Thousands of Hawaii drivers need license renewals, deadline to use expired licenses quickly approaching

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tuesday, April 13, is the last day a driver’s license or state ID that has expired since March, 2020 will be considered valid.

The City and County of Honolulu says thousands of motorists are behind on their renewals.

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According to the City Department of Customer Services, there were over 70,000 people that needed to renew their driver’s license between March, 2020 and March, 2021. They noted this count could include some who either left Hawaii or died, however.

“We know there’s still a little bit of a logjam but we also know that we’ve been able to make more accommodations to appointments opened.”

Nola Miyasaki, Director of Customer Services

Some of the changes they made at the beginning of March, 2021 include limiting appointments to people whose licenses were set to expire within three months, blocking people from making more than one appointment and overbooking to make up for no-shows.

Nola Miyasaki, director of customer services, said the changes helped cut the backlog by about 20,000 people.

They added another change during the week of Monday, March 22, allowing some Satellite City Halls to take walk-ins at their express windows. The express windows are available at six out of the nine locations.

These include Ala Moana, Kapalama, Kapolei, Pearlridge, Wahiawa and Windward City. Walk-ins are not being taken at the Downtown, Hawaii Kai and Waianae Satellite City Halls due to lack of space.

“We’re still limited by the social distancing requirements, we cant offer express lane services at our three Satellite City Hall locations, and if we could we’d do all of them and that would free up more appointments,” said Miyasaki.

Miyasaki said, non-licensing transactions can be done at the express windows. These include water bill or property tax payments, getting a handicap placard, bus pass sales, spray/neuter certificates and motor vehicle renewal.

Driver’s licenses, ID renewals and title transfers still require an appointment. More information on this can be found on the City’s website.

“By allowing the simpler transactions non licensing transactions to be done on a walk in basis through the express line that goes faster, we’re going to free up more Aloha Q appointments.”

Nola Miyasaki, Director of Customer Services

The City said, there is currently a backlog with mailed in motor vehicle registrations and they are recommending people either walk in or use one of the DMV Now kiosks to get the registration done quicker.

“Right now we’re running about six to eight weeks on a backlog on the motor vehicle registration, so even if you mail it in to us, there’s quite a lengthy turnaround,” said Miyasaki.

Miyasaki said, they are also considering extending hours at some Satellite City Halls to help clear the backlog and deal with the additional 26,000 people that will need to renew their license over the next three months.

“That will be big help so that we can actually open up our driver license counters for, you know, overtime hours,” said Miyasaki.

The City Department of Customer Services said it may still take a couple of months before it is able to catch up.

Only the governor has the authority is extend the renewal period past April 13. The City and County of Honolulu said, it expects the governor to extend the deadline.

The governor’s office told KHON2 that would be included in the next emergency proclamation.

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