The city will reopen its offices for some driver’s licensing and state identification services on Tuesday but with social distancing in mind and reducing the number of customers allowed in at any one time. This follows the reopening Friday of its online appointment system.
City officials emphasize that walk-ins will not be accepted.
“For the safety of everyone, we discourage anyone from coming down to our driver licensing centers without an appointment,” Sheri Kajiwara, director of the Department of Customer Services, said in a statement. “To minimize the crowd, only those with an appointment will be allowed to remain on site. Customers will be allowed to enter the facility only 15 minutes before an appointment time. If customers are too early, they will be asked to wait in their cars.”
Priority will be given to an estimated 9,500 people whose licenses and state IDs expire in June, according to Customer Services spokesman Harold Nedd. These include individuals whose licenses actually expired in March, but were granted a 90-day extension under a state emergency order in response to the new coronavirus pandemic, as well as those whose licenses and state IDs expire in June.
He said that later in June, the city will open up services for another 10,000 or so residents, including those who had April license and ID expiration dates and were granted extensions that expire in July, as well as those who had July expiration dates.
“For those whose driver’s licenses and state IDs are not yet expired, we ask for your patience as we assist those with greatest needs first,” Kajiwara said. “We have added cleaning time between appointments and made physical changes to our centers to create a safe environment for both our customers and staff.”
The city closed all its driver-licensing centers and satellite city halls on March 25. In-office visits were suspended nine weeks ago and 44,000 appointments were canceled.
At the time, the centers and satellite city halls were jammed with people trying to get a REAL ID (indicated by a star on driver’s licenses or state IDs), which will be required to access federal facilities and to board commercial aircraft. The deadline to get the enhanced ID originally was set for Oct. 1, but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline by one year to Oct. 1, 2021.
People with in-person appointments should wear face masks or coverings and keep a 6-foot distance from others when entering a city office.
To make an appointment online for driver’s licensing and state identification card services, go online to AlohaQ.org.
Those without access to a computer or who have hardship or special needs may call the appointment assistance hotline at 768-4177.
The satellite services information line is 768-3798.
To help ease the demand for appointments, the city sent out 50,000 letters to Oahu residents who qualify for driver’s licenses or state ID services that are available online or by mail. These include people who renewed their driver’s licenses between May 2014 and January 2018 and simply want to obtain their REAL ID or who want duplicate credentials.
Reconstructed-vehicle inspection is another service available by appointment only.
The city will announce later the procedures for written and road tests for new driver’s license applicants.
Those who hold a Hawaii commercial driver’s license that expires between March 15 and May 31 are allowed an extension of up to 90 days but cannot go past June 30. CDL holders should check back on the city website as to when they may make in-office appointments.
For more information, visit honolulu.gov/csd.