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Getting pulled over and given a ticket is never a pleasant experience. And when that ticket comes with a hefty fine, it can really put a damper on your day and your wallet.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: In Hawaii, the fine for an expired safety check $70.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about expired safety check tickets in Hawaii, including how much you can expect to pay, what the fines are for multiple offenses, steps you can take to avoid a ticket, and more.

Hawaii’s Safety Check Requirements

What is a Safety Check?

A safety check in Hawaii refers to the mandatory vehicle inspection program that all motor vehicles registered in the state must pass annually. This program aims to ensure that all vehicles on Hawaii’s roads meet the basic safety and emission standards to keep drivers, passengers, and pedestrians safe.

During a safety check, a certified mechanic will thoroughly inspect key components of your vehicle, including the brakes, suspension, seatbelts, lights, windshield wipers, tires, and more. They will also check that emission control equipment is in place and functioning properly.

Any issues or defects must be repaired to pass the safety check.

How Often Do You Need a Safety Check in Hawaii?

According to Hawaii state law, all motor vehicles registered in Hawaii must undergo and pass an annual safety check. That means owners need to take their vehicle to an authorized safety check station every 12 months to renew their registration and remain legal to drive.

The 12 month safety check validity period begins on the first day the newly registered vehicle is sold or the registration is renewed. So owners need to be aware of their safety check expiration date based on these renewal periods.

Failing to keep up with annual safety inspections can lead to fines for a first offense. Repeated failures to comply could result in the vehicle registration being suspended until the safety check requirements are met.

Consequences of an Expired Safety Check

Initial Fine Amount

Driving with an expired safety check in Hawaii can result in fines starting at $70 for your first offense. This base fine applies to both residents and visitors. However, additional fees may also be tacked on, bringing the total to over $100.

For example, there is a $7 Neurotrauma surcharge as well as a $50 state tax. Failing to address an expired safety check ticket in a timely manner can also result in the fine doubling or even tripling in some cases, so it’s important to take care of it right away.

Subsequent Offenses

If you are caught driving in Hawaii with an expired safety check more than once, the fines increase significantly. Your second offense within one year jumps the base fine to $187. With surcharges and fees, you would owe around $244 total.

Commit a third offense within a year and the base fine increases again to $287, bringing your total to $344 with additional charges added. Four or more repeat offenses can result in fines of $487 or even more along with surcharges and fees.

Clearly, allowing your safety check to expire repeatedly can become very costly in Hawaii.

Some other additional consequences besides fines may also come into play for those caught repeatedly driving without a valid safety check. For instance, repeat offenders may have their vehicles impounded or face driver’s license suspensions.

And if fines go unpaid after an extended period, arrest warrants could eventually be issued as well.

Avoiding Expired Safety Check Tickets

Mark Your Calendar

One of the best ways to avoid getting a ticket for an expired safety check in Hawaii is to mark your calendar with the expiration date. As soon as you get your safety check certificate, note when it will expire.

Set a reminder in your calendar at least 1 month prior to give yourself plenty of time to get it done. You can also set additional reminders closer to the expiration date, such as 1 week before and the day before, so you don’t forget.

It’s easy to lose track of when your safety check expires, especially if your vehicle registration renewal falls at a different time. Staying on top of the expiration date by marking your calendar is a simple way to remember and help prevent receiving a costly ticket, which can be over $100 in Hawaii.

Sign Up for Reminders

Another helpful option is signing up for expiration reminders from companies who will alert you when your safety check is close to expiring.

Many auto shops and safety check stations, like JN Automotive Services offer free reminder programs where you provide your contact information and vehicle details and they will reach out ahead of expiration via email, text, or phone.

You can also see if your insurance provider, such as Island Insurance or AAA Hawaii, provides safety check expiration notices as an extra service. This takes the responsibility off your plate so you don’t risk forgetting and ensures you receive multiple timely reminders.

