What Is the Driving Age in Hawaii?

Hawaiian teens can get a learner’s permit at 15.5 and a full license by age 17. Learn more about the Hawaii driving age here.
Written by Jacqulyn Graber
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Hawaii’s driving age is 18 years old to receive a full driver’s license. However, with a permit, you can get out on the road as young as age 15.5 thanks to the state’s graduated licensing program. 
Getting your driver’s license is one of the most exciting parts of your teen years—right up there with prom and high school graduation. But rules and regulations surrounding new drivers vary from state to state, so it’s essential to understand Hawaii’s driving age if you think you’re ready to hit the road. 
If you need a little help getting your facts straight, read on.
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What is the driving age in Hawaii?

If you live in the Aloha State, you’ll generally need to be 18 years old to get a full driver's license. However, you may be eligible for one as early as 17 if you complete the graduated licensing program
During the instructional permit phase of the program, drivers can start practicing with a permit at age 15.5 and upgrade to a provisional license at 16

What is the graduated licensing program in Hawaii?

Like many U.S. states, Hawaii trains young drivers via a graduated licensing program. These programs were designed in response to high fatality rates among young drivers, as reported by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Generally, graduated licensing programs include three stages:
  • Instructional permit stage: Supervised driving
  • Provisional license stage: Limited unsupervised driving
  • Full license stage: Unrestricted standard driver’s license

How to get your instructional permit in Hawaii

Per the graduated licensing program, the first step in learning to drive is applying for an instructional permit. To do so, you must be at least 15.5 years old
Here’s what you’ll need to do when you apply in person at a
Hawaii Driver Licensing Office
  • Complete an
    application form
  • Provide documentation that verifies your identity (including your legal name), your date of birth, your Social Security number, your proof of U.S. citizenship (or legal presence in the U.S. if you are not a citizen), and your residential address in Hawaii
  • Provide parent/guardian consent
  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a written test
  • Have your picture and fingerprints taken
  • Pay the fee ($8–$16, depending on the county) 
Permits are valid for one year (and may be renewed as needed) and allow you to practice driving as long as you are seated next to any person who is at least 21 years of age and licensed to operate the same type of motor vehicle
Between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m., your supervising parent or guardian must be seated next to you.

How to get your provisional driver’s license in Hawaii

After you’ve had ample time practicing with your learner’s permit, the next step is to upgrade to an intermediate or provisional license. You qualify for an intermediate driver’s license if you are at least 16 years old, but under the age of 18, and have held your instructional permit for at least 180 days
You must also complete a driver’s education course at a local public school or a state-certified private driving school before applying for your provisional license. 
Once you meet these requirements, you can go ahead and schedule your road test. Each county has its own procedure for scheduling:
  • Hawaii County: Email roadtestappt@hawaiicounty.gov for the Hilo, Waimea, Pahoa, or Na'alehu offices or konaroadtest@hawaiicounty.gov for the Kailua-Kona office
  • Honolulu: Phone (808) 768-9127 or (808) 768-9123 or make the appointment online
  • Kauai: Phone (808) 241-4242
  • Maui: Phone (808) 270-8080
Bring the following items to your road test:
  • Your instruction permit
  • Both Certificates of Completion from your driver's education course
  • Proof of your legal presence in the U.S.
After you pass your road test, all you’ll have to do is pay the fees—which range from $14 to $24 depending on your county.
You must hold your provisional license for at least 6 months, and you may apply to upgrade to an unrestricted, full license as soon as your 17th birthday. You must upgrade prior to its expiration on your 19th birthday. 
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Provisional driver’s license restrictions

A Hawaiian provisional license comes with the following restrictions:
  • You cannot transport more than one person below the age of 19 without being accompanied by a licensed driver that is your parent or guardian unless your extra passenger is also a household member
  • You cannot drive between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a
parent or guardian that is licensed to drive and sitting in the passenger seat or you are driving to or from your place of employment or a school-authorized activity

How to get your full driver’s license in Hawaii 

You may upgrade from a provisional license to a full driver’s license if you:
  • Have satisfactorily held a provisional license for at least 6 months
  • Have no pending violation(s) that might result in license suspension or revocation
  • Are at least 17 years old 
All you have to do to upgrade is bring your provisional license to your county’s licensing office and pay the associated fee.

How to save on car insurance in Hawaii 

Being a new driver comes with some new costs—and we’re not just talking about the permit and license application fees. In addition to buying a car (unless you’re gifted one or given one to borrow), you’ll need to cover gas, car maintenance, and
car insurance
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Yes—but you’ll only qualify for a provisional driver’s license, which comes with restrictions regarding when you can drive and who can be in the vehicle with you.
Yes—you can drive by yourself in most situations with a provisional license, or you can upgrade to a full, unrestricted license at 17 if you’ve completed the graduated licensing program.
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