How to Get a Hawaii CDL License

The Complicated Process of Obtaining a Hawaii CDL
While drivers can visit the State of Hawaii and use a personal driver’s license to get around the islands while visiting, permanent residents and drivers need to have a Hawaiian drivers license to be legal for long-term driving. Further, for commercial drivers, a Hawaii commercial drivers license, or cdl, is critical to not be arrested while driving.

The process for obtaining a commercial drivers license is straightforward and detailed on the state’s department of motor vehicles website ( Most drivers will automatically need a Class 3 cdl which allows the driving of a vehicle under 18,000 lbs and carrying less than 15 passengers. Commercial drivers will need to apply for a Class 4 cdl, which allows operation of a vehicles weighing between 18,001 to 26,000 lbs.

Additional basic requirements include:

• Regular drivers must be at least 18 years of age or older (a commercial class driver will still need to be over 21 years – see below).
• Pass a drivers license test issued by a Hawaii state department of motor vehicles office.
• Have a proof of identity and birth as well as a social security number.
• Have proof of legal residence and presence in Hawaii.

Studying for the regular exam can be done either on one’s own or through private company driver’s education classes for hire. For those who want to prepare on their own, one can download the Hawaii Driver’s Manual and take practice tests as well ( Once ready, a driver should make and schedule an appointment ( and (

The license exam actually involves four parts: vision, road sign comprehension, the road test, and a written exam. The applicant must pass all the exams to successfully to obtain a driver’s license of any kind. It’s also the student’s responsibility to have the appropriate vehicle to take the test. The Hawaii DMV won’t provide a testing vehicle. Further, the car should already be licensed and up to date with registration and safety checks. Unregistered cars will not be allowed during a test. It’s also a smart idea to have insurance coverage on the vehicle in place as well. Once the exam is full passed, the driver will immediately receive documentation for a full license. The actual card is mailed later on.

With the regular license requirements met, the cdl applicant must then fill out a CDL,DOT 4-764 Form and attached a current color photograph (i.e. a passport photo). Both the approved regular driver’s license and social security number must be provided and valid during application. Age can be verified with a current driver’s license or a birth certificate. Cdl applicants must be 21 years of age. Drivers also need to pass specific medical checks and evaluations to assure they can drive safely. This includes vision and a medical clearance ( Finally, cdl license applicants need to have an instructional cdl permit approved and in place for one year under supervision to then apply for a full cdl.

Fees to Pay
The Hawaii cdl license cost and related fees are charged at the time of applying to take an exam. Because both a regular driver’s license and commercial driver’s license are required in Hawaii, the fees could be double, depending on the driver’s need. Hawaii’s fee schedule is as follows (

Application Fee 1.00
Out of State Application Fee 4.00
Written Test (Pass or Fail) 1.00
Oral Test Fee 10.00
Instruction Permit 10.00
Road Test 10.00
New License – 1 year (or fraction thereof) 5.00
New License – 2 years (Age 72 and above) 10.00
New License – 4 years (Age 18 – 24) 20.00
New License – 8 years (Age 25 – 71) 40.00

The Hawaii department office processing applications will accept all major forms of payment from basic cash to checks and money orders.

With the regular driver’s license address, the applicant will then need to pay at least $50 for the cdl exam fees for the three cdl tests ($30 for the application, $15 for the general knowledge part, and $5 for specific commercial vehicle tests chosen).

In Closing
Because the cdl process can a bit complicated, it’s a smart idea to consider Hawaii cdl license training through an expert training firm if possible. There are number of loops and hoops that can foul up a rookie applying for the first time, costing hard-earned money in the process. With a professional training program, such mistakes can be avoided, improving the success of being approved for a cdl and getting on the road as soon as possible.