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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Renewing driver’s license by mail still an option for some motorists

Question: Now that the DMV has reopened by appointment, is renewing your license by mail still an option? Or was that only while the DMV was closed?

Answer: Yes, renewing a Hawaii’s driver’s license by mail is still an option, but only for certain motorists — as was also the case during the pandemic closure of Oahu’s driver’s license offices and satellite city halls. As you noted, they have reopened, by appointment only.

Here are the requirements and process for driver’s licenses issued in Honolulu County, according to the Department of Customer Services:

>> Eligibility: A Hawaii driver’s license expiring in 2020 may be eligible for renewal by mail if it was issued on or after May 1, 2014; all of the applicant’s required documents and proof of legal U.S. presence are already on file with the DMV; the applicant has no previously reported medical conditions requiring secondary clearance; and there are no “stoppers” on the license.

>> Process: Even applicants who are sure they are eligible must confirm their status with the city before actually submitting a renewal application.

To confirm eligibility, send a letter requesting to renew your Hawaii Driver License. The letter must contain the following information, and should be submitted no earlier than six months before the expiration date printed on your license:

>> Name as it appears on the license

>> Mailing address associated with the credential

>> Social Security Number (last four digits) or Hawaii Driver License number

>> Date of birth

>> Email address

>> Applicant’s Signature

Submit your dated and signed letter:

>> By mail to: Driver License Section, P.O. Box 30340, Honolulu, HI 96820-0340

>> By email to:

>> By fax to: 768-9096

Once the department receives the request, it will review your eligibility and respond accordingly. If you are eligible, you’ll receive a renewal packet by mail or email with detailed instructions. Complete and return the forms as instructed.

The department emphasizes that this process does not apply to people with temporary lawful status in the United States, or to those who have pending compliance issues in other jurisdictions (“stoppers”), or who have a previously reported medical condition that requires re-evaluation for public safety.

Find more information on the department’s website, at

Q: I was wondering since this year it’s a mail-in election, will the state and city employees still get the day off?

A: Yes, for General Election Day, which is Nov. 3. That date is listed as an observed holiday for both state and Honolulu County employees.

Q: Along with the extra face masks and sanitizing wipes that I keep in my car, I’d like to add a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Is there any reason why I should not do this?

A: Yes. The Food and Drug Administration says hand sanitizer should not be stored above 105 degrees Fahrenheit and specifically that “it should not be stored in a car during the summer months.” The agency also says hand sanitizer should be stored out of sight and reach of children, who might mistakenly ingest it. You can read more on the FDA website,


Reading about the COVID-19 cases at big-box stores and grocery stores reminds me that these employees have been working throughout this whole pandemic, without the luxury of hazard pay or threatening to strike or any of that. Mahalo and best wishes to all of them, and to the few who are infected, I hope they get better soon. — A reader


Every morning my husband and I walk in Manoa. We usually pass one or two of our Honolulu bus drivers on the Woodlawn route. A smile and a wave start the day off with a wonderful feeling of aloha. — L.S.

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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