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Frequently Asked Questions - Hawaii Teen Driver

The Hawaii DMV requires every applicant to provide proof of identification, Social Security number and date of birth by submitting one of the following documents:

Acceptable Documents for Proof of Name and Birthdate
• State certified birth certificate with both parents listed or state certified birth identification card
• Valid United States passport
• Valid foreign passport with corresponding immigration documents
• Resident Alien Card
• Refugee identification card
• Hawaii State identification card with photo
• Military identification card
• United States immigration or naturalization papers
• Out-of-state driver’s license with photo

Acceptable Documents for Proof of Security Number
• Original Social Security Card
• Driver’s license with Social Security number and photo
• State of Hawaii identification card with photo
• Military identification card or DD-214
• Medicaid Identification card (Suffix A only)
• Income tax return form W-2

Acceptable Signature For Minor Applicants
• Both parents (married, separated or divorced with joint custody)
• Divorced parent with custody papers
• One parent if spouse deceased
• Legal guardian(s) with court documents
• Foster parent(s) with court documents
• Responsible person(s) if parents are deceased
• Employer if parents are deceased and no responsible(s) person

Acceptable Documents for Change of Name, Birthdate or Sex
• Naturalization Certificate
• Decree by the Lt. Governor’s Office
• Divorce decree with name change listed
• Hawaii Marriage Certificate issued by the Department of Health
• Out-of-state marriage certificate (state issued with seal)
• Certified statement by physician stating sex change is valid

In 2006, the State of Hawaii moved to a graduated licensing program for teen drivers. This program has strict driver education requirements, which include:

• 30 hours of classroom instruction
• 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training

The Department of Education (DOE) offers the above training but the classes fill up quickly since the DOE only charges $10 per class. Numerous private driving schools offer the more than just the basic training, but they can be expensive. Hawaii limits the fees third-party companies can charge, which is not more than $250 for the driver education course and not more than $50 for the behind-the-wheel training.

The State of Hawaii Graduated Driver License Program (GDL) became effective on January 9, 2006. The following are the age requirements for obtaining an instruction permit or driver’s license:

• Instruction Permit—15 and a half years old
• Provisional License—16 years old
• Driver License—17 years old

Applicants between the ages of 15 and a half and 17 must hold an instruction permit for a minimum of 180 days before being eligible to apply for a driver’s license. Teen drivers must log 50 hours of practice driving, with 10 hours driven at night. This must be verified by the parent or legal guardian and submitted to the license examiner at the DMV.

Sign up for a driving education class since you don’t need a permit to complete the 30 hours of classroom instruction. Pick up a copy of the Hawaii Driver’s Manual or download it from the Internet. Most licensing offices charge a small fee for the manual, usually under $5.00. The Hawaii Driver’s Manual is 160 pages and covers the following topics:

• Licensing of drivers
• Vehicle equipment and inspection
• Vehicle registration
• Traffic laws, ordinances, rules and regulations
• Signals, signs and lane markings
• Accident procedures
• No-fault insurance and financial responsibility
• Alcohol and other drugs
• Safe driving techniques
• Trucks, buses and motorcycles
• Pedestrian safety
• Bicycle safety

There are separate manuals for operating motorcycles and commercial vehicles.

The Hawaii DMV requires teen drivers to pass the following tests:

Written Exam
• Applicants must be able to pass a written exam about Hawaii’s motor vehicle laws, safe driving techniques and traffic signs.

Vision Test
• You must be able to pass the vision test with at least 20/40 in one eye with a horizontal visual field of 140 degrees. Applicants may have the test waived by submitting a vision report from an ophthalmologist dated within the last six months.

Road Test Instructions & Requirements
• Teen drivers who want to obtain a provisional license or a Hawaii driver’s license are required to pass a road test. They must have a valid instruction permit and be accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years or older. The vehicle must meet all safety inspection standards and have current registration tags.

When you go to the Hawaii driver license station, fill out an application for a type 3 (car) instruction permit. You will need to bring the following items with you:

• Valid photo identification
• Your original Social Security card
• An original or certified copy of your birth certificate

If you pass both the written test and eye test, you will be given a type 3 permit.

If you have a provisional license, you must convert this license to a full driver’s license before you turn 19, otherwise you will have to begin the licensing process all over again. Minors under 18 will not be issued a provisional license or full license if they have any pending traffic violations that could result in the suspension or revocation of their instructional permit or provisional license.

Once you have obtained an instruction permit, a licensed driver who is 21 years must supervise you at all times. This person must occupy the passenger seat next you. You can operate a motor vehicle between 11 pm and 5 am only if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

The instruction permit and provisional license restrictions are outlined below:

Instruction Permit Restrictions
• You must be supervised at all times by a person who is 21 years or older and has a valid driver’s license.

• If you are driving between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

• You must hold your instruction permit for 180 days before being eligible to take the road test.

Provisional License Restrictions
• Only one passenger under 18 can accompany you in the vehicle. This does not apply if your parent or guardian is also in the vehicle or the minors are your siblings.

• If you are driving between the hours of 11 pm and 5 am, you must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian unless one of the following applies:

• You are driving to or from a school sanctioned event. You are required to have a signed statement from your parent or guardian with the parent’s name, address and telephone number with a verification of the necessity to drive to and from the school event.

• You are driving to or from your place of employment. You must have a signed statement from your employer with the employer’s name, address and telephone number with a verification of work hours listed on the statement.

• Any traffic citations received during this time will result in your license being suspended or even revoked for up to one year.

To obtain an instruction permit in Hawaii, the following requirements must be met:

• You must be at least 15 and a half years old.

• You must provide written consent from your parent(s) or legal guardian unless you are married or have been given emancipated minor status by a court of law.

• You must provide acceptable identification at the Hawaii Department of Vehicles (DMV).

• Your must pass a written multiple-choice test about the rules of the road with at least an 80 percent score.

• You must pass a written exam showing that you can identify the road signs.

For applicants under the age of 18, this is the first step in the three-phase graduated licensing process. You must hold your learner’s permit for 180 days before being eligible to take the road test. The fee for obtaining a permit may be different in each county, but the general fee is around $10. All driver’s instructional permits are valid for a period of one year from the date issued. Permits can be renewed 30 days prior to and 90 days after the expiration date. If the permit has expired after 90 days, you will need to start the entire process over.