Frequently asked questions, tips for smoother driver’s license renewal process


On Monday, we took another look at what paperwork you need to bring to renew your Hawaii driver’s license.

Since then, tens of thousands of you have logged onto our website to see the story.

It also got people talking on Facebook so much, it was shared nearly a thousand times.

It all started with a call to our Action Line department from a viewer who thought she had the correct documents but was told she didn’t.

The story had such a strong response, we went back to the Kapalama Driver Licensing Center see if people still had questions about the process.

“We were here to get my son his first state ID,” Rick Kirkham said.

In order to get or renew a driver’s license or state ID, you need your social security card and your original or state-certified birth certificate.

Viewers asked, can a passport be used too?

We’re told a valid passport is acceptable along with your social security card and two documents showing proof of residence.

Viewers also asked, do you have to bring these documents every time you renew?

We’re told the documents are scanned and in the system for 16 years, so the city recommends bringing them every other renewal period if you renew every eight years.

Kirkham and his son waited about an hour and half to get the ID, and he said it was overall an easy process thanks to a clerk stationed right by the entrance.

“I showed them our papers and they showed us what we needed and what we didn’t need,” Kirkham said. “We actually had everything ready according to that lady.”

We’re told these clerks work to verify that customers have all the right documents to avoid being turned away after waiting in line.

A similar system is in place at the Koolau and Kapolei locations when a clerk is available.

So what can you do to save time and possibly an extra trip?

Customers are encouraged to get a vision certificate from your doctor to skip the eye exam at the office.

You can look at the DMV cameras on the city website to check for lines, and make an appointment if possible.

Also, don’t wait until the last minute. You can renew your driver’s license six months before it is due and still keep your birthday expiration date.Click here for more information.

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