Motorcycles, Motor Scooters and Mopeds General Information


Definitions of a ‘moped’, ‘motorcycle’ and ‘motor scooter’ are defined in Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 286-2and in HRS 291C-1.

A valid motorcycle license is a ‘type 2’ designation. Licensing information: HRS 286-102

Hawaii law requires all motorcycle and motor scooter operators to purchase liability insurance for their vehicles. A valid I.D. card and driver’s license must be kept with the motorcycle or scooter or carried by the operator. HRS 286-116

Lane splitting/lane sharing is illegal in Hawaii per HRS 291C-153(c)

See the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.


Obtaining a Motorcycle Designation

Out of state – if you already have a valid motorcycle designation from another State or country and you may be able to transfer it to your new Hawaii driver’s license. For more information – Click here.

In state

Obtain a motorcycle instruction (class 2) permit. Requirements below but not limited to:

  • Provide the required documents
  • Successfully pass vision screening
  • Have a clear driving record
  • Successfully pass the motorcycle written knowledge test
  • Successfully pass the rules of road written test (if you do not currently hold a Class 3 license)
  • Further details of the requirements can be found on your county’s website.

Under the permit phase:

  • Visit your county’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Licensing and Registration website for guidance and requirements. Links are provided below. For Oahu instructions can be found here: 2023 Motorcycle Road Test Instructions
  • Review the HRS 286-110 regarding permits. As part of these rules, note that the permit holder cannot carry passengers or operate a motorcycle during the hours of darkness while learning to ride under a permit. The permit may be renewed if the person has taken a skill test prior to the expiration of the motorcycle instruction permit. If the permit expires before a skill test is taken at least once, the person must wait three months before applying for another motorcycle instruction permit.
  • Decide whether to take the motorcycle road test OR obtained a waiver from the road test by enrolling in and successfully passing a State certified motorcycle safety course. Currently,  Leeward Community College (LCC) on Oahu is the only State certified course in Hawaii. The link to LCC can be found below.

Obtaining the motorcycle designation:

  • After fulfilling the permit requirements, follow driver’s license procedures found on your county’s website. Links are provided below.


Minors: Under 18 years old – If you want to get a motorcycle designation at the same time as your driver’s license, start the Driver Education Graduated Licensing (GDL) program.

  • Getting started – GDL brochure
  • Rules regarding provisional licensing per HRS 286-102.6
  • When getting the permit, the minor applicant must submit CS-L-DL 239, Parental Consent Affidavit for Type 2 permit in addition to a CSL239 submitted for a Type 3 permit.
  • Instruction permit must be held for a minimum of 180 days.
  • The minor applicant should have their permit before signing up for the motorcycle safety class.
  • Per HRS 286 (2)(e), minors need to wear a helmet.
  • The minor must complete the Behind the Wheel (BTW) Motorcycle Certificate and Classroom (CLS) requirements. They are required to hold the Class 1 or 2 permit for 180 days and submit a Driver Education (DE) Certificate and Behind the Wheel (BTW) Motorcycle Certificate before applying for the skills test at the DMV.
  • Visit your county DMV website for further guidance and requirements. Links are provided below.



Plan accordingly for all timelines and expiration dates of permits, waivers, and certificates.

There are NO extensions nor exceptions unless allowed by law.

It is your responsibility to schedule all appointments with your county’s DMV immediately to ensure that you can get an appointment on time. If you don’t get the time or day that you wish, check back to the website daily to see if it becomes available. People routinely cancel their appointments. If available, you may also visit the kiosks at the satellite city halls to schedule an appointment.



Definitions of a ‘moped’, ‘motorcycle’ and ‘motor scooter’ are defined in Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS) 286-2and in HRS 291C1.

You need a valid driver’s license to operate a moped per HRS 291C-194

Mopeds do need to be registered and require vehicle safety checks from licensed locations.

Some mopeds have a seat for two people, it is illegal to have more than one rider on the moped.

New: 2021 Act 214 went into effect on July 1, 2021. This Act requires all moped and motor scooter rental companies to ensure that mopeds and motor scooters are equipped with flags (HRS 286-81.5) and that it makes helmets mandatory if the renter does not have a motorcycle or equivalent license (HRS286-81(b)). It amends ‘scooters’ to not just include motorcycles that matches the scooter description, but to include any and all vehicles that match those specifications except mopeds. Also, it reiterates the laws regarding aftermarket modifications.

For more information on moped laws and requirements, click – here.



Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Licensing and Registration:

City & County of Honolulu

Hawaii County

Maui County

Kauai County


Partner Links:

Department of Health

Honolulu Police Department

Hawaii Police Department

Maui Police Department

Kauai Police Department

Leeward Community College

Motorcycle Safety Foundation






Publications and Other Information:

Motorcycle Operator Manual (as of 3/21/2022 – there is correction to the manual. The number of days a permit must be held before taking a practical test is 180 days per Section 286-108(b)).

Hawaii Injury Prevention Plan 2018-2023

Motorcycle/Motor Scooter Safety Inspection Stations (before going down, please call the stations to confirm that they are doing safety checks for motorcycles and motor scooters)

Graduated Licensing Brochure

Updated: 1.5.2024