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Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Governor’s order is needed to extend expiring Hawaii’s driver’s licenses and state IDs

Question: My license already expired, and I missed my renewal appointment again because of the second shutdown. When I am finally able to get a new license, will it be good for eight years from the date I finally get to renew it or from the date it originally expired?

Answer: The duration of your new license will be based on the expiration date printed on your license, not the automatic extension granted by Gov. David Ige’s emergency proclamation. This will be true for anyone renewing a driver’s license or state ID, not only those seeking eight-year credentials.

As of now the governor’s emergency extension is good through Sept. 30, for driver’s licenses and state IDs that expired or will expire from March 16 through Sept. 29. We’ve heard from many readers asking whether and/or when the governor will extend the order to cover credentials expiring past that date — which is coming up fast.

The governor is expected to issue another supplementary proclamation, but we don’t know when or exactly what it will cover. A spokeswoman confirmed that the Attorney General’s Office is working on the document.

The state Department of Transportation, which oversees policies that the counties carry out regarding the issuance and renewal of driver’s licenses and state IDs, said it is working with the counties and the executive branch on a solution.

“The legal authority for the extension of the renewal deadline for driver’s license and state identification cards is the suspension of HRS sections 286-106 and 286-107 in the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation. HDOT is working closely with the Governor’s Office and the Office of the Attorney General on this extension with the goal of reducing the number of applicants seeking face-to-face services at county driver’s licensing centers. Should another emergency proclamation be issued, HDOT will update the counties immediately,” Shelly Kunishige, a DOT spokeswoman, said Thursday.

More than 56,000 Hawaii driver’s licenses in Honolulu County have expired without renewal during the pandemic, or will expire within the next 12 weeks, according to the city. That’s just driver’s licenses — that total doesn’t include driver’s permits, out-of-state transfers or state IDs.

Oahu’s driver’s license centers and satellite city halls are closed through at least Sept. 23 due to Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s second shutdown order.

Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services plans to expand hours for service by appointment once the shutdown is lifted, and does provide some service by mail and online. However, those services are limited, constrained in part by state laws that need updating.

For a list of available serv­ices, go to www. honolulu/csd and click on “Changes to Operations.” Many Oahu residents have asked about renewing driver’s licenses by mail, so we’ll again provide the link to the instructions; it’s Eligibility is limited, so be sure to read through the rules first.

Q: Is REAL ID still taking effect Oct. 1? Not that I am going anywhere, but you never know.

A: No. Enforcement has been delayed a year, to Oct. 1, 2021. The federal law had Hawaii residents rushing to get a gold star on their driver’s license or state ID so they could continue to use their state-issued credential to get through security lines at U.S. airports.


A belated mahalo to the angel in the pink blouse. First, thank you for allowing me to go ahead of you in line at Times grocery store. Second, thank you for paying for my groceries after I ran into problems paying with a check since my driver’s license was expired. It was an expensive bill, but you still paid it for me. Thank you so much. I’ll be sure to pass it on. — Grateful senior citizen

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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