Hawaii’s Legal Presence Law

Beginning on Monday, March 5, 2012, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and all county driver license offices will implement Legal Presence Act mandated by Act 38, Session laws of Hawaii 2010, which will affect drivers licensing requirements statewide. Below is a full list of requirements and answers to frequently asked questions about the Legal Presence requirement.

Introduction

Effective March 5, 2012, anyone applying for an original or renewal of their Hawaii driver’s license or permit must show proof of legal presence in the U.S.

Legal presence means that a person is either a U.S. citizen or is legally authorized to be in the United States.

Act 38, Session Laws of Hawaii 2010, prohibits the issuance of a Hawaii driver’s license to any person that is not legally in the United States and limits the term of the issued licenses only for the period that the applicant is temporarily authorized to be in the United States.

Legal Presence Affects Everyone

Legal presence requirements affect anyone applying for a Hawaii driver’s license, including U.S. citizens and foreign-born applicants, those applying for a learner’s permit, and permit holders passing their road test to obtain a driver’s license. Legal presence also applies to anyone who has just moved to Hawaii from another state or country, and anyone renewing their Hawaii driver’s license or permit.

Proof of legal presence will be required from:

  • Applicants applying for an original Hawaii driver’s license.
    Anyone who has never held or is re-applying for a Hawaii driver’s license must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Applicants renewing their Hawaii driver’s license.
    Anyone who renews their Hawaii driver’s license must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.  Applicants who are U.S. citizens and aliens admitted for permanent residence status in the U.S. will need to provide proof of legal presence documents every second renewal.
  • Drivers reinstating their driving privilege because of a license revocation or cancellation.
    Customers whose license or permit to drive has been revoked or cancelled must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Drivers who have allowed their license to expire.
    Anyone who lets his driver’s license expire, even by just one day, must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Permit holders when they pass their road test and obtain a Hawaii driver’s license.
    All permit holders must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Drivers converting their Hawaii provisional driver’s license to a full driver’s license.
    All license holders who convert from a provisional to a full license must provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.

Proof of legal presence will NOT be required from:

  • Applicants applying for a duplicate Hawaii driver’s license or permit.

Temporary Legal Length of Stay – Limited Duration Driver’s Licenses or Permits

  • Persons who are authorized by the federal government to be present temporarily in the U.S. will be issued limited duration driver’s licenses or permits.

 

Frequently Asked Questions About Legal Presence

  • I am temporarily authorized to be in the U.S.  How often will I have to present my proof of legal presence?

Applicants who are temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. are required to present proof of legal presence when applying for an initial or renewal of a Hawaii driver’s license or permit.

  • I am temporarily authorized to be in the U.S.  Can I renew my driver’s license or permit by mail?

No. You must renew in person and present proof of legal presence.

  • Once legal presence is established will I need to provide the documents again at the time of my next renewal?

Applicants who are temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. are required to present proof of legal presence when applying for an initial or renewal driver’s license or permit.  Applicants who are U.S. citizens and aliens admitted for permanent residence status in the U.S. will not need to provide the legal presence documents until their second renewal.

  • I lost my Hawaii driver’s license and I would like to apply for a duplicate.  Am I required to present proof of legal presence?

No.  Proof of legal presence is not required when applying for a duplicate driver’s license.

  • Can I mail in my legal presence documents so they can be reviewed and approved prior to my renewal of my Hawaii driver’s license?

No.  Customers may not mail documents to the DMV for review.  Proof of legal presence is required at the time of renewal application.  Those wishing to renew their driver’s license by mail will be provided renewal instructions.

  • If the documents I submit at the time of renewal are not acceptable, will I be provided with more information on other forms that you will accept?

Yes.  Your County DMV staff will do their best to assist you through this new process.

  • Will I qualify for a Hawaii driver’s license a day before the expiration of my legal status?

Yes.  However, the expiration date of your Hawaii driver’s license will be based on the expiration of your legal stay.

  • I will be renewing my Hawaii driver’s license soon.  I was born at home and do not have a birth certificate.  I have no living relative to confirm who I am.  Can I provide something else?

Proof of legal presence must be established in order to process your driver’s license renewal application.  A Hawaii driver’s license may be renewed as early as six months before its expiration date.  Therefore, it is recommended that you give yourself sufficient time to renew within the six month period before your license expires.  There are other legal documents you may have that the DMV may accept in lieu of your birth certificate.  For further information, please visit the appropriate county website where you intend to renew your license or call for further assistance.

City & County of Honolulu:  (808) 532-7730

County of Hawaii:   (808) 961-2222

County of Kauai:   (808) 241-4242

County of Maui:    (808) 270-7363

  • My Hawaii birth certificate shows my birth name and my driver’s license shows my married name.  Am I required to present additional proof of legal presence?
Yes.  You will need to present your certificate of marriage and your Hawaii birth certificate.  Your Hawaii birth certificate will prove your legal presence and your certificate of marriage will establish your name change from your birth name to your married name which appears on your driver’s license.
  • I currently have a valid Hawaii instruction permit.  Will I need to present proof of legal presence when I pass my road test?

