Military and Family Support Center - Personal Financial Management Program - Air Force and Navy
4827 Bougainville Drive
Honolulu, HI 96818-3174

Phone 808-474-1999
Phone (DSN) 315-474-1999
Fax 808-449-0323/808-474-1997
Fax (DSN) 808-474-1997

Mon-Thurs 7:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Fri 7:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Email | Website | Map

printerprint friendly view (pdf)    Bookmark and Share    text size decrease increase

Motor Vehicles

Registration and licensing requirements

State laws vary when it comes to motor vehicle insurance requirements, licensing and registration. The term vehicle generally includes automobiles, motorcycles, vans, trailers and boats regularly parked or garaged overnight. Service members and their families will want to understand their state’s laws on registration and licensing before moving to a new state. Visit the USA.gov Motor Vehicle Services page for links to state-specific websites.

Motor vehicle laws

State and local laws regulate the operation of motor vehicles, and these laws can vary by location. Many states regulate the following:

  • Seatbelt use
  • Child safety seats
  • Motorcycle operation
  • The use of cellphones and other digital devices while driving

Learn more about motor vehicle laws in your state at the Distraction.gov State Laws page.

Installation Specific Information

Registration and Licensing Requirements

Hawaii State law requires you to have sufficient liability insurance and a valid driver’s license in order to operate a vehicle. The term “vehicle” generally includes automobiles, motorcycles, vans, trailers and boats regularly parked or garaged overnight. Further, your vehicle must be properly registered. Even though you are in the Military, you may be required to register your vehicle in-state and obtain an in-state license within a few months of moving. Access complete information on insurance, driver’s licensing, and where and how to register your vehicle by visiting the State Department of Motor Vehicles website.

State Laws

You and your passengers must always wear seatbelts while driving, you will be ticketed and issued heavy fines if seatbelts are not secured. State law requires that all children under seven years of age be properly restrained in child seats. Some states also require younger, smaller children to sit in the back seat.

No person operating a motor vehicle shall transport a child under eight years without the use of an approved child passenger restraint system, except under the following circumstances:

  • If the child is under four years of age, the person operating the motor vehicle shall ensure that the child is properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of its manufacture.
  • If the child is four years of age or older but less than eight years of age, the person operating the motor vehicle shall ensure that the child is properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of its manufacture.
  • If the child is four years of age or older but less than eight years of age, the person operating the motor vehicle shall be exempt from properly restraining the child in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of manufacture if the child is restrained by a seat belt assembly and (1) over four feet and nine inches in height; or (2) over forty pounds and traveling in a motor vehicle equipped only with lap belts, without shoulder straps, in the back seat.

Motorcycles

Motorcycles and their operators are subject to special laws. If you own and operate a motorcycle, you must comply with those laws and the regulations of the USAF and USN, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam. Visit the State Department of Motor Vehicles website for more information.

Cell Phones Laws

Many States and local jurisdictions have strict laws about the use of cell phones and other digital devices while driving. Research these laws on the State Department of Motor Vehicles website. Tickets will be issued and fines assessed for violating these laws. Cellular phone use is not allowed on both Hickam and Naval Base Pearl Harbor, Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, unless the vehicle is safely parked. Our sister services on Oahu have differing guidelines, please contact the Military Police for those installations to ensure full awareness of each bases requirements.

Play it safe and always use a "hands-free" device if you must use a cell phone or other PDA while driving. Hands-free devices must be used while operating a motor vehicle on ALL military installations worldwide.

Cell phone usage while driving in the State of Hawaii is prohibited; hands-free devices must be used. Hawaii State Law for children states any child under 18 years of age is not authorized to use any type of cellular device "hands-free" or not while operating a vehicle.

Tinting

Darkness of tint is measured by Visible Light Transmission percentage (VLT%). In Hawaii, this percentage refers to percentage of visible light allowed in through the combination of film and the window.

  • Windshield -- Non-reflective tint is allowed on the top 4 inches of the windshield.
  • Front Side Windows -- Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Back Side Windows -- Must allow more than 35% of light in.
  • Rear Window -- Must allow more than 35% of light in.

Similar to sunglass lenses, some tinting film contains metallic elements that help in reflecting incoming light and reducing the glare and heat generated by visible light.

