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Getting a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license can make life more convenient by allowing you to use it as identification for domestic flights. This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to get a gold star license through the online application process.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: You must be a Hawaii resident and submit required documentation proving your legal presence in order to qualify for a gold star license when renewing or applying for a new license online.

We’ll cover everything you need to know, from the documentation required to tips for streamlining the application process online.

Eligibility Requirements

Hawaii Residency

To be eligible for a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license, you must be a legal resident of the state of Hawaii. This means having a physical address in Hawaii where you live for most of the year. Acceptable proof of residency documents include a rental agreement or mortgage statement, utility bills, or pay stubs showing a Hawaii address.

You must bring your proof of residency documents to the DMV when applying for your license. Some common documents people use are:

  • Rental or lease agreement
  • Mortgage statement or deed
  • Utility bills (electricity, water, cable, etc.)
  • Pay stubs from a Hawaii employer
  • Bank or credit card statements
  • Voter registration card

Having an address with a family member or friend in Hawaii does not necessarily make you a Hawaii resident if you still spend most of your time living in another state. The DMV may ask for additional documentation to confirm you truly reside in Hawaii more than 50% of the year.

Legal Presence Documentation

In addition to proving Hawaii residency, you must also prove your legal presence in the United States with certain approved documents. This shows you are either a U.S. citizen or otherwise legally authorized to be in the country.

Some common legal presence documents include:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
  • Certified copy of U.S. birth certificate
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship
  • Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
  • Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
  • Foreign passport with approved I-94 form

Bring one of these documents with you when applying for your new Hawaii license. Legal presence must be proven each time you renew your license as well.

Meeting both the Hawaii residency and legal presence requirements qualifies you to receive a license with a gold star. This allows you to use it for federal identification purposes like domestic air travel.

Gathering Necessary Documents

Acceptable Proof of Legal Presence

To apply for a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license, you’ll need to provide proof that you are legally allowed to live and work in the United States. Some common acceptable documents include:

  • A valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate issued in any U.S. state, jurisdiction, or territory
  • A valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)
  • An unexpired foreign passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. visa and an approved I-94 form documenting your most recent admittance into the United States

These are just a few examples – for a full list of acceptable proof of legal presence documents, check the City and County of Honolulu’s website.

Other Required Documentation

In addition to proof of legal presence, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Your current Hawaii driver’s license
  • An original signed Social Security card or verification letter from the Social Security Administration
  • Documents to verify your name, date of birth, and principal residence address (such as your birth certificate or passport, and a utility bill or bank statement mailed to your Hawaii address)

All documents must be originals or certified copies – photocopies are not accepted.

The process of gathering all these materials can take some time and effort upfront, but having that gold star on your license makes life easier in the long run by allowing you to use it as a valid form of ID for situations like boarding an airplane or entering federal buildings.

The Hawaii DOT also cautions that you may need to provide additional information or documentation if anything submitted fails verification or prompts further review. But don’t let that scare you – the verification process helps cut down on license fraud.

By thoroughly compiling and verifying all required documents ahead of time, you set yourself up for a smooth application process. You’ll breeze through verification and be that much closer to unlocking all the conveniences a Hawaii gold star license offers!

Starting Your Online Application

Applying for a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license online is a straightforward process that can be completed entirely through the Aloha State’s DMV website. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get started:

1. Ensure You Meet the Requirements

To qualify for the gold star, you must:

  • Have held your Hawaii license for at least 3 years
  • Have had no traffic convictions or at-fault accidents in the past 3 years
  • Be under age 70

Meeting these simple requirements is the first step to getting approved. Drivers over 70 can still qualify for a gold star if they pass vision and road tests.

2. Gather Supporting Documentation

Before starting your application, make sure you have digital copies of:

  • Your current Hawaii driver’s license
  • Proof of address, like a utility bill
  • Your driving record for the past 3 years, available from the DMV for a small fee

Having these documents ready will make the application process faster and simpler.

