Maui Discussion

Ask the Mayor: What is the State Law on License Plates?

September 7, 2015, 10:43 AM HST
* Updated September 14, 7:19 AM
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Hawaiʻi license plate. File photo Maui Now.

Hawaiʻi license plate. File photo Maui Now.

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

Aloha Mayor,

Q: What is the law on front license plates? Do we need them?

A: Yes. According to Hawai‘i Revised Statute §249-7 Number plates: “The director of finance shall also furnish the owner, upon the original registration of the vehicle, two number plates for the vehicle… The owner shall securely fasten the number plates on the vehicle, one on the front and the other on the rear, at a location provided by the manufacturer or in the absence of such a location upon the bumpers of the vehicle and in conformance with section 291-31, in such a manner as to prevent the plates from swinging. Number plates shall at all times be displayed entirely unobscured and be kept reasonably clean.” Additionally, the official manual that Safety Inspectors refer to states that “vehicles must have two plates, unless registered out-of-state in a location requiring only one plate. Plates must be secured and legible.”

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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