UPDATE: Since this column was published on Thursday, the city has changed the mail-in renewal process for eligible Oahu applicants over age 72. Some elements of this column are outdated. Applicants must pre-qualify with the city. Several conditions apply. Do not send an application and check directly to the city. Read the updated process at https://www.staradvertiser.com/2020/03/20/hawaii-news/kokua-line/kokua-line-city-revises-renewal-policy-eutf-ers-suspend-in-person-appointments/
As reported Tuesday bit.ly/kline317), Honolulu County is automatically extending by 90 days all driver’s licenses and state IDs issued on Oahu that expire in March, April, May and June, and in addition allowing some older Oahu residents to renew their licenses or IDs by mail.
Kokua Line has received dozens of related questions, mostly about driver’s license renewal by mail, which is limited to Oahu applicants age 72 or older who already hold a valid, two-year driver’s license that expires in 2020 and who do not require a secondary medical clearance.
Eligible applicants can mail in a completed, signed application form and a check for $10 ($5 per year) within six months of their license expiration date. Including a vision clearance is preferred but not required, as the city can rely on records on file, officials clarified on Wednesday. “While it is not required, if you are able to obtain a certificate from a doctor’s visit within the past 12 months, include the eye doctor’s vision certificate” in your mailer, the city says at bit.ly/3d5GIEh.
Here are answers to other common questions:
Question: Where do I get the application form?
Answer: Links to the driver’s license form and the state ID form can be found at Honolulu.gov/CSD, but we heard from numerous readers who visited that site and had trouble locating the forms. Here are direct links:
Hawaii Driver’s License form: bit.ly/2WmGfYl
State ID form: bit.ly/3ae 7urW
Q: Where do I mail it?
A: To the City and County of Honolulu, Driver License Section, P.O. Box 30340, Honolulu, HI 96820-0340
Q: Who do I make the check out to?
A: City and County of Honolulu
Q: If I already have an appointment scheduled to renew in April can I keep the appointment?
A: Yes, assuming that the city office where your appointment is scheduled remains open then. Government responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving rapidly. Facilities that are now open may be closed by then. The mail-in renewal option for certain Oahu residents is not mandatory, but offered so eligible kupuna can practice “social distancing” as health authorities have advised. If you decide to renew by mail, do cancel your appointment online.
Q: Will my license have the gold star if I renew by mail?
A: The state of Hawaii issued the star mark as of Jan. 16, 2018, more than two years ago. To be eligible for mail-in driver’s license renewal, you must be 72 or older and hold a valid, two-year license issued on Oahu. Therefore, you should either already have the star mark, or you chose to convert your license to a limited purpose driver’s license (no star) at that time. Your mail-in renewal would be for the same type you have now. So, yes, if you have the star, you would get it again.
Q: Is the mail-in option only for 72 and up whose licenses expire in March, April, May and June?
A: No, this option is available to eligible Oahu drivers whose licenses expire any time in 2020, not just those four months. However, you cannot renew any earlier than six months prior to expiration, so don’t mail in your application prematurely. Licenses that expire in 2021 cannot renew by mail.
Q: Can we also do this with the state ID?
A: Yes. The rules about age (72 and up) and expiration year (2020) and the mail-in process are the same, except that you wouldn’t include a vision clearance and the check should be for $40 for an eight-year ID.
Q: Why is this only on Oahu?
A: Honolulu was the only county to take such action as of Wednesday. We asked the state Department of Transportation whether these options would roll out statewide but didn’t hear back by deadline.
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 email@example.com.