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Hawaii Vehicle Registration

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Registering a car in Hawaii is a straightforward process, but knowing the requirements, fees, types of registrations, and necessary forms is essential. This guide will walk you through everything you need about registering a car in Hawaii, from the initial process to renewing your registration.

Requirements for Registering a Car in Hawaii

Before you can register your car, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:

  • Proof of Ownership: You must have the vehicle’s title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) if the car is new.
  • Hawaii Vehicle Inspection: Your car must pass a safety inspection. You’ll receive a safety inspection certificate and a safety inspection sticker for your vehicle.
  • Proof of Insurance: You must have valid Hawaii auto insurance coverage.
  • Payment of Fees: You’ll need to pay all required fees.

Types of Registrations

There are several types of vehicle registrations in Hawaii, including:

  • New Vehicle Registration: For brand-new vehicles that have never been registered.
  • Used Vehicle Registration: For used vehicles registered in Hawaii for the first time.
  • Out-of-State Vehicle Registration: For vehicles previously registered in another state and now registered in Hawaii.
  • Military Vehicle Registration: For military personnel stationed in Hawaii who need to register their vehicles.

Forms and Documents

To register your vehicle in Hawaii, you’ll need to complete and submit the following forms and documents:

  • Application for Registration of Motor Vehicle (Form CS-L(MVR) 1): This form is required for all types of registrations.
  • Hawaii Vehicle Inspection Certificate: This document proves that your vehicle has passed the safety inspection.
  • Proof of Insurance: A valid Hawaii auto insurance card or policy.
  • Title or MCO: You’ll need the vehicle’s title or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin if the car is new.
  • Bill of Sale: If you purchased the vehicle from a private seller, you’ll need a bill of sale.
  • Lienholder Information: If there is a lien on the vehicle, you’ll need the lienholder’s information.


The fees for registering a car in Hawaii vary depending on the county and type of vehicle. Here are the general fees you can expect:

  • Registration Fee: Varies by county and vehicle weight.
  • Title Fee: $5.
  • Safety Inspection Fee: Approximately $25.
  • Weight Tax: Varies by county and vehicle weight.
  • Plate Fee: $5 for a new license plate (if needed).

Processing Time

The processing time for vehicle registration in Hawaii varies depending on the county and the registration type. Generally, it takes about 1-2 weeks for your registration to be processed and for you to receive your license plates and registration certificate.

Renewing Your Registration

Renewing your vehicle registration in Hawaii is a simple process. You’ll need to do the following:

  • Pass a Safety Inspection: Your vehicle must pass a safety inspection before you can renew your registration. You’ll receive a new safety inspection certificate and sticker.
  • Complete a Registration Renewal Form: You’ll receive a renewal notice in the mail, which includes a renewal form. Fill out the form and return it to your county’s motor vehicle registration office.
  • Pay Renewal Fees: You’ll need to pay the registration renewal fee, which varies by county and vehicle weight. This can be done by mail or at your county’s motor vehicle registration office.

Renew your registration before it expires to avoid late fees and penalties.

Last Verified:
May 26, 2023