Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, with over 8 million visitors every year. Roughly 60% of visitors hail from the US for everything from family vacays to romantic Hawaiian getaways. No matter where you’re from, the state’s geographic location makes many wonder when you need a passport to go to Hawaii.
You don’t need a passport to go to Hawaii if you're traveling from anywhere in the US. It’s a domestic flight, so you only need a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license. You don't need a passport if you’re a non-US citizen traveling from the US mainland. International travelers and US citizens traveling to Hawaii from another country will need a passport.
It’s always advisable to plan ahead for any kind of travel, so you don’t run into unexpected delays. Knowing the proper documentation necessary for where you’re traveling can save you a lot of time and headaches.
Is Hawaii Considered International Travel for US Citizens?
It can be confusing when it comes to traveling to Hawaii since it’s not part of the contiguous United States. There are roughly 2,500 miles of water separating Hawaii from the mainland. Therefore, it can certainly feel like you’re traveling to another country.
But, no matter how far it is, Hawaii is a part of the United States of America. So if you’re traveling from any US state to Hawaii, it’s a domestic flight. This also applies to non-US citizens traveling to Hawaii from any other state in the country.
A good way to think about it is to consider where you are flying from instead of where you are from. In other words, even if you’re from France but flying to Hawaii from California, it’s not international travel. But, if you’re from California, flying to Hawaii from France, you’re on an international flight.
What Documents Do I Need To Fly To Hawaii?
If you’re a US citizen traveling to Hawaii from another US state, you only need a government-issued photo ID. The most common form of identification for people to use is their driver’s license.
Other acceptable forms of identification include a passport, border crossing card, and DHS trusted traveler cards. You can check the TSA’s website for a complete list of acceptable identification.
If you are a US citizen traveling to Hawaii from another country, you will need your passport. For example, you’re from Washington, but you’ve traveled to Canada (using your passport). If you decide to fly to Hawaii from Canada, you will need a passport since you’re coming from another country.
If you do need a passport to travel to Hawaii, plan accordingly. It could take up to three months to receive your passport.
However, you could potentially apply for an expedited passport under certain requirements. If approved, you could get your passport within 5 to 7 weeks.
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What If I Forget My ID?
What do you do if you’re flying from within the US and realize you forgot your license? You might not have to turn around and go back home. Check with a TSA agent first.
You might be able to undergo an identity verification process in which the TSA agent collects various information from you. If the agent can confirm your identity, you can go through security, but you’ll likely undergo more intense screening.
If the agent cannot confirm your identity, you will not be allowed through the security checkpoint.
Do Non-U.S. Citizens Need A Passport To Go To Hawaii?
Non-US citizens traveling to Hawaii need a passport if they’re traveling from another country. In this situation, this is an international flight. However, non-US citizens traveling from another US state would not need a passport.
Remember, traveling from a US state to Hawaii is a domestic flight no matter where you are from. For example, you fly from Germany to New York, using your passport to go through customs in New York.
If you then board a flight from New York to Hawaii, you will not need your passport. (Unless you’re using it as your sole source of identification.) Keep in mind that even if you don’t need it to fly, you will still likely need it during your visit. As a non-US citizen in Hawaii, you might still need to show your passport for hotel accommodations, banking, etc.
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Travel Restrictions for Hawaii
In June of 2022, the US dropped the Covid-19 testing requirement for all inbound travelers, including international visitors. As of March 26, 2022, domestic travelers no longer need to show proof of Covid-19 vaccination.
However, non-US citizens still must show proof of vaccination to enter the United States. You do not need to show proof of a booster shot.
You also do not need to wear masks in the airport, and most airlines have relaxed their mask rules. However, it’s still the general recommendation for those over 65 or with weakened immune systems to mask.
Hawaii lifted its mask mandate on March 25, 2022, but some businesses may still require face coverings. Therefore, it’s still a good idea to pack a couple of masks for your travels.
Do You Need To Get a Vaccine To Go To Hawaii?
If you are not already vaccinated against Covid-19 but are a US citizen, you can still fly to Hawaii. You will not be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test.
