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Vehicle registrations need to be renewed regularly. Many states require vehicle owners to renew their registrations every year, although some states offer the option to purchase registrations that last for two years or longer. Most states allow you to quickly renew your car registration online, but you should be aware of the information you will need to provide, the necessary fees and the acceptable methods of payment to ensure a smooth transaction. Our online guide can help you prepare all the required documents and fees so that you can renew your vehicle registration as smoothly and quickly as possible. In it, you will also discover all the steps needed to replace a lost registration and to update your name or address with the DMV.

2. By Mail

Some vehicle owners may prefer to renew their auto registrations through the mail. Certain states will allow their residents to apply by mail, but vehicle owners may need to meet certain eligibility requirements to submit their request. Additionally, the ways in which you may pay your renewal fee are limited to check or money order, and you may experience processing delays due to the time it takes the postal service to deliver your application. Furthermore, you may risk losing your application or registration tags in the mail, adding to the wait time.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

Renewing your vehicle registration in person at a DMV office is an option if you cannot or prefer not to apply by mail or online. Typically, the DMV will issue your new registration credentials after receiving payment. However, certain states may require you to wait to receive your renewed registration documents in the mail. While visiting a DMV office in person may provide you with more personalized attention, it often involves long waits. Additionally, the office hours of many DMV locations can interfere with your work schedule.


You must complete a Hawaii car registration renewal every single year. In general, operating your vehicle without the proper registration can result in serious consequences and penalty fees. Therefore, it is important to renew a car registration as it reaches its expiration date, thus avoiding any issues.

The HI DMV car registration renewal procedure is completed on a county level. Thus, depending on the county where you reside, you may either complete a DMV registration renewal online, in person or through the mail. In addition, the necessary steps vary slightly depending on the county as well. To learn more about these renewal requirements and procedures, read the sections below.

Requirements for Car Registration Renewal in Hawaii

There are certain motor vehicle registration renewal requirements that you must meet in order to successfully request this procedure. One of the most important criteria is that you must renew your credential within 45 days of its expiration date. While some counties in Hawaii may allow you to process your renewal for car registration prior to 45 days before its expiration date, it is typically required that you are within that timeframe. While you are able to renew your registration after it expires, you will be subject to paying a late penalty fee that varies depending on your county of residence.

In general, having a Hawaii vehicle registration renewal notice can help depending on the method that you use to renew. For example, if you choose to renew online or by mail, you must submit this notice when you apply. In addition, you must provide a vehicle safety inspection certificate if you are required to have an inspection performed. If you have any outstanding traffic violations on record, you must submit a written clearance for that vehicle before you renew your car registration.

Lastly, if you have recently moved within the state, you must complete a change of address form before you can renew your expired car registration.

What do you need to renew your car registration in Hawaii?

If you are wondering how to renew an auto registration, it is important to understand what you need to complete this procedure. On the other hand, it is important to keep in mind that the information you must provide will vary depending on the method that you use to process the renewal. In most situations, you will be required to provide:

  • The license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • Proof of proper vehicle insurance policy, if applicable.
  • Completed vehicle safety inspection certificate, if required.
  • Clearance letter regarding previously unpaid traffic violations, if any.
  • Payment for the renewal fees.

Hawaii Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

You will receive a notice in the mail that states that you need to renew your car registration approximately 45 days before it expires. This notice includes important information about any particular requirements you may have to meet, such as needing to have your vehicle undergo an inspection or having to pay any outstanding fees. Furthermore, receiving this physical notice form is a requirement for applicants renewing online or through the mail.

Hawaii Car Registration Renewal Notice Lost or Not Received

If you have lost your registration renewal notice or did not receive one in the mail at all, you must complete your renewal in person at the nearest motor vehicle registration office. Regardless of whether you received your notice, it is still your responsibility to keep track of your registration’s expiration date so that you may renew this credential on time.

Note: You may not have received the notice if you recently moved and have not updated your address with your county DMV office.

Hawaii Car Registration Renewal Options

If you are wondering where to renew car registration in Hawaii, you must note that there are three different methods you can use. Because each renewal option has slightly different requirements, it is important to be fully aware of what the steps are for each process.

How to Renew Your Car Registration Online

You may have the option to renew your car registration online, as long as you are eligible. The eligibility requirements for renewing online include:

  • You have received a renewal application form/notice in the mail.
  • You are renewing within 45 days prior to the credential’s expiration date.
  • Your renewal notice does not indicate that you have an expired inspection date.
  • Your renewal notice indicates your current mailing address correctly.
  • There are no requirements listed in the “Special Instructions” section on the renewal notice form.

If all of the above requirements are true, you can complete your vehicle registration renewal online. To do so, you must follow these steps:

  1. Visit the online renewal page for the county you live on.
  2. Provide your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN).
  3. Provide any other necessary information.
  4. Pay the applicable renewal fee.
  5. Print your receipt.

How to Renew Your Car Registration by Mail

You can renew your soon-to-be expired vehicle registration by mail if you received a renewal notice in the mail. To do so, you must mail in the following items:

  • Your renewal application form/notice.
  • A copy of your current vehicle safety inspection certificate, if applicable.
  • A clearance letter for previously unpaid traffic violations, if applicable.
  • A check for payment of the renewal fee.

Mail these items to the county where you reside, at one of the following addresses:

Honolulu County:

Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing

P.O. Box 30320

Honolulu, HI 96820

 

Maui County:

Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing

70 E. Kaahumanu Avenue

Maui Mall, Suite A-17

Kahului, HI 96732

 

Kauai County:

County of Kauai Treasury Division

4444 Rice Street, Suite A480

Lihue, HI 96766

 

Hawaii County:

Vehicle Registration & Licensing Division

101 Pauahi Street, Suite 5

Hilo, HI 96720

You must also note that if you opt to renew by mail, your request must be postmarked no later than 10 business days (Monday through Friday) prior to the credential’s expiration date, thus ensuring delivery before a late penalty fee is incurred. Also, you can check on your DMV registration renewal status after you apply by contacting the division in your county.

How to Renew Your Car Registration in Person

If you need to renew your vehicle registration in HI, you can complete it in person whether you received a renewal notice in the mail or not. That is because, generally, all car owners are eligible for an in-person renewal. To do so, you must follow these steps:

  1. Provide your renewal notice or a copy of your current certificate of registration.
  2. Provide a copy of the current car safety inspection certificate, if applicable.
  3. Provide a clearance letter for any previously unpaid traffic violations, if applicable.
  4. Pay the DMV registration renewal fees.

Military & Out of State Vehicle Registration Renewal in Hawaii

If you are currently out of state, whether you are active duty military or not, you can complete your expired vehicle registration renewal through the online or mail-in methods. Moreover, if you are an active duty U.S. military service member, you can apply to be exempt from paying the motor vehicle weight taxes for one car listed in your name.

Hawaii Vehicle Registration Renewal Fees

You must pay the appropriate DMV auto registration renewal fees before your application can be processed. Generally, all vehicles are subject to an annual tax that is computed according to the net weight of each vehicle. However, other costs will vary based on the county that you reside in, so you must contact your county directly to inquire about the specific fee amount you must pay before you submit your application.

Note: You must pay a late penalty fee as part of the auto registration renewal cost if you renew your registration after the expiration date. The exact cost of this fee in Hawaii County is $16.00, but the fee varies in the other counties.

Last updated on Friday, December 14 2018.

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