


To Arthur “The Doorman” Duhaylonsod at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel and to whoever drives TheCab #28. I was in town on April 12 and took a cab to Executive Center. I didn’t realize my cell phone had fallen to the floor of the cab. I panicked when I discovered this a few minutes later, not knowing the cab company, the driver, the cab number or any other details. Fortunately, a companion called the hotel, where I was immediately directed to the bell desk and the doorman, who told me not to worry and to call back later. When I did, Arthur assured me that my phone was there waiting to be picked up. Within two hours, my phone and I were reunited. Arthur told me this happens a lot, which is why he records all taxis leaving the hotel and where they are being sent. A big mahalo to him and the taxi driver! I will be staying at the Princess K again when I come to Waikiki because of this fine service! — Nancy Stephenson/Kamuela


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 kokualine@staradvertiser.com.

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