Yes.  Since the road test is part of the application process for an original Hawaii driver’s license, all instruction permit holders will be required to present proof of legal presence before the original driver’s license can be issued.

  • What documents are considered to be legal and admissible?

Documents presented for proof of identity, legal presence and social security number must be valid originals or certified copies.  Photo copies or faxed copies of proof documents are not acceptable.  Please refer to the List of Acceptable Documents – Hawaii Driver’s License.

  • My father was in the military and I was born out of country.  I lost my documents verifying birth abroad and do not have a U.S. passport.  What can I bring in to prove I am a U.S. citizen and to prove my identity?

Please refer to the List of Acceptable Documents – Hawaii Driver’s License.

  • My documents are very old, delicate and difficult to read.  Should I bring those documents in to prove my identity?

Yes.  Present the documents you have.  Your DMV representative will carefully review your documents to determine acceptability and provide you with further assistance.

  • My birth certificate was obtained the year after I was born.  Is it acceptable as proof of identification?

State certified birth certificates are accepted as proof of identification.

  • I want to submit my State certified birth certificate for proof of legal presence.  The names of my social security card and my out-of-state driver’s license match.  The name on my State certified birth certificate is different from the name on my driver’s license.  Will this be sufficient?

The name on your driver’s license must match the name on the document you present for proof of legal presence.  In this scenario, you will be required to present proof of name change from your birth name to the name on your driver’s license.

  • Immigration has acknowledged receipt of my application.  I am still waiting for my immigration documents to be processed.  How will my pending status affect my eligibility to obtain a driver’s license?

Your DMV representative can review your documents and provide you with further assistance.

  • I was born in a foreign country and am adopted by my parents who are U.S. citizens.  What documents do I need to prove legal status in order to obtain a driver’s license?

You will need to provide your adoption documents and you parents’ proof of citizenship.

  • I am a foreign born applicant holding a valid Hawaii driver’s license.  I also own a business in the U.S. (mainland).  Can I renew my driver’s license by mail?

No.  You must renew in person and present proof of legal presence.

 

Obtaining a Driver’s License Under Hawaii’s New Legal Presence Requirements

Each individual applying for an initial Hawaii Driver’s License will be required to provide documentary proof of:

  • Legal name and date of birth
  • Legal Presence
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Principal Residence (Two documents required)

Documentary proof documents include U.S. birth certificates and U.S. passports.  Foreign born applicants may provide other documents, such as a Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization, Resident Alien Card, or a valid foreign passport with a Visa and I-94.

Documents presented for proof of name, date of birth, legal presence and social security number must be valid originals or certified copies.  Photo copies or fax copies of proof documents are not acceptable.

Applicants for initial and renewal  of their Hawaii Driver’s License are required to provide original or certified documents to prove each of the four categories (1) Legal Name; (2) Date of Birth; (3) Legal Presence; and (4) Social Security Number.  Photocopies or faxes will not be accepted.  For a complete listing of acceptable documents for proof of legal name, date of birth, legal presence and social security number, refer to the List of Acceptable Documents for a Hawaii Driver’s License below.

Applicants for initial and renewal of their Hawaii Driver’s License are required to provide two forms of documentation of their Principal Residence Address.  The documents presented must list address and the applicant or spouse as the addressee.  If the applicant is not the addressee, a statement must be made by the addressee that the applicant’s principal address is the same as the addressee.  For a complete listing of acceptable documents for proof of principal residence address, refer to the List of Acceptable Documents for Proof of Principal Residence Address below.

If your current name is different from the name shown on any document (examples: due to marriage, divorce, adoption, name change, naturalization certificate), you are required to provide “connecting documents” to establish the link between the names.  Refer to the List of Acceptable Connecting Documents to Prove Legal Name Change below.

  • Validity of a Hawaii Driver’s License for individuals temporarily authorized to be in the U.S.

The Hawaii Driver’s License of individuals temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. will be valid for their verified length of legal stay up to the maximum period pursuant to state law.  If the expiration date shown on the document used to prove legal presence cannot be verified electronically or through other approved means, the Hawaii Driver’s License will expire one year from the date of entry into the U.S.

  • Renewal by Mail for individuals temporarily authorized to reside in the U.S.

Individuals temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. are required to renew in person.

List of Acceptable Documents for a Hawaii Driver’s License

Acceptable Documents

 

Legal Name Date of Birth Legal Presence Social Security Number
U.S. State, Local Government –issued Certificate of Birth or Birth ID Card  (In accordance with Puerto Rico Law No. 191, Hawaii does not accept any Puerto Rican birth certificate certified before July 1, 2010.) X X X   
Valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card X X X   
U.S. State, Local Government –issued Consular Report of Birth Abroad X X X
 
