More and more states within the US are moving to a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) and Hawaii is one such state. This new GDL system requires teens to acquire a number of requirements and stages of driving before actually awarding an unrestricted driver’s license.
Instructional Permit: Phase One
The instructional permit is the first phase of most states GDL. Hawaii is among a few states that grant this license at the unique age of 15 years and 6 months. It is the first of three phases for teen drivers before earning their full license at 17 years of age at the earliest.
The learner permit as it is often called is valid for 1 year and requires a person who is at least 21 years old, licensed to operate the same type of motor vehicle to be seated next to the learner permit driver. Also during the hours of 11pm to 5am only a parent or guardian may be seated next to a learner permit driver. All occupants also must wear their seatbelts.
In order to renew or apply for a license in Hawaii you must provide proof of name and date of birth, proof of a Social Security Number, and proof of legal presence and residence. For minors, the parents or legal guardian’s signatures will also be needed in Hawaii.
Lastly the requirements for licensing in Hawaii are broken up between four different counties: Honolulu, Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The licensing requirements may actually differ between the four counties so be sure to visit your local licensing center.
The provisional license in Hawaii is granted under the following conditions:
• You are at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old.
• Have held an instructional permit for at least 180 days.
• Have completed state certified Driver’s Educational courses with the corresponding completion certificates for classroom and behind-the-wheel portions
• Successfully pass a road examination test.
During both instructional and provisional phases, drivers must have their driving license on them at all times while driving. With a provisional license, drivers may drive alone, but all occupants must wear seat belts. Also, passengers are restricted to only 1 passenger under the age of 18 without the licensee’s parent or guardian also being a passenger except if the underage passengers are also from the same household.
The provisional licensee also may not drive at night between 11pm and 5am without a parent or guardian in the passenger seat beside them. The only exceptions are where driving a motor vehicle to or from a place of employment or a school activity is required. The licensee must have a written letter outlining the nature of the driving needs and have it with them during these hours of driving without a parent or guardian.
Full Unrestricted License
Is available once you have held a provisional license for a minimum of 6 months, are at least 17 years old, have no pending traffic violations and meet all requirements of Chapter 286 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. .
Out of State Transfer
If you are moving to Hawaii and want to transfer your license, you will need to complete a driver license application, present your prior state’s unexpired driver’s license, have a clear driving status on the National Driver Registry and present documents proving your name, date of birth and residence proof within Hawaii.
DUIs in Hawaii
DUI violations for drivers in Hawaii result in automatic license suspension from 1 year to a first offence to 5 to 10 years for a 4th or more DUI within a 10 year period. The Blood Alcohol limit is the same as the national limit at 0.8% for drivers over 21 years of age but only 0.2% for drivers under 21 years of age. Fines and jail time may also be assessed on DUI or DWI charges based on the circumstances of the arrest.
Hawaii Driver’s Ed
Hawaii at present does not accept online driver’s written examinations or online driver’s education towards the Driver’s Ed portion for new drivers. Driver’s Ed programs are offered at local public schools and approved professional driver training schools. These programs offer in class and behind-the-wheel components that are required to attain provisional and unrestricted driver’s licenses.