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.
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)
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.
An International Driver’s Permit is a translation of an individual’s foreign license and is normally easy and inexpensive to obtain in the drivers home country, usually issued by an automobile association.
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 twenty-one.
- It is common practice for drivers aged between twenty-one and twenty-five to be charged a “young driver surcharge” and restrictions imposed on the vehicle type they can hire.
- All drivers will be required to be in possession of a valid credit card, cash is unlikely to be accepted as payment for car hire.
- 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 copy for US$5.00 from Safeway supermarkets.
- The Hawaii Admirer has a partnership with APTMS, an Australian travel company who represent Alamo Rent A Car. APTMS are pleased to extend Australian and New Zealand travellers a 10% discount off Hawaii car hire with Alamo, just mention the code “Hawaii Admirer” when you Request a Quote.
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