Do You Need A Passport to Fly to Hawaii?

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.

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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.

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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.

Can You Renew Your Passport Online?

If you’re trying to learn how to renew your passport online you’re in luck. Well, partially in luck. That’s because you can’t actually renew your US passport online but you can get almost everything you need online and easily send in the forms to renew your passport via mail. In this article I’m going to show you step by step how easy it is to renew your passport using documents found online.

You can’t do it all online

As stated, you can’t just click a button and have a new passport out on its way to you. Instead, you’ll have to print out some forms, take a passport photo, and send in your passport via mail.


You can only renew your US passport by mail if the following is true.

You passport:

  • Is submitted with your application
  • Is undamaged (other than normal “wear and tear”)
  • Was issued when you were age 16 or older
  • Was issued within the last 15 years
  • Was issued in your current name (or you can document your name change with an original or certified copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order)

If any of the above statements do not hold true to you, then you must Apply in Person using form DS-11.

So as long as you’re eligible to renew your passport, then all you have to do is:

  • Fill out this Form DS-82
  • Submit your US Passport (yes, you have to actually mail your passport in)
  • Include name change documents (if needed)
  • Include your photo
  • Calculate your fees
  • Mail off your form

Where to get a passport photo?

6 months old

First, keep in mind that the image of you should have been taken within the last sixth months.

I don’t think your passport is going to be denied if your photo is one day older than 6 months, but try to keep things reasonable. If you’ve got a head full of gray hairs but your photo looks like you were at your high school prom, there’s going to be a problem.

Get your passport photos at a pharmacy

You can go to a local drug store like CVS or Walgreens and ask them to take your passport photos for your and print them out. It only takes a few minutes for them to do it but it will cost you around $12. Some feel that’s too expensive but others value the convenience of the process.

Doing it yourself

There are a several ways you can take your passport photo yourself.

You can use apps to assist you with taking the photos. For example, there’s the Passport Booth App for Apple and Android and also ID PhotoPrint.

Keep in mind that if you take your passport photo by yourself using a digital camera, phone, or app, you’ll have to make sure that you abide by the criteria below. Some people don’t like bothering with all of that so paying $12 at a pharmacy could be worth it for them.

Here are the passport photo guidelines:

  • Submit a color photograph of you alone, sufficiently recent to be a good likeness of you (taken within the last six months),
  • 2×2 inches in size.
  • The image size measured from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head (including hair) should not be less than 1 inch, and not more than 1 3/8 inches.
  • The photograph must be in color, clear, with a full front view of your face.
  • The photograph must be taken with a neutral facial expression (preferred) or a natural smile, and with both eyes open and be printed on photo quality paper with a plain light (white or off-white) background.
  • The photograph must be taken in normal street attire, without a hat, or head covering unless a signed statement is submitted by the applicant verifying that the hat or head covering is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously when in public or a signed doctor’s statement is submitted verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes.
  • Headphones, “bluetooth”, or similar devices must not be worn in the passport photograph.
  • Glasses or other eyewear are not acceptable unless you provide a signed statement from a doctor explaining why you cannot remove them due to medical reasons (e.g., during the recovery period from eye surgery).
  • Any photograph retouched so that your appearance is changed is unacceptable.
  • A snapshot, most vending machine prints, hand-held self portraits, and magazine or full-length photographs are unacceptable.
  • A digital photo must meet the previously stated qualifications, and will be accepted for use at the discretion of Passport Services.

Can you smile in a passport photo?

Yes. You can smile your passport photo. 🙂

If you read carefully in the terms above you saw that you are permitted to have your photo taken with a “natural smile.”

Filling out the Form DS-82

I went old school with mine and just printed out the form and filled it in with a black ink pen.

If you can’t stand filling out paperwork you should rejoice because there are only two pages to fill out (really 1 1/2 pages).

The first four pages of the From DS-82 document are instructions so you don’t have to send those in (but you should still read them).

On the Form DS-82, you’ll be asked to fill in basic info like:

  • Your name
  • Birthdate
  • Social security number
  • Place of birth
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Old passport information

On the second page, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some descriptive questions like your height, hair color, eye color, occupation, employer, emergency contact, and future travel plans.

Choosing a regular book or large book

The price of a regular book or large book is same. The large book is made for people who will be doing a lot of travel since it comes with extra passport pages — remember you can no longer add pages to your passport book! I recommend going with the large book because you never know when you might need the extra pages for visas, etc. 

Passport book vs passport card

You also need to check whether you want the passport book, passport card, or both.

Unlike the passport book, the passport card is valid only for entry at land border crossings and sea ports of entry when traveling from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The passport card cannot be used for international air travel.

Stapling your passport photo

You’ll also need to staple your passport photo right onto the form. You should see exactly where they would like for you to place the staples, too. Just to make thing easier for you, I’ve put red rectangles around the area for the photo.

