Expiring driver’s licenses, new requirements prompt long lines at the DMV

It’s a new year with same old issue: long lines at our driver licensing centers.

The line was out the door Friday afternoon at the Kapalama driver licensing center.

Some people told us they waited four to five hours before they were able to get their licenses and state IDs renewed.

City officials told us the lines are so long because so many more people have cards that are expiring this year.

Plus, some new ID requirements are causing a bit of confusion.

“I stood in line for three hours already and not even half way there,” Darrell Agao said. “A lot of people walked out.”

Agao ended up leaving too, but Denise Konan stuck it out even longer.

“Five hours and it’s unbelievable. I can hardly imagine,” Konan said.

So what’s causing the delay?

City officials told KHON2 laws were changed in 2010 that increased the length that a driver’s license or state ID is valid.

“So those people who were suppose to renew in 2016 and 2017, they got an extra two years, so they’re coming in 2018 and 2019 and that bumped our numbers up,” said Sheri Kajiwara, Director of the Dept. of Customer Service.

The state also introduced a new application this week.

State of Hawaii ID and licenses will now have a gold star to indicate federal compliance with the Real ID Act.

The gold star will be needed on either your license or ID if you want to fly or enter federal buildings, but it’s not required until 2020.

Still, people are coming in anyway.

“They think they need the gold star this month. They don’t. Hawaii driver’s licenses and ID cards that are issues are all fully federally compliant until 2020 when the star is required,” Kajiwara said.

If you need to make a trip to the DMV for a driver’s license or ID, make sure you bring your birth certificate or passport, plus your social security card and two proofs of residency.

If your name has changed, you also need supporting documents.

To cut back on wait time, make an appointment. Click here for more information.

“When you make an appointment, you’re given an actual time. When you get in line, your time, your estimated time can fluctuate depending on how long people in front of you take,” Kajiwara said.

The city stresses to people there is no rush to get the gold star on your driver’s license or ID. That star is not required until October 2020.

The state Department of Transportation is already asking for an extension on that 2020 deadline to give people even more time.

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