Cars in Hawaii required to have 2 license plates


POSTED: Thursday, August 27, 2009

Question: Lately, I have been seeing a lot of cars without a front license plate. Aren't cars required to have both front and rear license plates? Is there a penalty for not having a front license plate?

Answer: Although many states only require a rear license plate, Hawaii requires both a front and rear plate.

A vehicle with just one out-of-state plate can operate for one year after entering Hawaii or until its out-of-state registration expires, whichever comes first.

After that, it is required to have two Hawaii license plates, one mounted in the front and one in the rear, under Section 249-7(b) of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.

The exceptions are trailers, semitrailers and motorcycles, which need only one plate fastened to the rear.

Vehicles without the two plates may be cited for a violation, punishable by a $50 fine.

According to state Judiciary traffic violation records, 2,153 motorists on Oahu were cited in 2008 for violations of HRS 249(b), and 2,869 have been cited so far this year.

But the violations weren't necessarily involving the number of plates.

While Section 249(b) requires that the license plates be securely fastened on the front and rear of the vehicle, it also requires the plates to “;at all times be displayed entirely unobscured and be kept reasonably clean.”;

The records don't specify the actual violation, just the section number, said a Judiciary spokeswoman.

Question: I haven't used my green State of Hawaii library card in over 10 years and misplaced it. When I went to a library, my card information in the computer system was verified with my Hawaii driver's license. I was told if I found my green card, it would be updated to the new card at no cost or I would have to pay $10 for a replacement card. What is the reason and justification for the $10 fee for a new card, since my old card information was confirmed and my green card, if found, would be replaced for free?

Answer: We were informed that you also contacted state library officials and got an explanation of the fee.

For other library users, here's a head's up on what the procedure is for replacing a card. Basically, unless there's a police report saying a card was stolen or the card was damaged by “;an act of nature,”; the fee for a replacement card is assessed.

Under the administrative rules of the Hawaii State Public Library System, the first library card for Hawaii residents is free.

Resident minors are charged $5 and resident adults $10 each time a card is replaced, “;unless the library customer provides satisfactory proof that the card was stolen”; or “;damaged due to an act of nature.”;

Examples of acceptable proof of theft include “;a report, letter, or report number validated by a police officer and provided by the police department.”;



To the helpful and patient people in the Tax Relief Section, Department of Budget & Fiscal Service, Room 115, South King Street. Emilyn worked on my Tax Relief form for me, taking a lot of pressure off me. Fusao gave me excellent directions to the office. All of them, Eunice and others whose names I didn't get, treated me with patience and understanding. I would recommend anyone interested in tax relief to go to this office. — Grateful Senior Citizen


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