Do You Need A Passport To Go To Hawaii?

Hawaii can be a great destination to go to if you want a slice of paradise and access to majestic beaches, rainforests, national parks, mountain ranges, and sightseeing opportunities, and it gives you that back-to-nature type of feeling.

However, when arranging your flights and accommodation, you might be wondering what kind of identification you need when you enter the state and, if so, how you can make your entry as simple as possible.

Do You Need A Passport To Go To Hawaii?

While you won’t need a passport per se, there are required forms of identification you need to enter Hawaii, and you want to identify these to avoid any delays or refusal of entry.

In this article, we’ll discuss what you’ll need to enter Hawaii, whether this is for yourself or your family, and factors that you may want to bear in mind. Read on to make your trip a stress-free and easy experience.

Documents Needed To Enter Hawaii

First of all, if you’re traveling to Hawaii from any of the other 49 American states, you won’t need to provide your passport, but you will have to provide a form of identification, and these can range from passport cards, permanent resident cards, travelers cards, and drivers licenses. 

Be aware that some forms of identification, such as a permit or a temporary driver’s license, are not acceptable forms of ID and, from 2023, need to be REAL ID compliant.

You can check the TSA’s website to see when they update their lists and see if your ID fits into their categorization, which is a suitable means of being better prepared for your trip. 

Even though it is possible to travel without your passport, some airlines might require you to provide your passport as a means of getting onto the flight, and it will be necessary if your first point of departure is from another country.

This is just a standard procedure which might seem inconvenient for some, but having it ready when you pass through any checkpoints is a good habit to get into, and you’ll find it saves you time in the long run.

What If I Forget My ID?

It is still possible to travel to Hawaii if you have left your ID at home or misplaced it, and this applies even when you arrive at the airport, where you can complete an identity verification process where you provide some information for confirmation. 

Once you go through this process, you will then be subject to further screening, where your carry-on property will be searched.

This might seem inconvenient, and if you refuse to provide certain pieces of information, you won’t be allowed to pass through the checkpoint, so consider whether bringing a form of identification will be easier for you to avoid any delays. 

What If I Have Children With Me?

If you’re bringing your family and you have children under the age of 18, your kids won’t be required to provide any form or ID, as long as the adult with them has provided their ID when passing through any type of checkpoint.

There might be some airlines that have different policies on this, so it might be best to bring your child’s birth certificate or school card just to ensure that you have a backup in the event where you are asked to provide it.

Tips To Make Your Departure Easier

Tips To Make Your Departure Easier

You should also be aware of some restrictions that apply before you set off to Hawaii, and one of these is to be mindful of what you pack, as any oversized electronics like laptops shouldn’t be packed in your checked baggage, so having them on your personal luggage is best.

This can save you time when your luggage is being screened, as the last thing you want is to have all the contents of your luggage being unpacked and searched more thoroughly. 

You might also want to be aware that bringing any non-native species of plants or animals to the country have to be declared and may need to be inspected to confirm their eligibility.

This is due to Hawaii having a fragile eco-system in which your items may have a harmful effect on the people or the various endangered species that exist in Hawaii, so you should consider this when packing your luggage. 

There are also restrictions on items such as sharp objects, sporting goods, firearms, tools, self-defense items, or explosive and flammable objects.

You might also see restrictions on items such as liquids, aerosols, and gels, so you’ll have to consider the quantities you need and whether you really need these or not.

If at any point you fail to declare any of these or if you’re not compliant at any stage of the screening process, you might see further delays or even a cancellation of your flight, which is the last thing anyone wants.

What About Non-US Citzens?

If you live outside of the US or aren’t a permanent resident, you’ll need a passport from the nation of your citizenship, and if you’re staying longer than 90 days, you’ll need a visa or via the visa waiver program.

Countries that qualify for this program include the UK, Australia, South Korea, Spain, and Belgium.

You will want to check the government website of your country to see if your country meets the criteria and any other adjustments you may need to make, but these aren’t generally too complicated to complete.  


If you are aware of what documentation you need and the restrictions that are placed on certain items, you are sure to have an easy checkpoint experience and can provide information when you’re asked to do so.

It is a good custom to comply with these processes as they can keep you and others safe during your trip. 

Jodie Price
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