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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Honolulu County working on fixes for motor vehicle renewals with expired safety check

Question: I know the state extended the safety checks, but did they extend the motor vehicle registrations, too?

Answer: No, not as of Tuesday. Hawaii residents must renew their motor vehicle registrations, and can do so without a current annual safety sticker during the emergency period, according to the state Department of Transportation.

As you know, the DOT announced last week that all vehicle safety inspection stations were closing because of the pandemic and that expiring safety stickers would be extended as valid until at least May 31. “You may renew your motor vehicle registration with an expired safety inspection certificate/sticker during this emergency period. Each county’s DMV offer non-in-person renewals either online, mail-in, or kiosk. Please check your county’s DMV website or contact your county’s DMV for the type of service being offered,” the DOT says on its website.

However, as of Tuesday, Honolulu County’s electronic renewal systems — online and at grocery store kiosks — had not been updated to accept expired safety checks. The city said it is working to update the computerized systems as soon as possible. Until those updates occurs, the electronic renewal methods are available only to motorists with up-to-date safety checks, not expired ones that have been extended.

However, a third method — mail-in renewal — is available to all because the safety check requirement can be waived manually, the city said.

Remember, all of Oahu’s driver’s licensing centers and satellite city halls are closed to in-person transactions, so don’t bother going to any of those locations.

Here are the details:

>> By mail: Follow the directions on the motor vehicle registration renewal form you should have received in the mail. Mail the form, any other specified documents and your payment to Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing, P.O. Box 30320, Honolulu, HI 96820-0320.

Payment: Check or money order; no cash. Check payable to City and County of Honolulu.

“The safety check requirement will be waived manually with the mail-in option,” according to the city’s website.

>> Online: www12.

>> DMV NOW self-service kiosks at select Safeway and Foodland stores

“The automatic programming for online and kiosk processing are under revision to remove the safety check requirement. Please allow us a few days to put this into effect if your safety check is expired,” the city’s website said Tuesday.

Q: What’s the new date for the gold star?

A: The federal government has postponed the date for REAL ID enforcement by one year, to Oct. 1, 2021. Air travelers using state-issued licenses or IDs to traverse airport security no longer need a “gold star” marking by Oct. 1 of this year. The enforcement date was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Q: Did they extend the commercial driver’s licenses, too?

A: Yes. “CDL holders in good standing that have a CDL that has expired or will expire between March 16, 2020, through May 15, 2020, may continue to legally drive a (commercial motor vehicle) for an additional 90 days from the CDL expiration date,” according to the state Department of Transportation.

As your question indicated, the DOT last week announced that it was automatically extending by 90 days driver’s licenses and state IDs issued throughout Hawaii that were expiring or were set to expiring during the statewide COVID-19 emergency.


Everyone says do this or that online, but the place I used to go to use the computer was the public library and now it is closed. Some of us poor people are going to be left with nothing. No, I do not have a smartphone! — A reader

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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