Utilizing external reminder systems along with marking your personal calendar makes it practically foolproof to renew on time. With multiple notifications set, you’d have to try hard to miss renewing your safety check and face penalties.

Also read: How To Renew Your Hawaii Driver’S License: A Complete 2023 Guide

What to Do If You Get Pulled Over

Getting pulled over by law enforcement can be an unsettling and stressful experience. However, it’s important to remain calm and know your rights and responsibilities.

Here’s an informative guide on what to expect and how to handle yourself if you get pulled over in Hawaii for an expired safety check or other traffic violation.

Comply With the Officer’s Requests

When you see those familiar red and blue lights flashing behind you, the best course of action is to safely pull over to the side of the road right away.

Avoid making any sudden movements with your vehicle once stopped, as officers may perceive this as suspicious or dangerous behavior.

Remain inside your car with both hands visible on the steering wheel until addressed by the officer.

Politely comply with all of the officer’s reasonable requests for your license, registration and proof of insurance. However, be aware that you do not have to consent to any searches. Declining permission for a vehicle search should always be done respectfully.

Provide Basic Information If Questioned

Answer any basic questions the officer asks you, such as where you are coming from or going to. But avoid volunteering unnecessary additional information. Anything you say to an officer can be used against you. Therefore, outside of basic identifying information, you have the right to remain silent.

If you are suspected of committing a minor traffic offense like an expired safety check, calmly explain the situation to the officer if questioned.

For example, mention that you have an appointment the following week to renew your expired safety check. Communicate clearly and politely at all times.

Get Documentation From the Officer

Always request that the officer provide their name and badge number. You should also ask for documentation regarding the traffic stop, including exactly why you were pulled over and any citations issued.

If the traffic stop results in legal charges against you, this documentation becomes vital evidence.

If you believe you have been treated unfairly or your rights were violated by law enforcement, having detailed documentation is crucial when filing complaints or challenging the validity of charges against you in court.

By understanding what to expect and how to respond, you can handle being pulled over by police with greater confidence and minimize further issues arising from the incident.

Other Hawaii Traffic Fines to Be Aware Of

In addition to fines for an expired safety check in Hawaii, there are some other common traffic violations that can result in fines if you are not careful while driving in the Aloha State.


Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations in Hawaii. Fines for speeding vary depending on how much over the speed limit you are driving:

  • 1-10 mph over – $97 fine
  • 11-25 mph over – $197 fine
  • 26+ mph over – $477fine

Make sure to obey all posted speed limits, especially in residential areas and school zones, to avoid speeding tickets.

Running Red Lights and Stop Signs

Failing to fully stop at a red light or stop sign can result in fines of $97 in Hawaii. Completely running a red light or stop sign is considered very dangerous and fines can be as high as $500.

Using a Mobile Device While Driving

Hawaii has strict laws against using handheld mobile devices while driving. Even having your phone in your hand while driving can earn you a $250 fine for a first offense. Subsequent offenses can result in fines over $750.

Driving Without Insurance

All drivers in Hawaii are required to carry auto insurance. If you are caught driving without valid insurance, you can face fines of $500-$1000 depending on exact circumstances.

Having expired insurance or not having proof of insurance documents available in your car can also lead to heavy fines.

By being aware of these common traffic fines in Hawaii and driving carefully, you can avoid costly tickets and penalties. Safe driving practices like obeying speed limits, coming to complete stops, avoiding distractions, and carrying proper insurance documentation are vital for all motorists cruising beautiful Hawaiian roadways.

You can learn more on this website.

Also read: How Much Are Rental Cars In Hawaii?


We hope this guide gave you a comprehensive understanding of the fines and consequences associated with an expired safety check in Hawaii. The state takes vehicle safety and roadworthiness seriously, so it’s important to stay on top of your safety check due dates.

Paying a $99 ticket is annoying enough. Paying an increased fine for subsequent offenses is even worse. So do yourself a favor and mark your calendar with renewal reminders today. It could save you money, time, and a major headache down the road!

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