In the event that a registration sticker is not received in Hawaii, it is important that you learn the correct steps required to get a replacement tab. Registration stickers, more commonly referred to as emblems in Hawaii, must be kept current at all times in order to avoid penalties such as fees and traffic tickets. Your registration needs to be renewed annually in the county where your car is located. Note that in most counties, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is managed by the Department of Finance.

Unfortunately, a DMV sticker not received will not excuse you from fines and other consequences you may face for driving with an expired registration. If your tabs never arrived after renewing your registration, it is your responsibility to obtain a replacement. Below, learn what to do if you have a license plate sticker was not received and discover what consequences you may face for failing to complete the replacement vehicle registration process.

Common Reasons for a Registration Sticker Not Being Received in Hawaii

A car sticker not being received can occur for several different reasons in Hawaii. First, it is possible that your tabs were lost in the mail due to an error on the DMV’s part or on the Post Office’s end. Second, your emblems may not arrive if you have recently moved and did not give your new information to the DMV prior to the office sending out your new tabs. Third, you may not receive your new stickers if your application is incomplete. Applications are usually considered incomplete for the following reasons:

  • You have an outstanding traffic violation and failed to clear it before sending in your application.
  • You failed to include the proper payment or made your fee payable to the wrong office.
  • You were required to send a photocopy of your current registration but did not do so.

It is also possible that your Hawaii DMV registration sticker is still in transit and has not been delivered yet. In most counties, stickers take about 10 business days to arrive. Before taking the steps to order a replacement tab, make sure to eliminate the possibility that your new stickers simply have not arrived yet.

Can I legally drive if my Hawaii registration sticker was not received?

If your car tag sticker was never delivered, you may face penalties regardless of the reason that your current stickers are not displayed on your vehicle. Driving with expired registration decals means that you can be pulled over by a law enforcement officer. At the officer’s discretion, you may be charged a fine for driving without proof of your current registration. Fees can vary depending on the exact type of ticket you are issued.

To help eliminate the penalties you may face for having your DMV registration sticker not received, you should carry a copy of your most current registration documents, especially if these show that you have renewed your registration but failed to receive the stickers on time.

Additional Consequences of a Car Sticker Not Received in Hawaii

Learning where to get registration sticker documents replaced is important not just because you can receive traffic citations, but because you can be fined by the DMV as well. If you did not receive a sticker because of an error with your application, it is possible that your registration renewal never went through in the first place. If this is the case, be aware that failing to pay your registration renewal on time will result in a fee.

Unfortunately, there is no grace period for renewing your car registration late in Hawaii. Fees are assessed immediately if you do not pay on or before your expiration date. Keep in mind that your deadline will usually be the last business day of your registration expiration month. However, you can apply for your DMV sticker replacement the following business day if your renewal deadline falls on a weekend or legal holiday.

Steps to Take If Your Hawaii DMV Sticker Was Not Received

In the event that a license sticker was not received in Hawaii after the initial registration or registration renewal process, you will want to take action quickly to avoid having an expired registration. If you have recently submitted an order, remember that it is appropriate to wait at least 10 business days after renewing your registration sticker online or through the mail, as delivery for these methods can take up to two weeks.

You may always contact the DMV office in your county to inquire about the status of your order when you are still waiting to receive your new tabs. If you find that your stickers were sent out, yet you never received them, then you will need to submit an application for new tabs and pay an additional fee for your replacements.

Where to Get New Registration Stickers in Hawaii

Just like your car plate sticker renewal, you will need to order replacement tabs in the county where you live. You usually cannot usually replace a sticker online when your original tabs have been lost in the mail. Instead, you will need to submit a form by mail or in person to the Department of Finance.

Each county has its own form for ordering new stickers, so you make sure to obtain the correct form to complete the transaction. Ordering new DMV registration stickers in Hawaii will require that you provide similar information on your application no matter where you live. Be prepared to include:

  • The reason you are applying for new stickers.
  • The signature of the current registered owner(s).
  • Your current registration certificate.
  • A small fee.

Note that your fee varies depending on whether you are replacing your tabs only or your tabs and license plates. If you need to get a new license plate in addition to new tabs, surrender your remaining plate(s) with your application. Unlike many states, Hawaii does not require the decal to be placed on the license plate. Instead, the emblem is on the inside of the back window to reduce instances of theft.

Hawaii and Kauai Counties charge $5 for a replacement registration. Maui charges $10. Residents of Honolulu County will need to contact their local DMV branch for pricing.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 10 2020.