Car registration in Hawaii is a process that varies by county. The method of obtaining car registration certificates in the City and County of Honolulu, for instance, differs slightly from the process of obtaining vehicle registration documents in the County of Hawai'i, Maui or Kauai. Additionally, auto registration documents are all handled separately by county motor vehicle divisions. For instance, Honolulu DMV car registration documents are handled by the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing. To learn more about getting car registration certificates in Hawaii, review the information below.
Hawaii Vehicle Registration Information Required
Auto registration services in Hawaii are handled by the Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT). However, the process of obtaining new car registration documentation varies slightly by county. To obtain car registration paperwork, motorists must complete an Application for Registration form. Each county has its own registration of vehicle application which can be obtained from a local Motor Vehicle Registration office or online through the county website. As part of HI auto registration services, vehicle owners must include the following information when applying for a car registration certificate: the make, model, year, body type and motive power of the vehicle; the vehicle identification number, weight in lbs., gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and vehicle color (including the top or front and bottom or rear colors). Additionally, required vehicle registration information includes the vehicle's odometer reading, owner information and lienholder information (if applicable).
Where to Register a Car in Hawaii for the First Time
How to get car registration documents depends on the county in which an applicant resides. If a resident relocates from one Hawaii county to another, the driver must register his or her vehicle in the county to which he or she moves. Each county has its own process for completing out-of-county vehicle registration or out-of-state registrations.
Honolulu City or County residents can get car registration certificates through the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing. To obtain Hawaii car registry documentation, motorists must visit one of the 10 Satellite City Hall locations in Honolulu. DMV car registration forms for residents of the County of Hawaii must be obtained through a Motor Vehicle Registration location in Hilo, Kona, Pahoa or Waimea. Auto registration documents for residents of Maui County must be obtained at a Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing office in Kahului, Kilhei, Lahaina, Pukalani, Hana, Lanai or Molokai. To get car registration documents in the County of Kauai, residents must visit the County of Kauai Motor Vehicle Registration Division.
How to Register a New Car in Hawaii
The Hawaii vehicle registration process is generally handled by the dealer if new or used vehicles are purchased from a licensed dealership. However, it is important to verify the dealership's responsibility in the process before leaving. If new car registration documentation is not handled by the dealership, a motorist must submit all vehicle registration information on his or her own. However, the process of how to get car registration in HI varies slightly by county.
How to Register a Used Car in Hawaii
Registration of vehicle applications must be completed by the vehicle owner if the vehicle is purchased from a private party rather than a dealership. To obtain proof of motor vehicle registration in Hawaii, motorists must complete the following steps within 30 days of purchasing a vehicle:
- Complete a DMV car registration application for the specific county in which the motorist lives.
- Submit the HI car registry application in-person at a local Motor Vehicle Registration office.
- Submit the vehicle's title (signed over to the new owner).
- Complete an inspection and submit a Vehicle Inspection Certificate.
- Submit the vehicle's current auto registration certificate.
- Submit all applicable car registration fees.
- Non-resident military members who are stationed in Hawaii must complete a Non-Resident Certificate.
In most cases, a current auto registration certificate and proof of auto insurance are needed to perform a vehicle inspection in Hawaii. Additionally, motorists must submit HI car registration documents if they move from one county in Hawaii to another. To do so, drivers must complete an Application for Vehicle Registration and submit the previous county's certificate of registration and title (if the motorist is listed as the lienholder).
Temporary Hawaii Vehicle Registration
"How do I temporarily register my car in Hawaii if I purchased it in another state?" motorists may wonder. Drivers may obtain temporary out-of-state registration of vehicle permits for vehicles purchased out of state that will not be on the islands of Hawaii for longer than one year. To get car registration permits for out-of-state vehicles, motorists must complete an Out-of-State Permit Application form. Additionally, vehicle owners must submit the out-of-state vehicle registration, the Bill of Lading (the vehicle's shipping receipt) and a recent Vehicle Inspection Certificate (completed in the state of Hawaii).
"How do I register my car if I am moving to Hawaii?", drivers may ask. Motorists planning to reside in Hawaii for one year or more must register their vehicles in the county in which they plan to live within 30 days of arrival.
Since there is not a statewide department of motor vehicles in Hawaii, motorists must refer to each county's local government for county-specific registration information. To obtain additional DMV car registration information, each county Motor Vehicle Registration office may be reached through the following telephone numbers:
Hawaii County: 808-323-4818 (West Hawaii)
Hawaii County: 808-961-8351 (East Hawaii)
County of Kauai: 808-241-4256
County of Maui: 808-270-7363
City and County of Honolulu: 808-768-4325