Do You Need A Passport to Fly to Hawaii? [2020]

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Hawaii is a dream destination for many people. It has the beaches, the mountains, the volcanoes, and even has snow. But when it comes to flying to Hawaii from other US states, some people wonder whether or not they need a passport to get into to Hawaii. In this article, I will answer the passport question and also provide some insight into some other restrictions that you need to know about when traveling to Hawaii so that you don’t risk getting fined (or worse). 


Do you need a passport to fly to Hawaii in 2019?

No, if you are flying from another state in United States you do not need a passport to gain entry to Hawaii. However, you will need to have a recognized, government-issued ID. Also, there are some restrictions that you might want to know about that are specific to flying to Hawaii. Keep reading below to find out more about those.

Tip: If you’re looking to cut down on your travel expenses to Hawaii, consider getting a card like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. It offers an early spend bonus worth $500 in travel after meeting the minimum spend and is great to cancel out all sorts of travel expenses like Uber.


ID needed to fly to Hawaii?

In order to board your plane to Hawaii from another state in United States, you will need to have a compliant ID. This will often be a government issued drivers license although other IDs may suffice. Below are examples of IDs recognized by TSA.

  • Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential

Also be aware that as of October 2020 the Real ID requirements will come into play.  The REAL ID Act prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards.

The majority of states are now compliant with the new requirements and some have been given an extension to comply with them. If you want to check on the current status of the different states you can do that here. 

Children under the age of 18 years old do not need an ID.


Restrictions for bringing items to Hawaii

When you are flying to Hawaii from the mainland, you need to be careful about certain items that you are trying to bring into the state. With Hawaii being such an isolated place, they take extra care to make sure that their ecosystem is not wrecked by foreign invaders and so there are some items that you might need to get special permission to bring in.

Most plants are allowed to be brought into Hawaii after an inspection.

However, Hawaii does not allow the following to be shipped into the State without prior arrangements for permit and/or quarantine, treatments, or certification:

  • Pineapple and bromeliad plants and fruits
  • Passion fruit plants and seeds
  • Cruciferous root vegetables (radish, turnip, daikon, horseradish, rutabaga)
  • Corn on the cob
  • Citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida & Puerto Rico
  • Taro and dasheen
  • Coconuts
  • Orchid plants require an import permit and certificate of origin.
  • Plants in the grass family (including sugar cane and bamboo.
  • Coffee plants and plant parts including seeds.  (Green coffee beans must be fumigated and certified prior to shipment)*
  • Palm plants
  • Aster, chrysanthemum, hollyhock, dahlia and gladiolus plants require certification of origin or certification of treatment depending on where they are grown.*
  • Pine plants and parts require certificate of origin or certificate of treatment depending on where they are grown.  Cut branches are allowed during the period of Oct. 20 to Dec. 31.
  • Sorghum, broomcorn and sudan grass – non-propagative parts require certificate of origin or certificate of treatment depending on where it is grown.  Propagative parts (except seed) for planting require an import permit and quarantine.

What about food items?

In general, foods that are cooked, canned, frozen or commercially processed and/or packaged are allowed to be transported to Hawaii, as long as the product is arriving from within the U.S. You can also bring in frozen or chilled meats as long as the meat originated from within the United States. Also, manufactured food items don’t have to be inspected or declared. If you want to read more about the general TSA food rules, click here.


Bringing your pets to Hawaii

If you are planning to bring your pet with you when flying to Hawaii you need to be aware of some special rules. If you choose to not abide by these rules then you can be subject to up to a penalty of up to $500,000 or three years in prison. I don’t know about you but I would much rather just play it safe when it comes to the pets and avoid getting locked up. I mean, I guess getting locked up in Hawaii couldn’t be that bad but… yeah

If you want to bring your cats or dogs to Hawaii there is a quarantine rule. Hawaii is the only state that is rabies free and they intend to keep it that way by forcing your pets to be quarantined before they arrive in the state.

There are different types of programs that you can utilize to quarantine your pet attendees come with different costs that can vary dramatically.

  • The 120-day quarantine program costs $1,080 per pet.
  • The 5 Day Or Less quarantine program costs $244 per pet.
  • The direct release program costs $185 per pet

(There is no discount if you need to quarantine multiple pets.) Note that the U.S. Department of Defense may reimburse active duty military members with dogs or cats up to $550 per family for quarantine expenses.

To qualify for these programs you will need to meet very specific criteria. For example the below is the criteria for the five day or less quarantined program:

  • The pet must have been administered at least two (2) rabies vaccines in its lifetime. The second vaccination must have been administered no less than 30 days after the first vaccination.
  • In addition, the most recent vaccination must have been given no less than 30 days, and no more than 12 months prior to arrival in Hawaii for 12-month licensed vaccines and no less than 30 days and no more than 36 months prior to arrival in Hawaii for 3-year licensed vaccines;
  • The pet should be microchipped for identification. The microchip is required to identify the pet with the blood sample;
  • A blood sample must be sent to an approved laboratory for the OIE-Flourescent Antibody Serum Neutralization Test (OIE-FAVN), which tests for the adequate response to the rabies vaccine. A test result >0.5 IU/ml is required; and
  • The pet must complete the required waiting period from the date the laboratory receives the blood sample before it may enter the state under the following programs:
  • 5 Day Or Less quarantine – requires 30-day pre-arrival waiting period.

You can find out more about these requirements here. Also, here’s a list of restricted organisms.


Final word

Hawaii is treated just like any other state whenever it comes to needing a passport. Therefore, you do not need a passport in order to get from the mainland USA to Hawaii. But if you have any intentions on bringing in pets for certain items like fresh fruits you need to be aware of the strict regulations and restrictions so that you do not end up fine or worse.

Cover photo by Dhilung Kirat via Flickr.

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2 comments

  1. I never travel anywhere without bringing a firearm for self defense. Hawaii has some strange laws in this regard, you need to present your firearm at a county Sheriff within 72 hrs of arrival, it might be worth mentioning it if you are writing a complete guide to all the weird laws about traveling to Hawaii.

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