FAQs

Certification

I’m currently certified in another State. Am I permitted to work legally in Hawaiʻi?

No. Each state that has a certification procedure has different requirements and laws. While national certification is universal in the United States, several states such as Hawaiʻi (and some cities) require separate certification and payment in their jurisdiction. If you want to work on the Islands, you must be certified here. Military operators in Hawaiʻi are usually subject to federal requirements only.

Does certification mean all operators are qualified?

No. Certification is a process to establish minimum standards for operators in our State. As a result, the process does not mean to imply or verify all operators as qualified. Federal law specifically designates employers as the party responsible for insuring all employees are qualified (as well as certified).

I am currently certified in Hawaiʻi but lost my card or added a new specialty. What can I do to replace it?

No problem! As a certified HMOAB member, replacement and renewal cards are provided without charge. Just call the office at (808) 586-8146 or write HMOAB@hawaii.gov for further assistance and provide your current NCCCO (or other) number.

What tower, mobile and overhead specialties are available for certification in Hawaiʻi?

Currently, there are eight different certification classifications:

  1. Tower operator
  2. Service truck crane
  3. Overhead cranes
  4. Boom truck fixed cab
  5. Lattice boom trucks
  6. Lattice boom crawler cranes
  7. Small telescopic boom cranes
  8. Large telescopic boom cranes
Who enforces the HMOAB rules for certification?

All applicants for certification undergo several steps initially, including a health screening and criminal background check. Applicants must also obtain national certification before State clearance is granted. The Hawaiʻi Occupational Safety and Health Division is the office responsible for compliance of certification requirements at the work site.

How much is certification and can my union or employer pay my fees?

Who pays for an individual certification is between the applicant and the other entities, however the fees are only one-hundred dollars ($100) per year (dependent on national certification dates), with up to five years certified at a time. There is also a one-time, non-refundable initial application fee of fifty dollars ($50) per applicant. You may apply on-line and pay with a credit card or you may mail your application with a money order, company or personal check, or a cashier’s check payable to the “Department of Labor.”

When I was younger, I got in some trouble. Will that prevent my certification?

Generally, the State of Hawaiʻi is most concerned with safe work sites and practices. If your troubles are not connected to the construction trades or recent substance abuse, and if you answer truthfully on the application form, you should be fine for State certification.

What records are required for certification?

Applicants must present separate copies of the following documents:

  • Two current forms of identification from a list of seven approved sources such as a military or Hawaiʻi State ID, driver’s license, passport or TWIC card, and/or notarized copies of one’s Social Security card and/or birth certificate.
  • A physical examination certificate must be provided from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), the Department of Transportation (DOT) or the City/County of Honolulu.
  • A copy of one’s current national certification card from NCCCO, CIC, NCCER or the Operating Engineers is required.
How do I begin the certification process?

You can begin the online application process by clicking here. Login with your username and password. If you do not have an ehawaii account, you can Sign Up as a new user.

You can also mail an application with check or money order payable to “Department of Labor” to HMOAB Dept of Labor, 830 Punchbowl St. Room 114, Honolulu, HI  96813. You should include copies of all necessary documents, sign the application, and include a good quality picture of yourself or email a digital or cellphone photo to hmoab@hawaii.gov. Application forms are available online, or by writing HMOAB@hawaii.gov or by calling (808) 586-8146.  The three-page form is quick and easy to fill out, but requires copies of documents as outlined in section “B,” along with payment. The certification also requires a current digital photograph of the applicant’s head and shoulders (cellphone photo is okay) uploaded online or sent to the above e-mail address.

Once approved, your certification is usually processed and mailed within one business day or the next business day after a holiday.

Who must be certified and how often must it be done?

All operators, whether an independent contractor or a company hire, using equipment to lift amounts of one ton or more, and at least 21 years of age, are required by State law to have a current certification. State laws also require operators to possess the necessary training, experience, and qualifications to move loads safely at the work site. For convenience, State certification can be done in one through five-year increments, but no longer than the expiration date of your national certification. Currently, there are almost 400 active and certified crane operators in Hawaiʻi.

General

What are our hours?

The HMOAB Office is staffed part-time and our hours vary. Nearly all of our business is conducted by mail or on-line. If you must come to our office, please call 808-586-8146 to make sure we are in. We are usually in the office from Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

Are HMOAB meetings open to the general public, and if so, when do you meet?

You are welcomed to address and/or attend the monthly meetings of the Hoisting Machine Operators Advisory Board, as the meetings are always open to the public. The meetings are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month (except December) in the Department of Labor, 830 Punchbowl Street, room 114. Please check the state government calendar website for the agenda, minutes, or any changes in the meeting schedule and/or location. You may also wish to view past meeting minutes.

How much does your agency cost the taxpayers of Hawaiʻi?

The Hawaiʻi Hoisting Machine Operators Advisory Board operates only from user-generated fees, thereby paying “its own way” in the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. The annual budget of the office is less than $50,000 per year and all additional revenue is held as an investment by the State for outreach, education, and training purposes.

I’m currently certified in another State. Am I permitted to work legally in Hawaiʻi?

No. Each state that has a certification procedure has different requirements and laws. While national certification is universal in the United States, several states such as Hawaiʻi (and some cities) require separate certification and payment in their jurisdiction. If you want to work on the Islands, you must be certified here. Military operators in Hawaiʻi are usually subject to federal requirements only.

What is HMOAB and what does it do?

The Hoisting Machine Operators Advisory Board is an agency of the State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations. Established in 1998, it is responsible for certifying all construction tower and mobile crane operators on all islands in the State of Hawaiʻi. Besides an Executive Assistant, HMOAB operates with a five-member advisory board, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate.