Hawaii Driver Licensing Law

Obtaining an Instructional Permit

Hawaii has adopted a three-stage graduated licensing program for drivers under 18. To qualify for the initial, Instructional Permit phase, an applicant must be at least 15 years and 6 months old.

The following is required when applying for an Instructional Permit:

  • A completed driver license application
  • Identifying documents
  • Pass an eye screening
  • Pass a 30-question written exam

Once the permit is awarded, the driver will face the following restrictions:

  • When driving, teen must be in immediate possession of the Instructional Permit.
  • Teen must be seated next to a licensed driver, at least 21 years of age.
  • Driving between 11PM and 5AM requires the supervision of a parent or guardian, sitting beside the minor driver.
  • All vehicle occupants are required to wear their seatbelts.

The Instructional Permit is valid for one year.

Obtaining a Provisional License

Drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 who have held an instructional permit for at least 180 days without incident may be granted a Provisional License. This requires the satisfactory completion of a state-certified driver's education course and the possession of the classroom and the behind-the-wheel certificates. Additionally, the applicant must pass a road examination test.

In addition to having the license in their immediate possession and having all occupants in seatbelts, the following driving restrictions apply to holders of Provisional Licenses:

  • Unless accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian, a license holder cannot transport more than one person under the age of 18. There is an exception for siblings.
  • Generally, license holders are not allowed to drive between 11PM and 5AM unless they are accompanied by a licensed parent or guardian in the front, passenger seat. Exceptions include when traveling to or from work or a school-authorized activity. In both instances, the driver is required to have a note indicating permission.

Upon turning 17, if a Provisional License has been held for at least six months without any violations, the driver will be eligible for a Full Driver's License.

Other Driving Laws for Teens

Mandatory seat belts: Not only do the occupants of the front seat need to "click it," but now those riding along in the back seat must be also buckled in.

Zero tolerance: This is a bit of a no-brainer considering that you, as a teenager, are underage to begin with and should not even be drinking. You certainly shouldn't be drinking and then getting behind the wheel for a joyride. The zero tolerance law states that any driver under 21 having a BAC of 0.02% or above will lose their license for 180 days and have to enroll in an alcohol education program and possibly receive some other type of counseling.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

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