Valid State of Hawaii ID Card w/photo issued after January 1, 2013 X X
Certificate of Citizenship (N560) X X X  
Certificate of Naturalization (N550) X X X  
Valid U.S. Jurisdiction-issued DL/ID/Photo Learner’s Permit (Permit must include signature, the card holder’s name must match other submitted document(s) that are presented) X X   X (a)
Marriage Certificate (Government Issued) X
Court Order for Name Change/Adoption/Divorce – no other (Legal Name/DOB/Court Seal required to accept the order) X
Civil Union Certificate (Government Issued) X
Social Security Card (No Copies)     X
A pay stub with the applicant’s name and Social Security Number printed.     X (b)
Wage and Tax Statement Form W-2 or 1099R, provided the Social Security Number is printed on the document, original or certified copy.  Printed electronically transmitted copy is okay. X (b)
Medicare ID Card (Suffix A, M, T, and TA only – indicates Social Security Number for the person named on the card) X (b)
SSA-1099 form, from a previous year X (b)
Non SSA-1099 form, from a previous year X (b)
Non-U.S. Citizen – Valid DHS/USCIS I-551 Permanent Resident Card issued since 1997 X X X  
Non-U.S. Citizen – Valid DHS/USCIS I-688 Temporary Resident Card X X X
Non-U.S. Citizen – Valid DHS/USCIS I-688B, I-766 Employment Authorization Card X X X
Non-U.S. Citizen – Valid Foreign Passport with Appropriate Immigration Documents.  If applicable, valid unexpired U.S. visa affixed accompanied by an approved I-94 form, if the I-94 form is not automated. X X X (c)
Non-U.S. Citizen – U.S. Dept. of Receptions and Placement Program Assurance Form (Refugee) X
Non-U.S. Citizen – DHS/USCIS I-797 Notice of Action X
Military - Valid U.S. Active Duty/Retiree/Reservist Military ID Card, (Card must contain photo, name, and DOB) or DD-214 (DD-214 must be original or certified copy) X X (a)
X (a)
Military - Valid U.S. Uniform Services ID and Privileges Card (DD1173 Card must contain photo, names, and DOB) X X (a) X (a)
Military Active Duty and Reservists, Civilian Workers, Contract Workers - Valid DOD Common Access Card (CAC) (Card must contain photo, names, and DOB) X X (a)
Federal – Valid DHS/TSA Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) X X

Note:  Additional documents may be required if there is a difference in name on the documents submitted. Documents presented for proof must be valid originals or certified copies.  Photo copies or faxes are not acceptable as proof.

(a)    A valid U.S. Jurisdiction issued DL/ID/Photo Learner’s Permit, CAC or DOD ID DD-2 can be used as evidence of legal names, date of birth and social security number only if the information is presented on the document being submitted.

(b)    If name and complete Social Security Number are not printed on the document it cannot be used.

(c)    The appropriate immigration document(s) determine legal presence. Not the passport itself.

 

List of Acceptable Connecting Documents to Prove Legal Name Changes

Acceptable Connecting Documents to Prove Legal Name Changes
Court Order for Name Change/ Adoption / Divorce – no others (Legal Name / DOB / Court Seal required to accept the order
Marriage Certificate  (Government Issued)
Certified decree of name change from the State of Hawaii Lieutenant Governor’s Office
Naturalization Certificate

 

LIST OF ACCEPTABLE DOCUMENTS
FOR PROOF OF PRINCIPAL RESIDENCE ADDRESS IN HAWAII
(TWO DOCUMENTS REQUIRED)

Acceptable Documents for Proof of Principal Residence Address in Hawaii(Two Documents Required)
A Current Valid Hawaii State Identification Card
Vehicle registration or title
A current voter notification postcard (yellow card) or other mail addressed to the applicant from a government or medical entity that is not more than two months old
Utility bill that is not more than two months old with the applicant’s name and address
Checking or savings account statement not more than two months old
Payroll check or payroll check stub issued by an employer within two months of the application date
Current mortgage account or proof of home ownership
Current property tax assessment form
Receipt for personal property taxes paid to a county within the State of Hawaii within the last year or property tax assessment bill or statement
Residential rental or time-share agreement for six months or more
A United States or Hawaii income tax return, W-2 or 1099 SSA benefits form from the previous year
Medical card issued by a health insurance agency (principal residence address must be printed on card)
Documentation dated not more than ninety days prior to making application that the individual is receiving State of Hawaii public assistance
Department of Taxation form A-6, application for tax clearance that is not more than six months old
Homeless applicants may use the address of their current shelter agency, or if not staying in a shelter, may use the general delivery of the post office nearest where they spend most of their time
If the applicant is in a shelter because of abuse, the applicant may display the address of a relative or friend or post office box number on the card, but must provide the applicant’s principal address for file purposes
Applicants documenting enrollment in a State or Federal address confidentiality program which allows an applicant to obtain and use alternative addresses may use an alternative address on the card, but must provide the applicant’s permanent address for file purposes
P.O. Box numbers are not acceptable unless a number and street name has not been assigned for United States mail delivery, an address convention used by the United States Postal Service is acceptable
Affidavit indicating that the applicant currently resides with the affiant, provided the affiant’s address can be verified and the affidavit is notarized within two months of the application date
Other documents the examiner of drivers accepts as proof of principal address in the State of Hawaii