Graduated Licensing Program

Many of us have memories of Mom or Dad taking us to a neighborhood park to give us driving instructions. However, times have changed and a new Hawaii law has placed strict requirements on driver's education. Hawaii's three-stage Graduated License Program requires drivers under the age of 18 to follow new driver's license guidelines and licensing procedures.

Under the new Graduated Licensing Program, the minimum age to obtain an instruction permit is 15 ½ years of age at which time they must hold that permit for at least six months. Permit applications must be signed by both parents or a legal guardian. Before scheduling a road test, a student must present completion certificates from two phases of Driver's Education (30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of "Behind the Wheel" driver training experience - learners permit required). Students are also required to complete 50 hours of practice driving with a licensed driver (40 hours of daytime driving and 10 hours at night). A notarized statement by both parents or a legal guardian must be presented before a "Behind the Wheel" certificate can be presented.

Minors between the ages of 15 and 17 who possess a permit cannot operate a motor vehicle unless seated next to a person who is at least 21 years of age and licensed to operate the same type of motor vehicle. However, between the hours of 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., the supervising parent or guardian must be seated next to the minor driver. Driving Instructors also have to be certified by the state in order to teach students under the age of 18. To find a driver's education instructor near you go to: http://hawaii.gov/dot/highways/dot-hwys-public-affairs/drivered/findinstructor.htm.

A Provisional License will be granted to those at least 16 years of age, but under the age of 18 upon passing of a road test. Full Driver's License may be issued if the provisional licensee has satisfactorily held the provisional license for at least 6 months and has no pending violations.

Because time slots for road tests are limited each day and appointments fill quickly, it is recommended to schedule your road test appoint in advance by calling your nearest driver's license location or scheduling an appointment online. There are five driver's license offices on Oahu and there is a non-refundable road test fee of $8. Road tests are normally administered Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. excluding state holidays. To schedule an appointment online, go to: http://www3.honolulu.gov/csdarts/default.aspx.

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