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Kokua Line: How many times can I renew my learner’s permit before I have to take the road test?

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Question: My daughter is 18 and recently got her driver’s permit. It may be a while before she is ready to take the road test because she is having a hard time. Would you know how many times the driver’s permit can be renewed before she is required to take the road test? Is there a limit as to the number of times it can be renewed?

Answer: There is no limit on the number of times an applicant can renew an instruction permit, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services. However, there are rules about the timing of renewal, he said.

A learner’s permit may be renewed for another one-year period no sooner than 30 days before the permit’s expiration date, according to the department’s website.

If the permit has expired, the applicant can renew it up to 90 days past the expiration date, but any longer than that and the applicant will have to retake the written test.

Minors who renew their permit 31 through 90 days after expiration will have to wait 180 days after renewal to take the road test, Nedd said, although that would not apply to your daughter since she is an adult.

If your daughter knows she will not take the road test before her permit expires, it would be wise for her to renew her permit as soon as the 30-day window opens.

Q: Do the road tests still have the COVID-19 rules?

A: Yes, according to the Department of Customer Services’ website. These rules include having the applicant pass a health screening, wear a face mask, and drive with the windows down. Read more at Click on “COVID-19 Service Alerts.”

Q: Regarding the vaccine exemption for incoming Hawaii travelers, what about for U.S. military dependents who got their shots on base, but overseas? That is the case for my grandchildren, who I hope will be able to visit me on Oahu pretty soon.

A: The state Department of Health covers this on the COVID-19 portal, in response to the question, “I’m in the military and have been fully vaccinated on-base overseas. Will I qualify for the vaccination exception?”

DOH’s answer: “If you are flying from any U.S. state or territory to Hawaii with a CDC card or DOD DD Form 2766C showing two shots of Moderna or Pfizer or one shot of Johnson & Johnson, plus 15 days, even if administered on-base overseas, you will qualify for the vaccination exception. If, however, you are flying to Hawaii on an international flight, you will not qualify for a vaccination exception.”

Keep in mind that these are the rules as of today, but the requirements might change by the time your grandchildren finalize their plans.

Gov. David Ige said that all Safe Travels restrictions will be lifted when 70% of Hawaii’s population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19; as of Wednesday, the rate stood at 58%.

Q: Expansion joints on H3 are bad, really bad. My truck jolts bad time every time. Will the state ever fix them?

A: Repair work is scheduled this weekend and at the end of the month on two expansion joints about 1.5 miles before the Halawa Interchange, Honolulu-bound, the state Department of Transportation said in a news release.

Honolulu-bound lanes will be closed on the H-3 Freeway from the Hale­kou Interchange in Kane­ohe to the Halawa Inter­- change starting at 8 p.m. Friday through 4 a.m. Monday, it said. On-ramps to the H-3 Freeway from Kamehameha Highway and Likelike Highway also will be closed.

“Honolulu-bound motorists are advised to use Likelike Highway or the Pali Highway as alternate routes,” the DOT said in a news release.

A second damaged joint in the same location is scheduled to be repaired the weekend of July 30, it said.


I would like to thank the security at Ala Moana Center and the Honolulu Police Department for helping me find a moped that had been stolen. — Thankful 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

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