However, proof of vaccination is required if you are a non-US citizen. If you want to travel to Hawaii as a non-US citizen, you’ll need to get the Covid-19 vaccine before making the trip.
If this applies to you, plan accordingly. You won’t be able to get the vaccine and travel immediately.
The CDC considers someone fully vaccinated two weeks after a single-dose vaccine or two weeks after your second dose of a two-dose vaccine. You can get more specific information regarding full vaccination direct from the CDC’s website.
Health officials also recommend all travelers receive vaccines for influenza, chickenpox, and pneumonia. However, these vaccines are only a recommendation, not a requirement for air travel.
Does A Child Need a Passport To Go To Hawaii?
Currently, the TSA only requires a passport for those 18 and older traveling to Hawaii domestically. Children under 18 do not need any identification if they travel with an adult with a proper ID. However, it’s still wise for children to carry some form of identification, such as a school ID.
Additionally, if your child is young enough to sit in your lap, you may need to show proof of age. You can do this with the child’s birth certificate. Children traveling internationally will need a passport, regardless of age.
If your child is five or older, most airlines allow them to fly alone. However, each airline has its own policies and restrictions. For example, children 5 to 7 can only fly alone on a direct flight.
If your child is flying alone, you will likely need to fill out a specific consent form. Make sure to contact the airline to learn exactly what they will need.
Related Read: 25 Top Treehouse Rentals in Hawaii
Can You Go To Hawaii On A Cruise Without A Passport?
The rules are a little different if you’re traveling to Hawaii via cruise ship. You don't need a passport if the cruise line only includes stops in the US.
However, if the cruise ship makes international stops, you’ll need a passport, even if you started in the US.
Related Read: How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost?
Do You Need A REAL ID To Go To Hawaii?
You do not need a REAL ID to travel within the United States in 2022. However, effective May 3, 2023, all domestic flights in the US will require a REAL ID. Any traveler 18 or over that uses their license as their photo ID will need to ensure it’s REAL ID compliant.
The process to get a REAL ID is only a bit more elaborate than a regular license, so research ahead of time. You must bring several documents to verify your identity and obtain your REAL ID.
These documents could be your passport, birth certificate, or other qualifying forms of identification. You also need multiple documents to prove your legal address. To learn about the specifics for getting a REAL ID in your state, contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Do You Need A Visa To Go To Hawaii?
Typically, people traveling internationally need a VISA to do so. A VISA is a passport stamp showing you have permission to enter another country.
If you’re a non-US citizen traveling to Hawaii for business or pleasure, you could be eligible for the VISA waiver program. This waiver is typically for travel that is no longer than 90 days.
It’s also only for citizens or nationals of specific countries (currently, there are 39 countries on the list). You can see if you’re eligible and apply by visiting the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
If you’re traveling internationally for longer than 90 days, you’ll need a VISA. It can take almost five weeks to obtain a VISA, so don’t wait until the last minute.
The good news is that a VISA usually allows travel to and from the US for 10 years. But, certain states have a maximum period you can stay at one time, so know the specifics before you travel.
Can I Bring My Dog to Hawaii?
Yes, you can bring your dog to Hawaii, but the state has strict quarantine rules. Hawaii enforces rigid protocols regarding bringing pets to avoid introducing rabies into the state.
You must show proof your dog is rabies-free and undergo a waiting period. For more detailed information regarding animal protocols for traveling to Hawaii, check out the state’s quarantine information page.
Final Look At Needing A Passport To Go To Hawaii
If your vacation plans take you to Hawaii, plan ahead to avoid delays and stress. You don’t want unexpected delays to derail your efforts to tour volcanoes and other amazing sights. If you’re a US citizen traveling domestically, you won’t need a passport.
A government-issued photo ID, like your driver’s license, will do. However, if you’re traveling to Hawaii from another country, even if you’re a US citizen, you need your passport.
Likewise, international travelers also need a passport to go to Hawaii. The exception is if a non-US citizen travels to Hawaii from another US state.
It’s best to contact the TSA via phone or its website before traveling to make sure you have what you need. Also, give y