Honolulu Star-Advertiser

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Kokua Line

New owner of truck is liable for taxes, registration fees

Question: My grandson bought a 2000 pickup truck from my friend for $400. My friend had not driven this truck since 2003 because of mechanical problems and has not renewed the registration since that time. My grandson made repairs and refurbished this vehicle to running condition, which cost him quite a bit of money. Will late registration fees and taxes be assessed for both parties? If so, how much will both parties be assessed? Are a safety check and insurance required prior to registration? My grandson desperately needs this truck to go to work.

Answer: Unfortunately, your grandson is liable for all the taxes and fees accrued since the last year of registration.

“Whoever re-registers the vehicle will be required to pay the delinquent taxes and penalties as the taxes and fees go with the vehicle,” said Dennis Kami­mura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicle and Licensing Division.

Kamimura said the only time taxes and fees are suspended is if the registered owner places the vehicle in official storage, then surrenders the current license plates, certificate of registration and completed storage statement.

The vehicle’s certificate of registration then will be stamped “plates surrendered, vehicle placed in storage” and returned to the registered owner.

This information is located on the reverse side of every certificate of registration, Kami­mura said.

He explained that a penalty is assessed if fees are not paid on or before the registration’s expiration date.

The penalty is an annual flat rate of $16 ($8 county weight tax penalty and $8 state weight tax penalty) for passenger cars and $40 ($20 each for the county and state weight tax penalty) for commercial vehicles.

Meanwhile, in order to get a vehicle safety inspection, you need to provide proof of Hawaii motor vehicle insurance. And, a vehicle inspection sticker and certificate are required to operate a vehicle on all Hawaii roads and for all vehicle ownership-registration transactions.

Question: What would be the best way to dispose of or junk an old automobile?

Answer: You can donate it to a charity (see www.star­advertiser.com/news/kokualine/20110215_Donors_ad­vised_to_transfer_title_when_giving_cars_to_charity.html).

An alternative is to junk it through the city, for free. Call 532-4325 for information or go to a satellite city hall. You must submit the vehicle’s certificate of title, with the owners noted on the title indicating release of interest; submit the license plates; and complete a Junking of Vehicle form. If all is in order, you will be provided a notice form to place in the vehicle, noting it has been turned over to the city for removal.

An inspector will check to make sure the vehicle is free of debris, is accessible by a tow truck and has at least tow-inflated tires so that it can be towed. The vehicle then will be picked up within six weeks.


To two good Samaritans. At about 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 18, I left my doctor’s office and got into my car at Kaimuki Shopping Center. I called my wife to let her know that I was coming home. When I was about to start my car, a raving mad guy screaming profanities tapped my window and yelled, “What the f— is taking you so long to get out?” I was stunned and told him that I just talked to my wife, but he kept badgering me. Two men intervened. One went to my attacker to try to talk some sense into him, and the other told me to just leave. I left without getting their names. There were no security guards to be seen, so mahalo to these two men. I wish both of them good health and much wealth. — Truly Grateful Senior Citizen


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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