Do You Need a Passport to Go to Hawaii?

By Emily Zemler

Updated July 28, 2017

Hawaii

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Everything You Need To Know About Entering Hawaii

Hawaii's five islands are tropical, exotic and located only about five hours by air from the U.S. mainland, so it's understandable that you might wonder if a passport is needed to visit the Hawaii. In most circumstances, the answer is "no." However, there are a few reasons why you may need to bring it along anyway when going to Hawaii.

Here's everything you need to know about visiting Hawaii, America's 50th state.

Do I Need a Passport to Enter Hawaii?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a passport to enter Hawaii because Hawaii is part of the United States. If your flight or cruise arrives from another U.S. state, you will enter Hawaii without going through any kind of immigration process. However, like with any U.S. travel, you do need a government-issued photo ID, like a state driver's license, to board your flight to Hawaii.

What If I'm Traveling to Another Country After Hawaii?

If you are planning to visit another country following your visit to Hawaii, then you need to bring along your valid and current passport. For example, if you are continuing on to another Pacific destination, like Australia or Japan, you need your passport in hand. This is true whether you plan to continue your travel via airline or cruise ship.

What if I'm Arriving to Hawaii From Another Country?

If you are flying to Hawaii from another country or if you're on a cruise that arrives from an international destination, you need your passport. If arriving instead by land or sea from Mexico, Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean, you can use a passport card upon entry to Hawaii. Of course, if you're traveling internationally already, there's no reason you won't have your passport (or passport card) ready to go.

Is There Anything Else I Should Consider When Arriving in Hawaii?

Since Hawaii is part of the United States, visiting is just like going to Texas or California or any other state. Your cell phone will work normally, and the currency is U.S. dollars. You may need to be mindful of the time difference as Hawaii follows Hawaiian Standard Time, five hours behind Eastern Standard Time and two hours behind Pacific Standard Time.

The Department of Agriculture enforces rules about the exportation of plants and animals, so you will need to fill out a declaration form for each person arriving in Hawaii. When you leave, your luggage will need to pass a pre-flight screening for uninspected fruits and plants. You may take only fresh fruit or flowers on the plane that have been inspected by the officials. It's a quick stop at the airport to go through the inspection, so just relax and enjoy the sunshine and the ocean breeze.

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