comscore Kokua Line: Do I have to pay the past 2 years to register a car I haven’t been driving? | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Hawaii News | Kokua Line

Kokua Line: Do I have to pay the past 2 years to register a car I haven’t been driving?

Question: If I have not paid my registration for two years because I was not using the car, do I need to catch up on past fees, or can I just pay the current-year fee in order to drive the car again?

Answer: “Back registration fees plus the current registration fees and penalties would have to be paid to legally drive the car in the City and County of Honolulu,” said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for the Department of Customer Services.

We’re receiving numerous questions and suggestions about vehicle registration fees, including from the following reader, whose own paperwork is up to date. He said:

“I was in a fender-bender where the other car was not registered and therefore did not have current insurance. So I am stuck with the bill, even though it wasn’t my fault. Honestly, I ended up feeling sort of bad for the other guy. He lost his job and was prioritizing more urgent bills. … When you look at what Hawaii charges for car registration, it’s insanely high compared to a lot of other states. … Given the economic situation with the pandemic, has the state or county or whoever would decide given any thought to having an amnesty on late registration fees? So that people could just pay the current registration fee to be street legal, and then they could get their annual inspection and keep their insurance current too? Yes, the state might lose some revenue but the alternative is worse — more people with unregistered, uninsured cars on the streets.”

Nedd referred us to the state Department of Transportation for a response, saying that “the city’s Department of Customer Services, which administers motor vehicle registration on Oahu for the state, has no statutory or regulatory authority to allow an amnesty on late registration fees.”

We emailed a DOT spokeswoman Wednesday but hadn’t heard back by deadline Monday.

Q: Regarding the new state rule for contractors inside state facilities, now that they are checking to see if we’re vaccinated or tested negative, do we still have to wear a mask?

A: Yes. “If not otherwise required by State or county orders, the contractor will ensure that all employees, whether fully vaccinated, unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, will wear a mask the entire time they are present in any State facility,” according to Executive Order No. 21-07 (Access to State Property), which took effect Monday.

You can read the order, which Gov. David Ige issued last week, at

Q: Did they extend the commercial driver’s licenses, too?

A: Initially during the pandemic, yes, but those extensions have expired, according to Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services. “As of June 1, 2021, there are no longer any waivers or extensions on an expired commercial driver’s license (CDL) or expired commercial learner’s permit (CLP),” it says on its website.


We are doing the right thing and canceling our vacation to Maui because that’s what the governor of Hawaii asked tourists to do. For the health of the people of the state, he said it wasn’t a good time to come and tourists should stay home. So we are. But because it was only a request by him to the public — and not a closure — we can’t get our money back for our lodging! The airline gave us credit for future travel, and the rental car let us cancel, but nothing at all from the vacation rental. Tourists, beware. Know the rules before you book. We’ll use our airline credits elsewhere. — Midwestern traveler


I’ve read about these stories, but I never thought it would happen to me. Last month while at Target, I apparently spent more money than I had. I told the nice cashier that I would have to take off the soap from my order. The next thing I heard was “I’ve got it. Put it on my bill.” I told the customer behind me that I didn’t need the soap, and we had some friendly bantering back and forth. He insisted. Even with masks on, I could tell that the Do family was beautiful inside and out — him, his lovely wife and handsome three sons. Even the cashier was happy. — Grateful Section 8 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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