comscore Kokua Line: Honolulu County resumes road tests with new pandemic-era rules for drivers | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Honolulu County resumes road tests with new pandemic-era rules for drivers

Question: Did they restart the road tests? My son needs to get his driver’s license before his permit expires.

Answer: Yes, Honolulu County has resumed road tests by appointment only. New pandemic rules apply, including that the applicant passes a temperature check and health screening questionnaire before getting behind the wheel, and drives with a face mask on and the car’s windows down (no air- conditioning) for the duration of the road test.

Find details at and click on the “Appointments” icon on that website to make an appointment. Road test appointments for regular licenses (as opposed to commercial ones) are not made on the AlohaQ website, but through the Appointment for Road Test System (ARTS), which you can reach online as we’ve described.


I don’t want to name the location because I’m sure it’s not the only offender, but please print this general advice for all businesses in enclosed spaces, such as offices, clinics, diagnostic labs, stores, restaurants, etc. We know the airborne virus is more likely to spread in enclosed spaces, so businesses should train or retrain workers to avoid needless chit-chat so that customers can get in and out as quickly as possible. In this pandemic, working as efficiently as possible should become the norm, and that means toning down the mindless chatter. — A reader

E Kala Mai

To the woman who took exception to being reminded about wearing a mask in the Kailua Whole Foods on Wednesday: I apologize and I’m sorry you have a condition permitting a medical exception. We both made assumptions — me in assuming you were one of those who place personal freedom over community well-being because you appeared able-bodied; you in assuming I’m old enough to qualify for kupuna hour because of my hair color. You’re right, your medical condition is not my business, but mask-wearing and public health is everyone’s business. And here’s a thought, it might reduce your own exhalations (and reduce the number of people who think you are simply flouting the rules) if you weren’t talking on your phone while shopping. To Kokua Line: What are the medical exceptions for wearing a mask and is there any way to distinguish those non-wearers? — Grandmother trying to protect a newborn

(In answer to your questions, Honolulu County’s order requiring people to wear face masks in certain situations does not apply to “individuals with medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering may pose a health or safety risk to the individual.” The order goes on to say that “individuals who are unable to wear a non- medical grade face covering due to medical conditions or disabilities where the wearing of a face covering may pose a health or safety risk to the person are encouraged to wear a face shield instead,” but that’s a recommendation, not a requirement. Under the order, there’s no way to distinguish why someone isn’t wearing a mask, and it seems likely that any effort to do so would ignite opposition from medically exempt people and their advocates. Since the pandemic began, we’ve heard from numerous readers who said they can’t wear a mask due to medical conditions not obvious to passersby, such as chronic breathing problems. Some said they’ve been singled out and stigmatized for not wearing a mask. Read Honolulu County’s pandemic rules at by clicking on the link that says “Proclamations, Orders and Rules re: COVID-19.”


Mahalo to the nice lady who had a fresh box of blue masks and gave me one when I forgot mine at Market City. Since then I remembered to put extras in the car so I always have one when I run errands. — 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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