After a long pause in people’s travel plans, everyone is anxious to travel again. We endured complicated travel restrictions and requirements, but now our bags are packed! You might be wondering – do you need a passport to go to Hawaii? Here’s what you need to know.
Do You Need A Passport To Go To Hawaii?
Hawaii is an all-season destination for many reasons. If you’re an American or permanent resident, all you need to pack is your ’legal’ photo ID, a swimsuit, and some sunscreen.
International travelers, yes, you need a valid passport.
Before you head to the airport, inform yourself. We’ve been through all the hurdles of traveling domestically and internationally. We learned what documents to bring on your Hawaiian vacation.
We also understand that misinformation is rife on the web. Do you need a passport to go to Hawaii in 2022? It depends on your nationality or American immigration status.
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What ID You Need To Bring to Hawaii
Americans are so fortunate that the beautiful and world-famous Hawaiian Islands round out the list of states. The islands joined the USA in August of 1959. The only thing separating mainlanders ‘haloes’ from Hawaii is roughly 2000 miles of the world’s largest ocean, the beautiful Pacific.
Understanding what constitutes legal identification in the USA is essential. Before making any inter-state travel plans, check you have the correct ID. Even driver’s licenses expire.
Americans have access to several legit forms of government issue ID. Consult your state and local government agencies to prepare or replace outdated identification.
Proper ID documents are:
- Regional state-issue (unexpired) Driver’s Licenses
- Regional state-issue Identity Card
- Social Security Card (or number)
- USA Passport Card (not for international travel)
- Valid USA Passport
- Birth certificates
Starting May 3, 2023, travel documents within the USA must meet REAL ID standards. Check with your DMV (state department of motor vehicles) as you will need a Star Card to board a flight or access any federal building.
Although this REAL ID has been on the drawing board since 2005, it’s finally coming into effect.
Anyone traveling to one of 11 US Military Bases (spread throughout the islands of Hawaii) will require a Star Card to enter.
Did you know that having incorrect identification has the power to ruin vacation plans instantly? While US citizens and residents with proper documentation can go anywhere quickly, you must know if the governing bodies at your destination can accept those documents.
Children also require proper identification when traveling internationally or are accompanied by an adult with appropriate ID for domestic trips like Hawaii.
Passport Requirement Exceptions
Passports are a universal travel document. But Americans are lucky because many tropical destinations fall under US jurisdiction and don’t require a passport for entry.
Americans traveling to Hawaii from international destinations will require a valid passport (usually with a date within 6-month from expiry) to enter.
For example, anyone catching a bargain flight from Vancouver, Canada, to Hawaii requires a valid passport. Americans can enter Canada with proper identification. These ID cards must be proof of citizenship and identity like a passport, passport card, or NEXUS status that meets entry requirements.
Children also require proper identification when traveling out of the country.
This list isn’t to dissuade you from traveling to the glorious aloha islands. These destinations, including Hawaii, don’t require passport entries for Americans.
- Puerto Rico
- The US. Virgin Islands
- Costa Rica
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Alaska (not so tropical)
- American Samoa
Before booking anything, always check a legit government website for travel restrictions and updates. Always check on COVID vaccination and entry requirements.
Traveling by Cruise Ship
If you’re planning on traveling to Hawaii on a cruise ship, ensure you understand the itinerary. Some cruise lines traveling to Hawaii only stop on Hawaiian islands and don’t require a passport (ID still needed).
You need a valid passport if you’re going on a cruise that makes port in international destinations. If you book a trip, travel tour, or cruise ship, bring your proper ID.
Sorry if it sounds like yelling, but proper ID is your responsibility. You may also require a passport and ID for accommodations, banking, car rentals, and other travel or TSA transactions.
Traveling with Children to Hawaii
Giving children the gift to experience other states or countries is terrific. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.” Even young children will remember the experiences of playing in waves and sand in Hawaii and meeting people.
According to TSA regulations, children under 18 years do not require ID if a parent or adult carrying proper ID accompanies them.
Some airline carriers suggest bringing a school ID card or copies of birth certificates for proof of age.
Children and infants traveling to Hawaii through other ports of entry require a passport.
Do You Need a Vaccine Travel Passport To Go to Hawaii in 2022?
Much misleading talk about countries requiring vaccines and vaccine travel passports circled the grapevine during the pandemic.
Hawaii has lifted all COVID restrictions for American/domestic travelers. International travelers must still meet US federal laws. Check authoritative websites for continuous updates.
Tourists tanning under the Hawaiian sun don’t need to worry about weird tan lines. As of March 25, 2022, Hawaii disbanded the mask mandate.
Some businesses may still ask for masking or at least encourage patrons to choose to protect themselves and their staff. Masks might also benefit individuals with compromised immune systems and or unvaccinated patrons.
Courtesy is a fantastic currency.
Tips on How To Protect Your Passport and Travel ID
Traveling is fun; we make our living that way. But if you lose your precious ID, you’ll see a new side of traveling you’ll never want to experience again.
First is the panic. Your heart races, and you break out in sweats when you realize your ID is missing.
Losing your ID ruins your vacation and makes getting back home a challenge. One of the best ways is to always keep your ID on you.
We hear you. What about surfing, snorkeling, and swimming?
That’s why you went to Hawaii. Hawaii has an excellent reputation. It’s generally safe, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunists with bad intentions cruising the beach.
- Use the buddy system and take turns in the water
- Money belts (obviously, not waterproof)
- Water-proof anti-theft bags. Secure them to palm trees or beach umbrellas. Water-proof doesn’t mean submerging in water
- Purchase decoy storage items (hollow water bottles)
- Decoy wallets
- Use the safe in a ‘reputable’ hotel
- Always make copies of your ID (hard copies and photos)
- Protect your paper ID like a passport in a waterproof pouch/bag
- Leave expensive jewelry and electronics at home
Never allow even the sweetest maid or staff to access your hotel room with your keycards. Pickpockets study your habits and may dive into your pockets or purse unnoticed. Some discreet travelers use fake wallets with fake cards in uncomfortable situations as decoys.
Use your Spidey-Senses and stay alert.
Conclusion – Do you need a passport to go to Hawaii?
If you need your passport to go to Hawaii in 2022, these few hacks ensure you’ll have a fantastic vacation and keep vital documents safe. If you’re a seasoned traveler, who lives out of an overstuffed backpack, you’ve likely experienced every contingency.
Wise travelers protect their most precious resources: their family, money, and ID.