comscore Kokua Line: Why is Honolulu County scrapping popular by-mail renewal for certain driver’s licenses? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Why is Honolulu County scrapping popular by-mail renewal for certain driver’s licenses?

Question: I followed all instructions on AlohaQ and still am unable to get an appointment before my driver’s license expires. Meanwhile, my husband, who is a few years older, was able to renew by mail. What a convenience! Any chance they will lower the age for that?

Answer: No, quite the opposite. Honolulu County announced Wednesday that as of Tuesday it will suspend mail-in driver’s license renewal for Hawaii driver’s license holders age 72 and up whose “gold star” documents are already on file. The service, implemented during the pandemic, proved so popular that it was tying up staff needed to serve customers in person, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for the Department of Customer Services.

Eligible applicants who submit their application before Tuesday will be processed, Nedd said, which takes six to eight weeks.

However, the link to the instructions — which were detailed — already has been removed from the city’s website.

When it rolled out in October, the mail-in license renewal for drivers 72 and up was seen as a way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure for a vulnerable population. But that was before vaccination was widely available. Now the city is focused on returning to business as usual after more than a year of changes and disruptions to customer serv­ice because of the pandemic.

“With many motorists in this age group now vaccinated, driver licensing centers are shifting their focus and resources to staffing their counters with all available clerks in an effort to break through a pandemic-­caused backlog by the end of the year,” says a news release from CSD.

Starting July 1, Honolulu County intends to offer expanded service hours at driver’s licensing centers and at satellite city halls that offer driver’s license and state ID renewals. In the meantime, Nedd said, readers like you who need an appointment more quickly than available on AlohaQ ( can try for same-day stand-by service. See details at; click on “COVID-19 Service Alerts.”

Stand-by service is working well, he said, filling the roughly 30% of appointment slots freed each day by no-shows or short-­notice cancellations.

Q: The governor said that members of unions with job-placement serv­ices don’t have to search for three jobs a week like other people on unemployment. Why and which unions?

A: Organized labor organizations that provide job-placement services are commonly known as “referring unions” because they refer their members for jobs. “If you are registered and in good standing with a referring union you are not required to make three job contacts, but you must follow your union rules for obtaining work. If your union has verified that you are in good standing, you will not be asked whether you made three job contacts per week,” according to the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, which posted the following list of referring unions on its informational website, hawaiiunem

>> International Union of Bricklayers & Allied Craftsworkers

>> Operating Engineers

>> Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees (Unite Here)

>> Elevator Constructors Union

>> International Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers

>> Roofers Union

>> Sheetmetal Workers Union

>> Laborers’ International Union of North America

>> International Assoc of Bridge, Structural & Ornamental Iron Workers

>> Boilermakers – 627 (No Hawaii office)

>> Operative Plasterers & Cement Masons

>> International Alliance of Theatrical State Employees (IATSE)

>> Plumbers & Fitters

>> Musicians Association of Hawaii

>> Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters

>> Hawaii Carpenters Union Local 745

>> Hawaii Carpenters Union Local 746

>> Hawaii Teamsters

>> International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

>> International Union of Painters & Allied Trades

>> Glaziers Union

>> Carpet Linoleum & Soft Tile

>> Drywall, Tapers, Finishers & Allied Workers

>> International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers Hawaii Federal and Amalgamated

>> American Radio Association (No Hawaii office)

>> Marine Engineers Benefit Association

>> Seafarers International Union

>> International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots

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

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature
Comments (5)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Scroll Up