Question: Mahalo for the license renewal information for Honolulu County (808ne.ws/420kline). It prompted me to make an appointment to renew my license, which is expiring in June. The earliest appointment at the Kapalama facility was on Aug. 21. I understand now everyone’s frustration with AlohaQ. I could not search for an earlier appointment anywhere on the island. I plan to travel at the end of July. How will this affect my getting on the plane with an expired license?
Answer: Your expired license shouldn’t prevent you from getting through the security line at the airport. “If your driver’s license or state-issued ID expired on or after March 1, 2020, and you are unable to renew at your state driver’s license agency, you may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses or state-issued ID a year after expiration,” the Transportation Security Administration says on its website. Read more at www.tsa.gov/coronavirus.
Gov. David Ige has continuously extended expiration dates for Hawaii driver’s licenses and state IDs since the pandemic began, by emergency proclamation. The current extension is through June 8, for credentials that expired or will expire from March 16, 2020, to June 7. It seems likely he’ll extend the dates again, but we won’t know for sure until closer to the deadline.
Over the past year, we’ve heard from readers who said the automatic extension was not honored when they needed to present a valid ID for certain transactions, such as having a document notarized, buying alcohol or renting a car. On Friday, Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services posted a letter that eligible Oahu residents can carry with them, confirming that their credential is not actually expired.
“If this extension applies to you, print and keep an extension letter with your document issued by the City and County of Honolulu at all times as proof of eligibility for the automatic extension through June 8, 2021,” CSD said on its website. The letter is at 808ne.ws/extletter.
It will be updated and eligible people will need to print out a new one if the expiration dates are extended again, past June 8.
Q: Was unemployment hacked? They need to put out a lot more information about what’s going on.
A: You are referring to urgent anti-fraud messages the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations began issuing mid-month (808ne.ws/413kline) and intensified last week (808ne.ws/422sty), as well as the fact the Unemployment Insurance Division’s computerized system was down part of the day Wednesday.
Bill Kunstman, a spokesman for the DLIR, which includes the UI Division, said there was no hack or other compromise of the entire UI system. Rather, thieves are tricking individual claimants into providing information the thieves use to steal unemployment benefits, he said. The fraud alerts warn claimants not to click on links in unsolicited texts or emails that falsely claim to help people collect unemployment, he said.
“Imposter fraudsters are soliciting emails and texts and asking claimants to log into a website they control. When a claimant logs in they provide the information to the fraudsters, including their usernames and passwords. The fraudsters use that to go into the UI portal and change the direct deposit information. We are attempting to ascertain the scope of the issue. Bottom line: Don’t click on any links. We don’t send any links,” Kunstman said in an email Friday.
We asked how many Hawaii claimants have been affected and how much money has been lost, but Kunstman did not provide that information.
The only legitimate portal for Hawaii unemployment insurance benefits is at huiclaims.hawaii.gov/#/.
Q: Where is the official Oahu crime map?
A: If you mean the online map derived from the Honolulu Police Department’s dispatch system, you can reach it from the HPD website, honolulupd.org. Click on “Statistics” at the bottom of the homepage to go to a map where you can input an Oahu address, landmark or ZIP code for reports of recent crimes.
Amid the pandemic, the aloha spirit lives on. Recently, I went to a drive-thru in Wahiawa to buy breakfast. A young man in a black car ahead of me paid for my order! To show my gratitude, I paid for the big truck in back of me. Thank you, young man. You made my day. Mahalo also to the drivers who are on Glen Avenue, Royal Palm Drive and Eames Street early in the morning. Since sidewalks are nonexistent, senior walkers are forced to walk on the road or on the uneven grassy areas. These drivers go out of their way to give us a wide berth. Thank you for making our morning walks safe. — 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.