Starting this month, U.S. military veterans who reside in Hawaii will be able to include that distinction on their driver’s licenses and state ID cards. Temporary learner’s permits may also include the recognition for those who qualify. The optional designation from the Department of Transportation is available to anyone who served in the armed services and received a discharge other than dishonorable. Applicants must provide proof of service, which may be in the form of a verification letter from the Veterans’ Administration or discharge papers. Any veteran whose license is not currently due for renewal may request the special recognition on a duplicate license or ID card, but will be charged the fee for a duplicate, $6 or $7 depending on the county of residence.
The new veteran label results from a bill introduced by Hawaii state representative Mark Takai, who argued that the designation affords veterans a simple way to prove their status, receive benefits, and obtain discounts.
Since March 2012, to conform with the Real ID Act of 2005, Hawaii has participated in centralized license distribution, wherein people seeking licenses receive a temporary paper version, and the new permanent card arrives via U.S. mail within a couple of weeks. The licenses meet the uniform requirements for all state-issued identification cards countrywide.
On May 1, 2014, the fees for obtaining a Hawaii driver’s license changed. In Kauai County, state IDs cost $32, while in the counties of Honolulu, Maui, and Hawaii, they cost $40. Each ID is valid for eight years. Duplicate cards cost $6 or $7, depending on the county. Two documents are required to prove legal Hawaiian residency to obtain a driver’s license. Some of the documents accepted include (but are not limited to): a current valid Hawaii driver’s license, vehicle registration, a recent utility bill or checking/savings account statement displaying a current address, a recent paystub, a Hawaii income tax return for the previous year, and a receipt for personal property tax paid to a state county within the last year. For a complete list of accepted documents, please visit http://hidot.hawaii.gov/hawaiis-legal-presence-law/.