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Kokua Line: Can I renew my Hawaii license from out of state?

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Question: Is it possible to renew my Hawaii driver’s license from out of state if I am still a permanent Hawaii resident? I had hoped to get this done before leaving to take care of my mother, but I am running out of time. I’m not sure how long I will be gone, probably a few months, which will be past the expiration date, and I need a valid license to drive while I am taking care of my mom. I already have the gold star.

Answer: Yes, it is possible to renew from outside Hawaii, but take steps to ensure that you receive the credential with gold star intact. Federal law prevents the city from mailing a Real ID- compliant (gold star) driver’s license outside Hawaii and the U.S. Postal Service won’t forward it either, said Harold Nedd, a spokesman for Honolulu County’s Department of Customer Services.

If someone will remain at your home while you’re gone, or pick up your mail, they could send along the license after it’s delivered to your Hawaii address. That’s how other readers have handled this problem.

You must list a Hawaii address on your renewal application to keep your gold star. “If your current mailing address is not in Hawaii, your driver’s license will be converted to a Limited Purpose Driver’s License,” the CSD website says. That type of license is meant for people who cannot prove their lawful U.S. status and it is not Real ID- compliant.

Here are the options CSD lists to renew from out of state:

>> Mail, email or fax a signed and dated letter requesting to renew your Hawaii driver’s license. In the letter, include your name as it appears on the license, mailing address, Social Security number (last four digits) or Hawaii driver’s license number, date of birth, email address and signature (which will be compared to your signature on file).

>> Mail to: Driver’s License Section, P.O. Box 30340, Honolulu, HI 96820-0340.

>> Email to

>> Fax to 808-768-9096.

After your request is received, the city will mail or email you a renewal packet. Complete and return all forms as instructed.

As for renewing in person before you leave, next-day appointments are available on, and it’s also possible to walk in for same-day service at some locations. However, you’d still have to deal with the mail. You’d receive a temporary license when you renew in person but wait weeks for the plastic card to be mailed to your Hawaii address. If you have forwarded your mail through the Postal Service in the meantime, the license would be returned to the city (not forwarded). So having a friend or family member collect your mail and send it to you might be your best option.

Q: Is the state library doing passports again?

A: Yes, by appointment on Thursday afternoons and Saturday mornings. Call 808-586-3477 to make an appointment. Find more information at


It should not be so hard to get a road test on Oahu. The government requires us to have a license to drive and a road test is part of that process, so it should make sure there are enough appointments. When I checked Friday the first available road test I could find anywhere on Oahu was for Aug. 1! — Frustrated


While out walking at 7:30 a.m. Friday along University Avenue in Manoa, an obviously deranged man approached me and starting screaming and swearing at me. I kept walking and the screaming man followed me. A very helpful man in an SUV (who may have been a parent from nearby Mid-Pacific Institute) started honking his horn and rolled down his car window to shout at the person, who then walked away. I appreciated that driver’s attention to my unsettling predicament and his help to distract the shouting man. Thank you very much to that driver. — Mahalo, Sandra Fujii

Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 7-500, Honolulu, HI 96813; call 808-529-4773; or email

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