Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: Do I Need to Exchange My Driver’s License by Jan. 1?

November 30, 2015, 7:21 AM HST
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Image courtesy County of Maui.

Image courtesy County of Maui.

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Mayor Arakawa:

Q: Aloha. I recently traveled to the Mainland. When I went through TSA security at one of the Mainland airports, the security officer said I would not be able to use my Hawai‘i Drivers license after Jan. 1, 2016, for airport identification because it doesn’t have a star on it.

He said I could go to my local DMV and get one with a star. This is the first I heard about this and having just renewed my driver’s license in Kahului last year with an expiration of 2023, I was surprised that I wasn’t told this or issued a license with a star. Please clarify this for me and others who travel.

A: The TSA agent was incorrect. You will not need to exchange your current drivers license with the Division of Motor Vehicles & Licensing. The State of Hawai‘i’s enhanced requirements for drivers licenses and state identification cards have been deemed as fully compliant with the Real ID Act of 2005, following a review and certification by the US Department of Homeland Security. This took effect on March 5, 2012, for the State of Hawai‘i drivers licenses and on Jan. 2, 2013, for identification cards. Therefore, the State of Hawai‘i drivers licenses and identification cards are compliant and will be accepted by federal agencies for official purposes such as boarding federally-regulated commercial aircraft.

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For more information and updates, visit the Department of Homeland Security website.

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Want to Ask the Mayor?

Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the Ask the Mayor column.

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