Motor vehicle registration made easier

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Lesah Merritt, Safeway Hokulei store manager, left, Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami, center, and county Treasurer David Schwartz celebrate the collaborative private-government partnership that made the vehicle registration kiosk a reality Wednesday morning at the Safeway store in Hokulei Village in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Michelle Rubio, with registration renewal notification in hand, celebrates her successful vehicle registration using the automated kiosk Wednesday at the Safeway store in Hokulei Village in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Kauai County Councilmember Mason Chock, left, and Gary Sato of the Office of the County Clerk’s Council Services division, check out the location for the vehicle registration kiosk celebrated Wednesday morning at the Safeway store in Hokulei Village in Puhi.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    County Treasurer David Schwartz, right, is ready to help Del Sherman with securing a new vehicle registration at the registration kiosk Wednesday morning at the Safeway store in Hokulei Village in Puhi.

PUHI — In about the time it takes to write a check, amass the necessary documents, place everything in an envelope, and seal it, the new registration documents and emblems could be ready — using the county Department of Finance Motor Vehicle Registration section kiosk at the Safeway store in the Hokulei Village.

This was demonstrated Wednesday as Del Sherman and Michelle Rubio each conducted separate transactions using the kiosk that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“This is something really good,” said Gary Toombs, regional sales manager for the Neighbor Islands representing Coca Cola Hawaii, who happened to be visiting the Safeway store when a small audience gathered to celebrate the collaborative private-government partnership. “Supermarkets are open all the time, and having services like this available is really convenient for the consumers. We should be looking at more services to become available like this.”

Making motor vehicle registration more efficient and comfortable was one of the first projects taken on by Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami after taking office. On Jan. 16, he initiated a take-a-number system and established an express lane to make vehicle transactions more efficient and comfortable for patrons.

“This public-partnership is part of the county’s customer service initiative to decentralize services, reduce traffic and give our residents and businesses an alternative way to pay for their motor vehicle registrations,” Kawakami said in a county release. “Mahalo to our Finance Department team, Safeway, Intellectual Technology Inc., and the Kauai County Council for their support.”

The freestanding, self-contained unit utilizes touch-screen technology to help vehicle owners register vehicles without the hassle of standing in line, and is a partnership between the county motor vehicle regstration section and private sector, including Safeway and Intellectual Technology, Inc.

The kiosk celebrated Wednesday is the first self-service kiosk for motor vehicle registrations on the island.

It allows customers to pay for their motor vehicle registrations via touchscreen technology by entering their license plate number, or scanning the bar code of their vehicle renewal form. Customers can only use debit or credit cards for transactions, and will incur a $3 service fee as well as a 2.25 percent debit and credit card fee.

Once the transaction is completed, the kiosk will print out the vehicle registration and license plate emblems.

“We are proud to be one of the first stores to host DMV kiosk on Kauai,” said Lesah Merritt, Safeway store manager. “In the past few days that the kiosk has been working, customers really like it. It has worked for them.”

County Treasurer David Schwartz, credited with spearheading the installation of the kiosk, said this is just the first step. He said another kiosk is planned for the second Safeway store in March that would appeal to North Shore residents.


Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or

  1. Charlie Chimknee February 14, 2019 7:39 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Wonderful and appropriate new service, besides the current system was overwhelming for the County DMV workers with non stop customers. Now put those kiosk in every major town.

    But first, we noticed a policeman at the Coco Palms / Kuhio Hwy intersection during the storm waving the cars through the intersection, perhaps the signal lights were down.

    But if they can “man” that intersection, why can’t they “man” the other intersections and keep the “100 Car Train” rolling rolling rolling through the Kapa’a “frozen” Corridor.

    It’s an instant traffic solution.

    Beat or match that, Derek, you are on “expedite the problems” roll, please keep it up…!



  2. Good February 14, 2019 9:30 am Reply

    Now reduce positions at the county building.

    Automate as much as the county can and get rid of waste.

    The over bloated and over manned county government should be reduced in size and automation should provide a relief for a overzealous budget.

    The county of Kauai has demonstrated malfeasance on 3-4 audits and the county and its directors need to gain public trust and confidence in applying solutions.

    The theft of county monies through falsifying sick leave, vacation leave, non approvals for P card purchases are criminal theft cases that are being overlooked.

    These matters have to be addressed in a serious nature. The old no one cares, business as usual, plantation mentality has found its end.

    We need real leaders who will take real action to address problems from within.

    How can you solve linty issues when most of the serious issues are within.

    Find a way for a great Good.

    Kudos for the automated vehicle registration. Now learn from this and carry it on to other areas.

  3. Donna February 14, 2019 1:19 pm Reply

    Yes! How about using some of that new generated Kauai excise tax increase to pay for that police officer or just someone hired for that purpose? It’s road related to help with traffic right? Things to think about.

  4. Dt February 14, 2019 4:03 pm Reply

    The funny part is the atm takes credit and debit, but 50% of the counter customers are paying cash to avoid the “system”.

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