How to Register a Car in Hawaii

Whether you are moving to Hawaii, permanently living in a new county within the state, or purchasing a vehicle in Hawaii, you must register a vehicle with the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

You must register your vehicle in the county where you live. You have 30 days to register your car if you are a new resident of Hawaii. In order to complete the registration process, you must obtain a safety inspection certificate.

How to Register a Car in Hawaii

New Resident Registration

When you move to Hawaii and ship your vehicle, you must register a car in your county or apply for an out-of-state permit within 30 days of arrival. Transactions must be completed in person at a DMV location in your county or mailed to the address available on the county’s DMV website.

You need two different documents with your full name (first and last) to prove Hawaii residency:

  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Registration or title of the vehicle
  • Utility bill less than two months old
  • Rent agreement (6 months or more)
  • Mortgage
  • Paystub
  • Financial Statement (not older than 2 months)

Documents Required To Obtain A Driver’s License Or ID:

  • A copy of your Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Evidence of legal residency in the United States (Passport, Permanent Resident Card)
  • A copy of the name change documents (if applicable)
  • Proof of Hawaii residency
  • Completed application for getting a driver’s license

How to Register a Car in Hawaii?

Fill out the Application for Registration form and submit the following:

  • Your most recent out-of-state registration
  • Certificate of the title
  • a Bill of Lading or shipping receipt
  • Current Hawaii safety inspection report
  • G-27 “Motor Vehicle Use Tax Certification”
  • Proof of vehicle weight
  • An approved method of paying registration fees

Are you visiting Hawaii as a non-resident with your car? Then, an out-of-state permit may allow you to drive your car in Hawaii for a maximum of up to one year, or less if your out-of-state license plate expires. Note that this registration must be completed within 30 days of arrival in Hawaii.

How To Apply For An Out-Of-State Permit?

Complete the Out-of-State permit application and submit the following:

  • Current out-of-state registration
  • Bill of Lading or shipping receipt
  • Documents indicating when your vehicle arrived in Hawaii
  • Current Hawaii safety inspection report
  • Permit fee of $5

Each county in Hawaii has its own registration process, which may differ depending on whether you are moving from one county to another, buying from a private seller, or buying from a dealership. When you buy a vehicle from a dealer, the dealer takes care of all the paperwork so that your vehicle is properly registered.

The Process Of Registering A Vehicle Purchased Privately

If you have purchased a vehicle from a private seller, you will need to provide the following information:

  • Title transferred to you
  • Hawaii’s current vehicle registration
  • Fill out an application for registration of a motor vehicle
  • Display a current safety inspection certificate
  • $5 for transfer of registration

A $50 late fee will be applied if the registration and transfer of ownership are not completed within 30 days. Additionally, if you move to a different county in Hawaii, your vehicle must be registered in the new county.

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Edward Larrivee

Edward knows everything about car carriers. He helps AutoStar Transport Express customers learn the auto shipping industry and process and writes about car carriers, auto shipping, car transit, and things you need to know for a great car shipping experience. Edward spends his free time watching and playing basketball.
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Victoria Ruiz

A wanderer at heart, Victoria keeps taking her RAM 1500 to new places. She has been working in the auto transport industry for 7+ years. As an evangelist for Auto Star Transport (and as a friend who transports her vehicle), Victoria loves helping Auto Star Transport customers with help guides and insights. She is nowhere to be found when she is not in the office.
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