Hawaii Driving Laws


Hawaii's lawmakers designed the various regulations and rules governing the Hawaiian Islands' streets, roads and freeways to keep both you and other cars safe so you can safely explore the region's scenery. The Hawaiian word "aloha" means, among many things, "peace" or "love." Exercise peace and love for other drivers on Hawaii's roads by following the state's driving laws.

Driver's License

  • As in any state, all vehicle operators must have a valid driver's license. The license may be from a U.S. state, a Canadian province, the District of Columbia, or one of the United States' various territories (e.g. Guam or American Samoa).

Traffic Citations

  • Law enforcement officials can issue a written traffic citation when you don't follow one of the many aspects of the Hawaii Vehicle Law. The citation itself lists the recipient's penalties or fines, including any relevant court appearances. Individuals who have questions regarding their citation can call the phone number printed on the actual citation or by calling the district court on their respective island.

Safety Inspections

  • All vehicles on Hawaii's roads must have a valid motor vehicle inspection sticker on the right side of their rear bumper. The safety inspection is conducted once a year. To find the nearest authorized inspection center, contact your regional department of motor vehicles (DMV). Each county has its own department.

    In the county of Honolulu, call 808-527-6695. Drivers in the county of Maui can call 808-270-7363. Big Island county residents can contact 808-961-8351. Those on Kauai can call 808-241-4242.

Road Directions

  • In Hawaii, drivers operate on the right side of the road. Driving on the left side of the road is only acceptable when you're passing a car in your lane or if there is something in your lane that obstructs your driving.


  • Hawaii driving laws require drivers to use their turn signals whenever they turn, even if there aren't any other cars on the road. Drivers must switch on their turn signal at least 100 feet before making the turn. The Hawaii driver's manual indicates this equals the approximate length of five cars.

Driving Speeds

  • Hawaii laws require drivers to follow the posted speed limits. Drivers aren't allowed to drive faster than the posted speed maximum limit. If there's a posted minimum limit, drivers cannot drive slower than this limit. Special reduced speed zones are often enacted in areas like near a school or in busy residential districts.

Emergency Vehicles

  • All Hawaii drivers must drive their car toward the road's edge when they see or hear the flashing lights or siren of an emergency vehicle like a police car or ambulance. The emergency vehicle must always have a clear route on the road.

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  • Photo Credit driving 4 image by Andrzej Borowicz from Fotolia.com
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