The instructions state to use caution when stapling and to use 4 staples vertically in the corners as close to the outer edge as possible. They also tell you not to bend the photo.

What documents do I need if I changed my name?

If the name you are currently using differs from the name on your most recent U.S. passport, you must submit:

  • A certified copy of your marriage certificate OR
  • A court order showing the change of name

These documents will be returned to you. 

If you can’t get the documents to verify your name change then you cannot renew via mial. Instead, you must apply on the DS-11 application form by making a personal appearance at:

  • (1) a passport agency
  • (2) U.S. embassy or consulate, if abroad
  • (3) any federal or state court of record or any probate court accepting passport applications
  • (4) a designated municipal or county official
  • (5) a post office, which has been selected to accept passport applications.

Where do I mail my passport application documents to?

There are three different mailing addresses you might send your documents to depending on where you live or if you are going to expedite your application.

I suggest sending in your application via Priority mail or UPS so that you can track your package. Remember, you’re sending off your passport, so you need to be able to keep tabs on it.

If you live in CA, FL, IL, MN, NY, or TX:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • P.O. Box 640155
  • Irving, TX 75064-0155

If you live in any other state or Canada

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • P.O. Box 90155
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0155

For expedited service

For expedited service, regardless of where you live, there’s a special mailing address:

  • National Passport Processing Center
  • P.O. Box 90955
  • Philadelphia, PA 19190-0955

Note that there is an additional fee for expediting your passport (more on that below).

Here are the three addresses you need to choose from.

How do I expedite my passport application?

The first thing that you need to do is write “Expedite” on the outer envelope when mailing.

The second thing you need to do is include the expedited fee with your application.

Passport Services also recommends using overnight delivery when submitting the application AND including the paying the additional fee for return overnight delivery for the newly issued passport book.

Expedited service is only available for passports mailed in the United States and Canada.

Expedite Fee

The passport expedite fee is $60 per person.

Overnight Delivery

The overnight delivery fee per application for overnight delivery of an issued passport book  is $15.89. This only applies to mailing addresses within the United States and is not valid for passport cards.

Emergency expediting

If you have a family emergency, such as a death or you are traveling within a couple of weeks. You probably don’t want to mail in your application to expedite it. Instead, you can take other measures such as scheduling an appointment to meet with a passport agency.

What are the fees to renew your passport?

To figure out your passport fees you can use their handy calculator which you can find here or you can just take a look at the fee chart and figure it all out yourself.

The chart shows that the fees to renew your passport (book only) are $110. If you want to expedite then you simply add the costs seen above to these totals.

You need to send in your passport payment with money order or checks made out to the “U.S. Department of State.”

Make sure to print your full name AND date of birth on the front of the check or the money order. And do NOT send cash as a form of payment. 

The passport application fee and the execution fee are non-refundable. They are collected and retained by law even if a passport is not issued.

How long does it take to renew your passport?

If you expedite your passport application you can get it back very quickly, such as in a week or two.

Obviously, factors come into play with the timing of your application being processed. For example, many people trying to renew their passports for summer could certainly slow down the processing time.

How can I check the status of my passport application?

  • You can check the status of your US passport application buy clicking here. 

You’ll need to input details such as your last name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.


Can I apply at an acceptance facility instead of mailing in my renewal application?

  • No, if you are applying on Form DS-82, acceptance facilities will not take your application

Can I renew my passport if it’s still valid?

  •  Yes. Your passport does not have to be expired for you to renew it. In fact, they recommend renewing your passport well ahead of any planned international travel, even if it still has a months validity left on it. 
Remember there are a number of countries that require a passport be valid at least six months beyond you travel dates
  • You can click here learn more about entry requirements for different countries.

I’m behind in child support. Can I get a passport?

How will my passport book and/or card be mailed back to me?

  •  Newly-issued passport books are delivered using Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation, unless you pay for Priority Express return service at time of application.
  • All passport cards will be mailed using First Class Mail.

Note that if you pay for expedited shipping, your new passport will be expedited but your old passport will likely arrive much later.

Should I pay a service to renew my passport?

I honestly think it’s a waste of money to pay someone to take care of your passport renewal unless you really struggle with filling out forms.

Remember, all you have to do so is fill out your application and then send the following documents along with your application:

  • Your most recent U.S. passport book and/or card
  • A certified copy of your marriage certificate or court order (but only if your name has changed)
  • A check or money order for your passport Fees
  • A recent 2″x2″ color photograph

And that’s it.

Final word on renewing your passport

Overall, even though you can’t renew your passport online, renewing your passport is actually very easy if you’re allowed to just mail in your documents. If you pay attention to the instructions and information in this article, you shouldn’t have an issue.