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FAQs about Reconstructed (Recon) Vehicle Inspection

The following lists frequently asked questions about Reconstructed Vehicle Inspections. 
Click on a question below or scroll down the page to see the FAQs information.  



  • Where is the Reconstructed Vehicle Inspection site located and hours of operation?
  • How do I schedule a reconstructed vehicle inspection appointment?
  • How much does it cost to get a Reconstructed Vehicle Inspection and Permit?
  • Where can I find information on reconstructed vehicle requirements on the internet?
  • Who can I contact to get information on reconstructed vehicle requirements?
  • What is a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit and how do I obtain one?
  • What types of modifications require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit?
  • What types of modifications do not require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit?
  • Is a reconstructed vehicle permit required if only aftermarket headlight or taillight assemblies are installed on my vehicle?
  • Is a reconstructed vehicle permit required if the only modification to my vehicle is the installation of aftermarket wheels or tires?

    1. Where is Reconstructed Vehicle Inspection site located and hours of operation?

      Motor Vehicle Control Section 
      1112 Kapahulu Avenue
      Honolulu, Hawaii  96816

      Open:  Monday through Friday (Closed on State Holidays)
      7:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. 
      (808) 733-2542

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    2. How do I schedule a reconstructed vehicle inspection appointment?
      First come first served walk-ins are available daily or call the Motor Vehicle Control Section Office at 733-2542 to schedule a future appointment

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    3. How much does it cost to get a Reconstructed Vehicle Inspection and Permit?

      There is a $15.00 inspection fee. 

      Forms of payment that are accepted are: 

      Cash (exact change only please) and

      Check made payable to City and County of Honolulu.    

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    4. Where can I find information on reconstructed vehicle requirements on the internet?
      Reconstructed vehicle regulations are a part of the State of Hawaii, Department of Transportation, Hawaii Administrative Rules.  It is available online at; http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/home/doing-business/hawaii-administrative-rules/, see Chapter 19-134, Approval of Reconstructed Vehicles.

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    5. Who can I contact to get information on reconstructed vehicle requirements?
      Modifications vary significantly depending on the type of vehicle and types of modifications.  We recommend calling the Motor Vehicle Control Section office at 733-2542 and ask to speak to an Inspector to answer your questions.

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    6. What is a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit and how do I obtain one?
      If your vehicle has been modified from its original condition as constructed by the manufacturer, it may require you to obtain a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit. 

      • Visit our Motor Vehicle Control Section for daily walk-in servicing or call our office at (808) 733-2542, Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. to schedule a future inspection appointment. 
      • Vehicles with suspension modifications require proof the vehicle has been aligned to factory specifications completed within thirty (30) days prior to the inspection.  This would be in the form of a print out from the alignment shop indicating the factory alignment specifications along with the actual specifications of your vehicle's alignment.

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    7. What types of modifications require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit?
      The most common modifications that require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit are:

      • Lowering or dropping a vehicle.
        • Headlight height cannot be lower than 22 inches when measured from the ground to the center of the headlight.
        • A minimum of 2 inches of unrestricted suspension travel.
        • There must be ample clearance (full turn to full turn) between the tire and the vehicle's frame, suspension and body.
      • Lifting or raising a vehicle.
        • Headlight height cannot be greater than 54 inches when measured from the ground to the center of the headlight.
        • Maximum bumper heights of motor vehicles shall be determined by the weight category of the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) as measured from a level surface to the highest point on the bottom of the bumper.  Maximum heights are as follows:

                                          Gross Vehicle Weight Rating           Front              Rear
                                          Passenger vehicles                               22 inches         22 inches
                                          4,500 lbs. and under                            29 inches         29 inches 
                                          4,501 lbs. to 7,500 lbs.                        33 inches         33 inches
                                          7,501 lbs. to 10,000 lbs.                      35 inches         35 inches

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    8. What types of modifications do not require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit?
      The most common modifications that do not require a Reconstructed Vehicle Permit are:

      • Installation of aftermarket wheels and tires.
        • Tire tread shall not protrude beyond the outer edge of the fender when looking down vertically from a position directly above outer edge of the fender (if protrudes, fender flares need to be installed).
        • There must be ample clearance (full turn to full turn) between the tire and the vehicle's frame, suspension and body.

      Note: The tires must be U.S. DOT approved for street use and meet or exceed the vehicle load rating.

      • Installation of body kits or fender flares that does not change the overall model identity.  Note: Bumper covers must have supports and impact pad installed.
      • Installation of an aftermarket exhaust system.
      • Installation of an aftermarket engine air or fuel intake system(s).
      • Engine modifications to the original or original type replacement engine.
      • Installation of aftermarket headlight or taillight assembly(s).  Note: All lights must be U.S DOT approved.  High intensity discharge (HID) headlights are prohibited unless approved by the U.S. DOT for use on that specific vehicle.

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    9. Is a reconstructed vehicle permit required if only aftermarket headlight or taillight assemblies are installed on my vehicle?

      • If the only modification to the vehicle is replacement headlights or taillights, a reconstructed vehicle inspection or permit is not necessary.
      • Aftermarket lighting equipment installed on vehicles must be U.S. DOT approved and of correct colors; white for headlights and red for taillights.
      • Vehicles 1968 and newer require U.S. DOT approved side marker lights/ reflectors on the sides and must be of correct colors; amber on the front and red on the rear.
      • Aftermarket high intensity discharge (HID) headlights are prohibited unless U.S. DOT approved for the vehicle installed upon.

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    10. Is a reconstructed vehicle permit required if the only modification to my vehicle is the installation of aftermarket wheels or tires?

      • Provided there are no suspension modifications on the vehicle, no reconstructed vehicle inspection or permit is required when only replacing wheels or tires regardless of size.
      • Replacement tires must be U.S. DOT approved and meet the load range requirement of the vehicle which it is installed on.
      • Wheel or tire applications installed on vehicles require adequate tire clearance as to not contact any part of the body, suspension or structural component upon normal operation of vehicle.

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    Last Reviewed: Wednesday, May 07, 2014