Starting Monday, Honolulu licensing centers and satellite city halls will no longer accept walk-in appointments for license and identification renewals.
City officials announced the change Friday due to growing COVID-19 concerns. Residents needing to renew their driver license or state ID will have to make an appointment to do so starting Monday. Appointments can be made at honolulu.gov/CSD.
"A lot of people, in a really tight space, when they're interacting with each other and perhaps passing around a virus that we don't want anyone to get," said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. "As an alternative to physically visiting a city center, we recommend online and off-site service options."
Caldwell says the city is installing signs to remind residents to practice good hygiene and additional hand sanitizing stations at city facilities. He says city employees will also be cleaning frequently used surfaces more regularly -- including the eye exam and finger printing machines at licensing centers.
Customer Services director Sheri Kajiwara says if residents are concerned about the eye machines, a doctor's note is accepted and would bypass the eye exam.
Kajiwara says residents who are updating their driver's license or state identification to be REAL ID compliant don't need to come into a licensing center or satellite city hall.
"You may be one of the 90,000 people who can get it online," she said. "If you've renewed after May 2014, then you can go online and request a star. We'll mail it to you. Pay online. You don't need to make an appointment."
Kajiwara says if residents do need an appointment, scheduling an appointment online will make things more efficient and quicker. She estimates appointments can be done within 15 minutes.
Kajiwara also pointed out there are many other city services available that don't require face-to-face interaction, such as car registration. She noted the city's six Hawaii DMV Now kiosks can help residents with their needs in three minutes. The kiosks are available at some Safeway and Foodland store locations.
"You don't have to bring anything, just enter your license plate number, pay by credit card, and your documents fall out of the machine," she said.
Kajiwara says residents can pay their utility bills and property taxes by phone, online or with auto-pay. Other online city services that offer short turnaround times are duplicate driver license, personalized license plates, and vehicle title and fee inquiry.
Satellite city halls will still accept walk-ins for services like bicycle registration and quicker bill payments because they are not by appointment.
More information about the city's services can be found at honolulu.gov/csd.
Correction: A previous version of this story contained an error in the second paragraph. The correction has been made. HPR regrets the error.