Question: The city says to practice the route for your road test, but I don’t see the route posted anywhere, at least not officially, I don’t think. Can you find out? It took my daughter so long to get an appointment to get her permit that now that she has her road test coming up, she has to pass it on the first try so she can drive for work, which is a requirement.
Answer: Honolulu County does encourage applicants to get to know the streets, speed limits and neighborhoods surrounding the specific Driver Licensing Center where they are scheduled to take their road test, but it doesn’t publicize the exact routes, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for the Department of Customer Services, which includes the motor vehicle licensing division.
“Driving routes for road tests are not posted anywhere (by the department). Our locations that offer road tests have multiple routes that are used for the service; however, we do urge applicants to practice driving in the area where they plan to take the test. This allows applicants to become familiar with the area,” he said.
The video about road tests on the department’s website (808ne.ws/testtips) emphasizes that “it’s a good idea to get some practice on the actual test route. It’s not cheating, it’s being smart.”
We saw multiple routes online, on social media such as Reddit, but those were posted by individuals who said they had driven those routes to get their license, not by the county. As Nedd said, routes vary, so the best bet is to practice driving and parking in the neighborhood surrounding your road-test station.
It’s also a good idea to practice driving with the windows down, air conditioning off and face mask on, as those pandemic-era conditions persist during Honolulu County’s road tests.
Road tests are conducted in Honolulu, Kapolei, Kaneohe, Wahiawa and Waianae. To make an appointment, go to www12. honolulu.gov/csdarts/ default.aspx.
Q: I need my birth certificate to renew my license, but I was not born in Hawaii and can’t seem to locate a copy. Looking online, all I found was commercial sites with added fees. I seem to recall you had something about this a few years ago, but I didn’t pay enough attention at the time.
A: The National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has a website that links to state and territory departments that distribute birth, death, marriage and divorce records to eligible parties. Dealing directly with the relevant state or territory — rather than an online middleman — should get you the best price for vital records you are eligible to receive. The website is at 808ne.ws/nchs.
Q: Regarding income taxes, I got my federal refund right away, but I am still waiting on the state.
A: If it’s been nine weeks or more since you filed, you should be able to track your refund using the “Where’s My Refund Search” tool on the state Department of Taxation’s website, at hitax.hawaii.gov/_/.
You’ll need to input your Social Security or tax ID number, plus the exact amount of the refund you’re expecting. The search tool won’t work if a tax preparer filed your return and arranged for the refund to be paid on a prepaid debit card; in that case, you’ll have to check with your preparer on the status of your refund.
Find more information on DOTAX’s website, tax. hawaii.gov; scroll to near the bottom of the main page for the link to the search tool.
Mahalo to the man in the Waterfront Plaza parking garage who noticed that I had dropped something as I was walking to my car. It was my COVID-19 vaccination card! What a disaster that would have been!
I was carrying it because I had been at Pier 2 getting my second shot. He also suggested that I make a copy for my regular doctor so my medical records are up to date, which I thought was good advice. I am sorry I did not get his name, but I did thank him enthusiastically! — A reader
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