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Use of self-service DMV kiosks on Oahu skyrockets during COVID-19 shutdown

                                A DMV Now self-service kiosk at Sack-N-Save in Halawa.
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A DMV Now self-service kiosk at Sack-N-Save in Halawa.

City officials say the use of its Hawaii DMV NOW self-service kiosks has grown nearly fourfold during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The free-standing kiosks, which operate much like ATMs inside of several local grocery stores, allow Hawaii drivers to renew and print vehicle registration cards and emblems instantly.

City officials said the kiosks processed and printed 128,374 vehicle registrations and emblems on Oahu in 2020, up from 32,310 a year earlier.

The city also says it plans to add more kiosks some time this year, though no specific are available yet.

“We are pleased to be able to provide the public with a convenient option to register or renew vehicles and have the new documents in hand in a matter of minutes — while being able to avoid lines and maintain social distancing,” said Nola Miyasaki, director designate of the city’s Department of Customer Services in a news release.

The nearly fourfold spike in kiosk use comes shortly after the city’s expansion of the service to seven locations across Oahu, offering drivers more options outside of city offices and normal business hours.

The city installed its first DMV Now self-service kiosks at four Safeway stores on Feb. 12, 2019, and since then, has added another Safeway location, along with Foodland Waipio and Sack N Save Stadium Marketplace, bringing the total available to seven. Many are open late, and some are available 24/7.

The kiosks accept registration renewals up to 10 months past the expiration date. Late registrations are assessed a standard $16 fee.

There is, however, a $3 convenience fee assessed by the vendor for transactions at the kiosks. The convenience fee is added to the 2.5% fee on credit and debit cards assessed by financial institutions when used at any of the kiosks.

Drivers can still renew a vehicle registration online or by mail; however, these options are unable to calculate any late fees that may be due, and require up to 15 business days for the card and emblem to be received by mail.

Visit honolulu.gov/csd for more information.

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