Gifting a Car in Hawaii

You can gift a car to a family member in Hawaii as long as you properly transfer the title to the new owner and pay all relevant fees.
Written by Olivia Rose
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
You can avoid certain taxes and fees associated with selling a car by gifting a car to a family member in
—but you will need to transfer the vehicle title and pay the associated fees to make the gift legal. 
Gifting a car is, quite simply, just a nice thing to do. Sometimes it’s a convenient move, too—for instance, if you have a child who can’t afford to buy their own car and you want them to have their own mode of transportation. 
But gifting cars isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Each state has its own process for legally gifting a car, and you’ll need to follow your state’s regulations to avoid penalties and fees. 
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’s car experts have looked into gifting a car in Hawaii, and we’re coming at you with everything you need to know, from how to transfer a title to finding the right car insurance for your gifted car. 

How to buy a car as a gift in Hawaii

One option for gifting a car in Hawaii is to buy a new car with the purpose of gifting it. If you’re in this boat, it’s a good idea to take the giftee to the dealership with you so they can be involved in the
car buying
and financing process. 
Since you might have trouble gifting the car in Hawaii before all the loans are paid off, this step will help ensure the car is everything your giftee wants it to be by the time you are able to transfer the title to their name. 

How to gift a used car in Hawaii

An arguably simpler process is to gift a car you already own to a family member. 
In Hawaii, you can gift a car to a family member by following the same steps as selling a car in Hawaii. The giftee will be responsible for the title transfer fee—but they won’t have to pay a use tax on the car. 

Discuss the terms of the gift with your recipient

In Hawaii, the giftee is responsible for paying the title transfer fee. But it’s a good idea to discuss the other stipulations of your gift—such as who will pay for insurance, maintenance, fuel, and any other related costs of owning the vehicle. 

Record the gift with a bill of sale

Whether or not it’s required by your state, you should always record a car gift with a bill of sale. This gives you a written record of the gift and helps you avoid confusion and snafus down the line. 

Transfer the vehicle title

The most important process for gifting a car in Hawaii is transferring the vehicle title. In Hawaii, this process will look nearly identical for gifting a car as it does to privately selling a car. 
The legal owner of the car will need to have the following in order to transfer the title:
  • Corresponding title and registration application form
  • Vehicle title with the owner’s and giftee’s information and signatures and the
    vehicle odometer reading
  • Bill of sale (if applicable)
  • Lien release form (if applicable)
  • Safety inspection certificate
  • Smog certification/vehicle inspection
In Hawaii, each county has a different fee for the title transfer. Here’s a look at them: 

Purchase Hawaii liability insurance and PIP—or full coverage

Hawaii’s car insurance
require all drivers to have
coverage and
personal injury protection
(PIP) in order to legally drive. 
Liability coverage helps cover the cost of damages to other driver’s vehicles when you cause an accident.
PIP helps pay for your own medical expenses—regardless of who is at fault in a collision.
All things said, these minimum coverages are just that—minimal. If you can afford it, we recommend looking into full-coverage insurance, which helps cover damages to your own car when you cause an accident—as well as damages from things like theft or vandalism. 

How to find affordable car insurance in Hawaii

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When you gift a car in Hawaii, the giftee pays for the title transfer fee. The cost of the fee varies depending on which county you are in.
Hawaii allows you to transfer vehicle ownership to a family member as a gift.
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