The ability to drive a car in Hawaii using an International Driver’s License (without an additional International Driver’s Permit) depends on the type of foreign driver’s license you have.
Please note, an ‘International Driver’s License’ refers to any non-USA driver’s license e.g. an Australian driver’s license.
Driving in Hawaii with an International Driver’s License
Foreign visitors to Hawaii can drive a car with an International Driver’s License (without an additional International Driver’s Permit) as long as it’s valid in the home country and is written in English. Learner or provisional permits are not accepted.
International Driver’s Permit (IDP)
An International Driver’s Permit is a translation of an individual’s foreign license and is normally easy and inexpensive to obtain in the driver’s home country, usually issued by an automobile association.
If the International Driver’s License is in a language other than English, and the letters are English (i.e. German, Spanish, etc.), an additional International Driver’s Permit is highly recommended. Please confirm with your car hire company ahead of time.
If the International Driver’s License is in a language other than English, and the letters are not English (i.e. Japanese, Arabic, etc.), an additional International Driver’s Permit is required.
TIP: Driving in Hawaii is on the right side of the road. To familiarise yourself with Hawaii’s road rules read the official Hawaii Driver’s Manual online or pick up a hard copy from Safeway supermarkets.
Car Rental Basics
There are a few Hawaii car rental basics to be aware of:
- The majority of Hawaii car hire companies will not rent vehicles to drivers under the age of 21
- It is common practice for drivers aged 21-25 years old to be charged a ‘young driver surcharge’ and restrictions imposed on the vehicle type they can hire
- All drivers are required to be in possession of a valid credit card, cash is unlikely to be accepted as payment for rental cars
TIP: For affordable car hire, book online with Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. Choose from a variety of brands and vehicle types. They have no booking fees, no pre-payment, and no cancellation penalties! Convertibles and Jeeps are popular options.
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