  • Front Side Windows -- No metallic or mirrored appearance.
  • Back Side Windows -- No metallic or mirrored appearance.
  • Additional Tinting Rules and Regulations
  • Restricted Colors -- No colors of tint are explicitly banned.
  • Side Mirrors -- Dual side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
  • Certificate Requirements Manufacturers of film do NOT need to certify the film they sell in the state.
  • Sticker Requirements -- No sticker to identify legal tinting is required.
  • Medical Exemption -- State law does NOT allow medical exemptions that would allow you use special tint.

Registering Vehicles in Hawaii

All personal vehicles must be safety inspected and registered within ten days after arrival on island. Registration records of all vehicles in Hawaii must be updated annually. Annual fees are based on the vehicle weight and usage. They are computed by the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing.

The deadline for registering vehicles is the last working day of the expiration month of the current registration. However, if the registration expiration date occurs on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the delinquent renewal penalty fee will not be charged until after the next working day.

Proof of Hawaii motor vehicle insurance is required to obtain a vehicle inspection, and the vehicle inspection sticker and certificate are necessary to operate a vehicle on all Hawaii roads and for all vehicle ownership-registration transactions.


Hawaii residents on active duty and members of the National Guard and Reserve and who are assigned to units located in Hawaii are exempt from motor vehicle weight taxes for one vehicle registered in their name. You must submit a properly completed Hawaii Resident Certificate, Form CS-L (MVR)50A, for each registration, renewal or transfer transaction. Form CS-L (MVR) 50 is available from your military personnel office or your military unit and at Satellite City Halls.

When you buy a new vehicle on Oahu, the dealer will probably have it registered and licensed for you. But if this service is not provided, this is what you must do:

  • Fill out an Application for Registration, Form CS-L (MVR) 1, which must be signed by you, the registered owner(s) and countersigned by a licensed Oahu vehicle dealer.
  • Submit a Hawaii Vehicle Inspection Certificate.
  • If you are an active duty service member stationed in Hawaii and a non-resident of this state, you must submit the Non-Resident Certificate, Form CS-L (MVR) 50, available from your military personnel office or your military unit and at Satellite City Halls.

The required fees will be determined by vehicle registration or Satellite City Hall personnel. There are 10 Satellite City Halls that provide many government services and handle all vehicle registration and renewal transactions for the general public. The satellites are administered by the City's Customer Services Department. To find other island locations for satellite city hall offices visit their website. For general information concerning the satellites and their services, call 808-527-6695. Driver's license offices are also decentralized; for information, call 808-532-7730.

A City and County of Honolulu, Satellite Vehicle Registration Office, is available at 1705 O'Malley Blvd 192H at Hickam Air Field Main Gate, by appointment. Services are available to military personnel, their family members, and civilian personnel who have access to military bases. Services offered include: Vehicle transactions related to initial vehicle registration; out-of-state permits; transfer of ownership; replacement of Hawaii plates and/or registration emblems; duplicate Honolulu titles and registrations; ordering of special plates, veteran's plates, and organizational plates; and junking and storage.

Office hours are 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Monday thru Friday (closed on State and Federal Holidays). For members of the military with access to the office located on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam, motor vehicle registration appointments must be scheduled online. Please click here to make your appointment using our online scheduling system online or call (808) 448-0312. There are no restrooms or ATM Machines available at this location. Base Access is required.

Limit one transaction per appointment. ONLINE APPOINTMENT ONLY (up to 3 days in the future). NO WALK-IN SERVICE available. CASH or CHECK only.

For additional information, visit the City and County of Honolulu's Satellite City Hall website.

Registering Vehicles on Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH)

Personnel who routinely access, stationed or work at JBPHH will be required to register their vehicle(s) with the Pass and ID (PID) office. If you have just arrived at JBPHH or if you have purchased a new vehicle then you must register your vehicle with the PID office. If you are leaving the command or no longer work at JBPHH, then you are also required to de-register your vehicle with the PID office. You can register your vehicle at the Nimtz PID office, Naval Base Pearl Harbor of Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam from 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, Westloch PID office from 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, or at NCTAMS PID office from 6:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m, Monday-Friday.

You will need to submit the following documentation:

  • Proof of Hawaii insurance (original copy)
  • A valid driver's license
  • A vehicle safety inspection certificate (Certificate is required)
  • A State of Hawaii vehicle registration or Out of State Vehicle Permit
  • Military identification card
  • An out-of-state driver's license is permitted if the issuing state recognizes the license as valid. Please call 808-471-2131 for more information.

