Question: I thought they were going to start renewing driver’s licenses online. What happened with that?
Answer: The bill that would have allowed it stalled in the state Senate, after passing in the House. HB273 HD1 SD1 (808ne.ws/onlinedmv) would have let the state Department of Transportation adopt emergency rules allowing Hawaii driver’s licenses to be renewed online. The measure failed to get a required hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee and the deadline for doing so this session has passed.
As Kokua Line reported last month (808ne.ws/kline312), numerous other states let their residents renew driver’s licenses online, but that service isn’t available in Hawaii, where applicants must show up in person; by appointment only; or in limited circumstances, renew by mail.
Many Oahu residents have complained that they can’t get a timely appointment in the AlohaQ reservation system (alohaq.honolulu.gov). Now we’re also hearing from applicants who say they are still waiting for their permanent license long after the temporary one they were issued at their appointment has expired. We’re also hearing from people who say the city canceled their appointments without explanation.
The backlog of renewals on Oahu is so bad that the Department of Customer Services hopes to clear it by year’s end — that’s eight months from now (808ne.ws/420kline). Meanwhile, enforcement of the U.S. REAL ID law is scheduled to begin less than six months from now (Oct. 1), after being postponed a year due to the pandemic.
Q: Will the Going Green recycling events resume anytime soon? I have some items to dispose of.
A: Yes, the drive-thru, drop-off events have been held periodically over the past few months, following COVID-19 safety protocols. The next one is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Kapolei High School, 91-5007 Kapolei Parkway, according to a news release.
The following items will be accepted: computers, printers and scanners (one load per car); TVs (one per car); batteries (auto and lead-acid only); HI-5 beverage containers (redeemable plastic and aluminum); usable clothing for a KHS fundraiser, plus prom dresses, women’s business attire, and accessories for other nonprofit organizations; used eyeglasses and hearing aids; and used towels and blankets. Canned goods for the Hawaii Foodbank also are welcome.
Q: Are there any organizations that will still pick up recyclable plastic bottles? Otherwise, they will be thrown in the trash. What a waste. The state recycle tax is generating money for the state; they should make the program work for everybody. Please help!
A: Yes. The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Hawaii is one nonprofit organization that accepts donations of redeemable HI-5 recyclable plastic bottles, and will pick them up. You can schedule a pickup at ucpickup.org or by calling 254-0114 on Oahu.
There are other groups that will accept HI-5 recyclables if you are willing to drop them off, such as the Going Green events mentioned in the previous question.
Q: We are finally going to Vegas and had hoped there would be a vaccination exemption before we got back. We are both fully vaccinated. But it doesn’t look like that will happen. We don’t use online. I guess we will have to. Can we have the same email address for both of us?
A: No. “Every traveling adult needs to create their own Safe Travels account, using their own email address and password. An account cannot be created with an email address already used in the system,” according to the state of Hawaii’s Office of Enterprise Technology Services’ FAQ for the program.
Hawaii’s Safe Travels program allows arriving trans- Pacific passengers to skip Hawaii’s 10-day quarantine if they provide a negative result from an acceptable COVID-19 test before boarding their plane to Hawaii. As you know, at this time there is no exemption for fully vaccinated trans-Pacific travelers.
Read more about the Safe Travels digital app at travel.hawaii.gov. Click on the “Help” icon at the top right of the page for FAQs in English.
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