Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Vehicle Registration, Licensing Open for Limited In-Person Services

July 9, 2020, 8:33 AM HST
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The Division of Vehicle Registration & Licensing (VRL) Big Island offices are open for limited in-person services.

All VRL offices, with the exception of the Nā‘ālehu and Waimea offices, will be open for limited services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Nā‘ālehu office will be open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays by appointment only, and the Waimea office still remains closed. The best way to save time is by using the online appointment scheduler, according to a Department of Finance press release.

Operations will be modified to ensure the safety of both customers and employees. Face coverings must be worn, and customers must adhere to the recommended six-foot social distancing. Only those customers receiving services will be allowed inside the lobby, and minors or those needing additional assistance may have one additional person accompany them, if needed.

Appointments for both vehicle registration and driver’s license transactions may now be scheduled online. Walk-ins are welcome but will be subject to daily limits based on the availability of staffing and the estimated transaction processing time.

With higher demand upon the initial reopening, the Vehicle Registration & Licensing offices will be limiting transactions to the following:

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Driver’s License Transactions

  • Renewals of driver’s licenses and state IDs that are either expired or will be expiring in the months of July or August of 2020.
  • Initial driver’s licenses (out-of-state transfers), permits (written tests), and state identification.
  • Replacement of lost driver’s license, permit, or state identification.
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Motor Vehicle Transactions

  • Ownership transfers
  • Initial registrations
  • Duplicate titles and registrations
  • Replacement license plates and emblems

Due to ongoing health concerns, no road tests are being scheduled at this time. Additionally, no appointments for vehicle registration renewals will be offered so VLR can concentrate on those vehicles that need to be registered and are currently operating without valid registration or license plates, the release said. Vehicle registration renewals may be completed through mail-in, online, dropbox, or automated kiosk alternatives.

Auto dealers and fleet registrations will only be able to use the drop-off and pick-up services. Customers with driver’s licenses that aren’t expiring within the next 30 days may use the online appointment scheduler to book appointments. Don’t make appointments for future dates that are less than a month before your current driver’s license will expire, the release continued.

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“Gold Star” compliant driver’s license or state ID are important updates for many on the Big Island, however, the US Department of Homeland Security has extended the deadline to update licenses until Oct. 1, 2021.

Vehicle Registration Renewals

  • Mail-in renewals can be sent to County of Hawai‘i, Motor Vehicle Registration, 101 Pauahi St., #5, Hilo, HI 96720.
  • Online applications can be found on the county website.
  • Kiosks are located at the Safeway stores in Hilo and Kona as well as the Foodland store in Waimea, and at the Aupuni Center in Hilo adjacent to the County’s Planning Department.
  • In-wall drop off slot at the Hilo MVR office. (Do not drop off or mail-in renewal applications with cash).

Safety Inspections

  • Safety inspection certificates/stickers that expired prior to May 31, 2020, will remain valid through Aug. 31, 2020. This will allow you to renew your vehicle using any of the four listed methods above. Your vehicle must still be properly registered with the County Motor Vehicle Registration office to legally operate on public roadways.
  • Safety check certificates/stickers that expire on or after June 30, 2020, will be granted a 3-month extension. For example, if your safety check certificate/sticker expires at the end of September 2020, you will have an additional three months (or until December 31, 2020) to get a new safety check inspection performed on your vehicle. Upon passing the vehicle inspection, you will be issued a certificate of inspection and sticker that will be valid for 12 months from the date the vehicle is inspected.

Driver’s License or State ID’s renewals (issued after May 1, 2014)

  • Mail-in renewal applications to 349 Kapi‘olani St., Hilo, HI 96720. Duplicate license requests for lost licenses will also be accepted by mail. See the website for application details and forms.

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