Kokua Line
June Watanabe

Records lag snags
online car renewals

Question: I recently tried to renew my motor vehicle online. However, the Division of Motor Vehicles and Licensing said they have no record of my safety check even though I have a current copy. They said this is quite common, which makes renewing online a waste of time. Is there a way for consumers to avoid this?

Answer: You apparently can, if you get a safety check at least two months before the vehicle registration expires.

State law prohibits the city from renewing a motor vehicle registration without a current safety inspection. The problem, at least for online renewals, is that it might take more than two months for computer records to note relatively recent safety checks.

Safety inspection stations are required to submit all completed inspections by the 10th day of the next month, explained Dennis Kamimura, administrator of the city Motor Vehicles and Licensing Division.

The submitted safety checks are then updated on the computer by a contracted vendor by the first or second week of the month after.

"Therefore, if you obtained a safety check within one or two months of the vehicle's expiration date, your safety check expiration date may not be updated on the computer, and you will not be able to use the online vehicle renewal program," Kamimura said.

He said the city is exploring the possibility and cost of having safety check stations update the safety inspection data online, thus greatly speeding up the process of filing completed inspections with the city.

If it is able to do that, updates could be posted by the next business day instead of the current two- to 2 1/2-month delay, he said.

If you are not able to renew online, you must either mail the renewal form, the registration copy (goldenrod color) of the safety check and payment in the envelope provided, or take all those documents to the nearest satellite city hall.

Q: I am looking for a Cannon's School of Business. My daughter attended it in the late 1980s. I can't find any listing for it. What happened to it?

A: Heald College took over Cannon's, formerly Honolulu Business College, in 1993. You can call Heald, located at 1500 Kapiolani Blvd., at 955-1500.

Q: I have a nice Yamaha piano which needs tuning. Since my children have outgrown playing it, I have decided to dispose of it. My first inclination was to call the city bulk refuse pickup, but they do not accept pianos because of their size and weight. I was referred to the Salvation Army but was told they do not accept any pianos in need of tuning. On second thought, I would like to give it away free to anyone willing to undergo the cost of having it tuned. Anyone interested?

A: Call George Hieda at 988-4255 if you are. Otherwise, Hieda says he has to figure out how to dispose of it.


See the Columnists section for some past articles.

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