comscore Kokua Line: Due to COVID-19 closures, Honolulu County allows vehicle ownership transfers by mail | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Due to COVID-19 closures, Honolulu County allows vehicle ownership transfers by mail

Question: Auwe! The city and state act like life can just stop through all this pandemic. But there are all sorts of tasks and procedures that people still need to complete, and can’t with the satellite city halls and other places closed. For me the problem is transferring ownership of a vehicle to my grandson. It’s important that we get this done as soon as possible. How can we do it?

Answer: You are one of numerous readers who have asked how to transfer ownership of a vehicle amid disrupted government operations. A few pointed out that Honolulu County’s website said these transfers can be handled by mail during the COVID-19 emergency, but that the website offered no details, only the mailing address. Kokua Line passed your concerns along to the Department of Customer Services last week, and on Thursday it updated the website to include instructions. Here is the information, from CSD:

>> Fees: If the transfer is completed and the documents are returned to the Motor Vehicle Section within 30 days, the transfer fee is $10. However, if this occurs after 30 days, the transfer fee with penalty is $60. If the vehicle registration expires within 45 days of the transfer, the new registration fees also must be paid.

>> Required documents:

Current and valid certificate of title:

Section A: Assignment of title by seller, required

Section B: Release of lien, if applicable

Section D: Application for transfer by new registered owner(s), required

Section E: Application for transfer by new lien holder, if applicable

Current, valid certificate of registration:

If the registration is valid and current, no additional registration fees are required, unless the registration expires within 45 days of the transfer. In that case the new registration fees are due. Go online to calculate the amount. Go to and follow the instructions, which include inputting the last four digits of the VIN, license plate number and other information. Once you submit the information, a new window will open. Answer the questions there, click “submit” and scroll to the bottom of the web page for the estimated total, which will include the new registration fee plus the applicable transfer fee.

Current safety check (if available):

Submit the vehicle’s current safety check if possible. However, if the safety check is expired, the transfer can still occur. The requirement to mail in the safety check has been suspended through at least May 31, due to the governor’s emergency declaration.

>> Payment: Check made payable to “City and County of Honolulu.”

>> Mail required documents and payment to: Department of Customer Services, Division of Motor Vehicles, Licensing and Permits, P.O. Box 30330, Honolulu, HI 96820-0330.

>> Notes: The buyer is responsible for submitting the motor vehicle transfer documents and fee payment. The seller is responsible for submitting a completed Notice of Transfer form ( within 10 days of signing over the certificate of title. For more information, call 768-4324.

Correction: The state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations has corrected itself regarding unemployment claims by individuals from islands in the Compact of Free Association (COFA). Such individuals may check the status of a claim they have already filed by using the status form at huiclaims2020 However, when filing an initial claim via the portal at, they should enter the first nine digits of their I-94 number in the field marked “Alien No./I-94,” the department said.

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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