Question: Last year when the DMVs were so backed up, they were offering more service by mail, but now I can’t find what I need on the city website. Did that go out the window? Why? It’s still impossible to get an appointment!
Answer: Yes, largely. Honolulu County will still renew a two-year driver’s license by mail for people age 72 and older and replace a valid state ID by mail, but it’s no longer renewing four-year licenses or learner’s permits by mail or converting a provisional driver’s license to a standard license by mail. Those latter three options ended in January, as we’ve previously reported; the applicants must make an appointment to appear in person.
Regarding the state IDs, we’ll emphasize that replace means duplicate (exact replica), not renew.
The city is still getting numerous requests for service by mail that it no longer offers and does not fulfill, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services.
Federal funding had allowed the city to beef up staffing to add those mail-in services last year, which were especially needed when Honolulu County’s driver’s license centers and satellite city halls were closed to in- person service early in the pandemic. That funding ran out at year’s end, Nedd said.
Although the driver’s license centers and satellite city halls reopened for in-person service months ago, by appointment only, Kokua Line continues to receive complaints that there are few or no appointments available through the AlohaQ reservation system and that people cannot get through by phone. We’ve passed those concerns on to the city, which says it is working on improvements. We hope to have more to report soon. In the meantime, don’t mail in applications out of frustration, unless you’re certain the service is offered by mail and that you are eligible for it.
Many city, state and federal government services were in flux during the pandemic, especially early on. Processes publicized months ago may no longer be current. When it comes to driver’s licenses and state IDs, up-to-date processes can be found on the city’s website, at honolulu.gov/csd. Click on the headline that indicates the latest service updates.
Q: Please help me. All my neighbors got the $600 except me. Is there a number I can call?
A: Unfortunately, no. The Internal Revenue Service says that all Economic Impact Payments for the second round have been issued. If you have not received a payment by direct deposit, paper check or prepaid debit card by this point, you will have to file a 2020 federal income and claim any amount you are due as a Recovery Rebate Credit. The same is true of people who were skipped in the first round distribution of stimulus funds.
Auwe to gym/fitness club users who pull down their masks below the nose and mouth while working out unless staff is present. Please show aloha for other members by wearing your masks properly. — Frank
(Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in fitness facilities, the facilities should enforce consistent and correct use of face masks by staff members and patrons, including during high-intensity activities. Staff and patrons also should practice physical distancing and stay home when ill. Facilities should improve ventilation. Exercising outdoors or virtually could further reduce transmission risk.)
We wish to send a big mahalo nui loa to Freeway Service Patrol! We sustained a flat tire on the H-1 freeway, near Kahala Mall. Although we were not aware of Freeway Patrol, they arrived almost immediately. Jacob changed our tire with courtesy, friendliness and efficiency, without charge. Manuahi! Everyone needs to know about Freeway Service Patrol. It needs to be supported and continued! — John
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 email@example.com.