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 proclamations relating to the COVID-19 Emergency that temporarily suspend specific Hawaii Revised Statutes and Hawaii Department of Transportation Administrative Rules.  The most recent proclamation, Seventeenth Proclamation, extends the emergency period end date through February 14, 2021. *** SPECIAL NOTICE:  The Seventeenth Proclamation did not extend the safety expiration date beyond December 31, 2020.  Safety inspection stations have been open since May 15, 2020.  It is highly encouraged that vehicles with expired safety inspection certificate/sticker or safety inspection certificate/sticker that expires in December 2020 to make an appointment to have a safety inspection performed sooner than later to avoid any last minute rush at the end of December 2020.

(The temporary interim procedures conveyed in the FAQs are subject to change.  Please continue to check this website for the latest revisions.)

(Revised December 23, 2020)

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.

2. 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?

All commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that are expired are allowed an exemption and remain valid until December 31, 2020.  Your vehicle must still be properly registered with the county DMV to legally operate on public roadways. See above for the *** SPECIAL NOTICE regarding future extensions.

3. Since my expired safety inspection certificate/ sticker that is expired, is now valid through December 31, 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.

4. How do I renew my motor vehicle registration if my safety inspection certificate/ sticker is expired?

You may renew your motor vehicle registration with an expired safety inspection certificate/sticker until December 31, 2020.  During the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that are expired are allowed an exemption from the expiration date and remain valid until December 31, 2020.  There are no future extensions of the safety inspection expiration date beyond December 31, 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.

5. 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.  During the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, commercial and non-commercial motor vehicle safety inspection certificates and stickers that are expired are allowed an exemption from the expiration date and remain valid until the end of the Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period, currently December 31, 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.

6. 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 January 15, 2021, 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.

7. 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/

8. 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 are allowed an exemption from the expiration date and remain valid until December 31, 2020.  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. See above for the *** SPECIAL NOTICE regarding future extensions.

9. 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 are allowed an exemption from the expiration date and remain valid until December 31, 2020.  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. See above for the *** SPECIAL NOTICE regarding future extensions.

10. 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 the Hawaii COVID-19 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.

11. 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.

12. 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 expired safety inspection certificates/stickers are allowed an exemption from the expiration date and remain valid until December 31, 2020.  Safety inspection certificates/stickers that expire after December 31, 2020, will expire at the end of the month indicated on the certificate/sticker and are not allowed any exemption 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 was inspected. See above for the *** SPECIAL NOTICE regarding future extensions.

13. I want to remove my vehicle from storage. Is a safety inspection required when removing a vehicle from storage?

A certificate of inspection issued after the recording of the storage is required unless the certificate of inspection as indicated on the certificate of inspection has not yet expired during the period of the storage.   The Hawaii COVID-19 emergency period certificate of inspection expiration date waiver does not apply in this situation.

14. I rebuilt a salvage vehicle and would like to register it. Is a safety inspection required?

Yes, but before getting a safety inspection, you must obtain a certificate of inspection from a registered or certified motor vehicle repair dealer who is bonded and who rebuilt the vehicle, attesting that the rebuilt vehicle meets specific requirements.

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