Motorcycles

Motorcycle and moped (49cc and larger) owners must complete a Motorcycle Foundation Safety course and provide a certificate to obtain a DoD registered decal. Call 808-449-0749 to obtain information on this course. No state safety inspection is required.

All Motorcycle and moped riders and passengers are subject to the wear of proper protective equipment while riding. The equipment is as follows: DOT helmet (if wearing anything other than a full helmet, impact resistant goggles or glasses must be worn), long sleeve shirt or jacket, pants, sturdy boots or shoes that cover the ankle, gloves, and a reflective vest (yellow, green, or orange).

To register your motorcycle/moped, the following documents are required:

  • Current State of Hawaii motorcycle registration or Out of State Vehicle Permit
  • Copy of your PCS Orders
  • Hawaii State Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate
  • Hawaii Insurance Card (original copy)
  • Valid Driver's License with motorcycle endorsement
  • Military ID Card
  • Motorcycle/Moped Safety Foundation Card (For Military Only)
  • Completed PACAF Safety packet (see PACAF Safety Office; Bldg 1102, C wing, 1st floor
  • Registering Vehicles on Naval Base Pearl Harbor

Base Information

Navy Specific

Personnel are required to present proof of Hawaii State Registration, driver's license, Hawaii safety inspection slip, original or official Hawaii No-Fault insurance form/card and Military ID Card.

Air Force Specific

The Steps to Registering Vehicles in Hawaii
In order to register a vehicle in Hawaii or to get an Out of State Vehicle Permit you must go through the following steps:

Step 1: Report to your Unit Orderly Room/Administration Office and get a form CS-L (MVR) 50 (Non-Resident Certificate). Navy Specific: Obtain CS-L (MVR) 50 from CPPA at Command/Unit or Satellite City Hall.

Step 2: Take your vehicle to any State of Hawaii inspection station (on base locations are AAFES/Firestone and 15 SVS Auto Hobby shop, NEX Auto Port, and the Navy Auto Skills shop); off base locations are any service station or auto maintenance facility. NOTE: You may fail the inspection: Hawaii has several specific rules which may result in a failure of the safety inspection. Some window tinting and aftermarket accessories will cause the inspection to fail, however for most of the vehicles it will be for not having Hawaii registration. Any failure will result in you being given/issued a blue safety check form.
Navy Specific: Same

Step 3: Take the Hawaii State Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate, the CS-L (MVR) 50 (Non Resident Certificate) from your orderly room or MPF, your State of Hawaii insurance card, and your military ID to Satellite City Hall at Pearl Ridge Mall to register your vehicle or get an Out of State Vehicle permit. You may want to consider making an on-line appointment with the Satellite City Hall at Club Pearl Complex.
Navy Specific: Same, except take from CPPA at Command/Unit

Step 4: Return to the State of Hawaii inspection station that you visited in Step 2. You will give them the blue safety check form and show them your Hawaii registration or Out of State Vehicle permit. They will then give you your safety check, Hawaii State Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate. The Safety Check Inspection, Hawaii State Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate must be kept in your vehicle at all times by State Law. Navy Specific: Same

Step 5: Bring the (1) Hawaii State Vehicle Safety Inspection Certificate for your safety check, (2) State of Hawaii registration or State of Hawaii Out of State vehicle permit, (3) State of Hawaii Insurance card (original hard copies only/no photocopies allowed) and (4) Military issued ID to the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam Pass and ID office, outside Nimitz Gate. Navy Specific: Same


Associated Links

Navy Official Home Page
Generally applicable service wide information.

Need personal assistance?

Call your relocation manager »

Or, for 24/7 assistance, call Military OneSource. »

MilitaryOneSource.mil, No question is too big or too small 800-342-9647

Military OneSource Newsletter Subscriptions button

Plan My Move, Take control of your PCS move

Do you have orders?

Request a Sponsor »


Additional Resources

  • Expand Housing TreeHousing
  • Expand Household Goods TreeHousehold Goods
  • Expand Local Community TreeLocal Community
  • Expand Financial Planning TreeFinancial Planning
  • Expand Employment TreeEmployment
  • Expand Child Care TreeChild Care
  • Expand Education TreeEducation
  • Expand MWR TreeMWR
  • Expand Special Circumstances TreeSpecial Circumstances

Military Crisis Line

Safe Helpline