3. Start Your Online Application

The Hawaii DMV website allows you to complete the gold star application entirely online. Simply:

  1. Visit
  2. Click on Driver Licensing
  3. Select Gold Star Driver’s License Application
  4. Carefully enter your information and upload supporting docs

Completing the online form takes around 15-20 minutes for most drivers. Entering accurate info the first time prevents delays.

4. Pay Fees and Finish Up

Once submitted, the DMV will review your application and driving history. If approved, you’ll receive an email outlining the $5 gold star designation fee. Simply pay online to complete the process.

Then just wait for your new license with gold star to arrive in 1-2 weeks! Display it proudly as a recognized safe driver in Hawaii.

Uploading and Verifying Documentation

Getting a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license requires uploading supporting documentation and having it verified. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to complete this process smoothly online:

Gather the Necessary Documentation

You’ll need to provide documentation that proves your identity, Hawaii residency, and legal presence. This usually includes:

  • A valid U.S. passport or birth certificate
  • A utility bill or bank statement showing your Hawaii address
  • Your Social Security card or pay stub

Double check that all documents are valid and not expired. Make copies or scans just in case.

Create an Online Account

Go to the Hawaii DOT website and register for an online account. This allows you to upload files and track the status of your application.

Make your username and password easy to remember. Write them down in a secure place.

Upload Documentation

Once logged into your account, you can upload images or PDF files of your documents. Make sure scans are clear and information is readable.

It’s best to upload one file per document type for faster processing. So upload birth certificate separate from bank statement.

Verify Submission

Double check that all files were successfully uploaded. You should receive email confirmations for each one.

Processing times vary, but can take 1-2 weeks. Log into your account periodically to check status updates.

Provide Additional Information if Requested

In some cases, reviewers may request further documentation or clarification. Respond to these requests quickly to avoid delays.

Once all files are verified, you’ll be cleared for the gold star on your license! Check your account for next steps.

Tips for Streamlining the Process

Use the Document Guide

The Hawaii DMV provides a handy document guide on their website to help you prepare the necessary paperwork for getting a gold star on your license. This guide spells out exactly which documents you’ll need, saving you time and hassle.

For example, it specifies that you’ll need a valid U.S. passport or certified copy of your birth certificate to prove identity and lawful status. Following the guide ensures you have all required documents ready for efficient review.

Double Check Documentation Types

Hawaii requires multiple specific documentation types for the gold star license, like proof of identity and proof of legal presence. Carefully check that your documents match the exact types listed. For proof of identity, a U.S. passport or certified birth certificate are accepted, while a social security card or paystub would not qualify.

Taking a few extra minutes to double check will prevent having your application rejected or delayed.

Here is a quick checklist of accepted documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate copy
  • Proof of Legal Presence: Green card, visa, or other immigration documents
  • Proof of Social Security: Social security card

Pay Online to Expedite Review

Opting to pay the $5 gold star license fee online when submitting your application helps speed up processing times. Mailing a check means the payment must first reach the DMV before they can begin reviewing your paperwork.

Paying online eliminates this lag so they can start on your application right away. This cuts out about a week from the overall timeline.

According to the Hawaii DMV site, review times are approximately 2-3 weeks if you pay online upfront versus 3-4 weeks if paying by mail. That extra week can really add up if you’re in a time crunch, so pay online if possible.

Payment Method Estimated Review Time
Online Payment 2-3 weeks
Mailed Check 3-4 weeks

Following these handy tips will minimize headaches and delays as you go through the gold star application process. Taking a few extra minutes upfront to use the document guide, verify you have the exact required paperwork, and pay the fee online can shave weeks off the overall timeline.

With gold star licenses increasingly being valid for more identification purposes, like domestic flights, getting one quickly and efficiently is key.


Getting a gold star on your Hawaii driver’s license can enable easier domestic travel, but requires submitting thorough documentation online to prove residency and legal presence. By following the guidelines above and streamlining the application process where possible, you can get qualified for your gold star license.

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