How to Move From Main Land to Hawaii With Pets

How to Move From Main Land to Hawaii With Pets thumbnail
To protect the delicate ecosystem, Hawaii requires a rabies quarantine for pets entering the state.

Hawaii is a paradise with many plants and animals that are found nowhere else in the world. It is also a very delicate ecosystem, easily harmed by outside invaders and diseases. The state has taken pride in preventing rabies from entering the islands, and in order to maintain a rabies free state there are many laws and regulations to take into consideration when moving from the mainland to Hawaii with pets. Start preparing for your move early to avoid a lengthy quarantine.


    • 1

      Start preparing early. Your pet must have two rabies vaccines before entering Hawaii, the most recent being at least 90 days prior to your move. If the second vaccine was less than 90 days before your move, your pet will stay in quarantine until it has been 90 days. Take the vaccination certificate to show as proof.

    • 2

      Microchip your pet. The microchip must be inspected and shown as working and correctly registered. You need the microchip number in order to get a blood test.

    • 3

      Have your pet blood-tested for rabies. Complete this less than 3 years and more than 120 days before entering Hawaii and have it done by Kansas State University or the DOD Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas. Select Hawaii as the destination for the results.

    • 4

      Obtain a health certificate for your pet within 14 days of your arrival. A veterinarian can provide a health inspection and certificate certifying the pet is healthy enough to travel. You will need this certificate for your airline and for inspectors in Hawaii. Your veterinarian must also treat the pet for ticks at this visit.

    • 5

      Complete the Dog and Cat Import Form. Send the form along with your two rabies vaccination certificates, and payment of fees at least 10 days before your flight. Keep the health certificate and a copy of all other forms, you may need them during your trip.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fly to Honolulu International Airport and arrive between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to have your pet released directly to you in the same day. The quarantine area closes at 5 p.m. and takes an hour or more to inspect your pet. If you have followed all regulations and your pet passes inspection, you may pick up your pet before leaving the airport. If you arrive after 4 p.m. you will have to wait until the following day to pick up your pet.

  • If you follow these steps, you may still be required to have a 5-day or less quarantine for your pet. Not following these steps will result in up to 120 days in quarantine.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images

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