COVID-19 Safety Check FAQs

Posted on Mar 27, 2020 in
The following is a Frequently-Asked-Questions (FAQs) discussion on the State of Hawaii’s COVID-19 emergency procedures as it relates to the Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection, (i.e., Safety Check) program for non-commercial motor vehicles and motor carrier commercial motor vehicles.  The temporary interim procedures established is in accordance with the Governor’s (First) Supplementary to the Emergency Proclamation signed on March 16, 2020 and subsequent supplementary proclamations relating to the COVID-19 Emergency that temporarily suspend specific Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Department of Transportation Administrative Rules.  The most recent supplementary proclamation, Fourteenth Proclamation, extends the emergency period end date through November 30, 2020.    

(Updated: October 14, 2020)

  (The temporary interim procedures conveyed in the FAQs are subject to change.  Please continue to check this website for the latest revisions.)  
  1. Where can I find a safety inspection station that will perform a safety inspection on my commercial motor vehicle or non-commercial motor vehicle (i.e., a motor vehicle that is less than 10,001 pounds GVWR)?
See the following link for locations of non-commercial motor vehicles safety inspection stations and their phone numbers: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/library/motor-vehicle-safety-office/ (Scroll down to the last section titled Periodic Inspection of Motor Vehicles.  As a reminder, the registered owner should adhere to CDC’s COVID-19 safety practices of wearing an appropriate face covering and do not visit the safety inspection station if you have or feel any oncoming sickness symptoms.  
  1. What do I do if my commercial or non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificate and sticker have expired before, during or after the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period?
Both commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that expire in March 2020 through October 2020, will be valid through November 30, 2020.  Your vehicle must still be properly registered with the county DMV to legally operate on public roadways.   Effective immediately, the previously announced expiration date waiver extension period for safety inspection certificates and stickers that fall outside of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency proclamation period have been rescinded and will expire as described below:  Safety inspection certificates/ stickers that expire in August 2020 or later in 2020, will no longer be granted a 3-month waiver extension that was previously announced and will expire at the end of the safety inspection certificate’s and sticker’s expiration month and year.   However, as stated above, safety inspection certificates and stickers that expire March 2020 through October 2020 are granted a waiver of the expiration date through the end of November 2020.  Furthermore, safety inspection certificates/ stickers that expired before the start of the (first) supplementary emergency proclamation, February 29, 2020 or earlier, are considered expired and are not granted any waiver or expiration date extension.  
  1. Since my expired safety inspection certificate/ sticker that expires March 2020 through October 2020, is now valid through November 30, 2020, will I receive a new safety inspection certificate/ sticker?
No.  You will get a new safety inspection certificate/sticker the next time that the vehicle is inspected and passes the safety inspection.  The safety inspection certificate/sticker issued at that time will be valid for 12-months from the inspection date.  
  1. How do I renew my motor vehicle registration if my safety inspection certificate/ sticker has expired?
You may renew your motor vehicle registration with an expired safety inspection certificate/sticker during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period as long as the safety inspection certificate/sticker qualifies for the expiration date waiver.  Both commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that expire in March 2020 through October 2020, will be valid through November 30, 2020.  Each county’s DMV offer non-in-person renewals either on-line, mail-in, or kiosk.  Please check your county’s DMV website or contact your county’s DMV for the type of service being offered.  
  1. How do I register and title my vehicle if I recently purchased it from someone and the safety inspection certificate/ sticker has expired?
You may apply for an ownership transfer with an expired safety inspection certificate/sticker during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period as long as the safety inspection certificate/sticker qualifies for the waiver of the expiration date.  Both commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that expire in March 2020 through October 2020, will be valid through November 30, 2020.  Please check your county’s DMV website or contact your county’s DMV for information on what documents need to be mailed in or dropped off to transfer the ownership of the vehicle purchased.  
  1. How do I register and title my motor vehicle that was registered in another state that I recently shipped here from an out-of-state location but have not yet registered?
If you shipped a motor vehicle that is currently registered in another state that arrived into the State of Hawaii during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period between March 16, 2020 through October 31, 2020, and have not registered it, you will not be required to register your vehicle with the county DMV within 30 days from the arrival date as is required by existing Hawaii law.  The out-of-state vehicle registration 30-day requirement will be waived during the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period for those arrival dates.  After the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period ends, the 30-day requirement to register your vehicle will be calculated from when the motor vehicle arrived into the State of Hawaii.  It is strongly advised that you carry the shipping document, (i.e., Bill of Laden) with you when driving the vehicle to prove that your vehicle was received in Hawaii during the emergency period.  
  1. How will I know when the safety inspection stations are performing safety checks again?
Safety inspection stations reopened for inspections on May 15, 2020.  The most current information may be found here on this FAQs website or HDOT Highways website: https://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/  
  1. The safety inspection sticker on my car has expired. Will I get a traffic ticket for an expired safety inspection certificate/ sticker? 
Our office has informed each county’s police department that by the authority of the Governor’s emergency proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, expired safety inspection certificates/stickers on all vehicles that expire March 2020 thru October 2020 are valid until the end of November 2020.  Note that the 3-month waiver extension period that was previously granted for safety inspection certificates and stickers that expire after August 2020 and during the remainder of 2020 has been rescinded and the 3-month waiver extension period is no longer being granted.  Also safety inspection certificates and stickers that expired February 2020 or earlier are now expired and not granted any waiver extension.  Please be aware that the waiver extension period for the safety inspection certificate/sticker being allowed does not provide for any extension of an expired motor vehicle registration.  
  1. Will I be able to enter a military installation if my vehicle has an expired safety inspection certificate/ sticker?
Our office has informed the branches of military that by the authority of the Governor’s emergency proclamation in response to the Hawaii COVID-19 pandemic, expired safety inspection certificates/stickers on all vehicles that expire March 2020 through October 31, 2020 are valid until the end of November 2020.  Please be aware that the waiver extension period for the safety inspection certificate/sticker being allowed does not provide for any extension of an expired motor vehicle registration.  Your vehicle must still be properly registered with the county DMV.  
  1. How will I register a brand new commercial or non-commercial motor vehicle that I shipped to Hawaii from another state that has never been registered?
During this emergency period, for a brand new non-commercial motor vehicle that was never registered in another state, please contact your county DMV office for information on what documents are required to register the new vehicle.  The Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Original (MCO) will indicate to the county DMV that the vehicle is a brand new vehicle.  If the MSO/MCO and all other documents are in order, a safety inspection certificate will not be required.  Please be aware that the motor vehicle is not legally allowed to operate on public roadways without the registration certificate and proof of insurance carried with the vehicle, and license plates.  
  1. Will I be able to register my brand new commercial or non-commercial motor vehicle that I purchased from a dealer?
During this emergency period, county DMVs are allowing new vehicle dealers to register new motor vehicles.  New vehicle dealers that have not been informed of this interim procedure should contact their county DMV for additional details.  
  1. My safety check certificate/ sticker will expire the month after the safety check stations reopen for business. What if I cannot get my vehicle inspected before my safety check certificate/ sticker expires?
Safety inspection stations reopened on May 15, 2020.  All safety check certificates/stickers that expires March 2020 through October 2020 have been granted a waiver and remain valid until November 30, 2020.  Safety inspection certificates/stickers that expire after the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, March 16, 2020 through November 30, 2020, will expire at the end of the month indicated on the certificate/sticker and are not granted any waiver of the expiration date.  Upon passing the vehicle inspection, you will be issued a certificate of inspection and sticker that will be valid for 12 months from the date the vehicle is inspected.

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