Do you need a passport to go to Hawaii? Well, it all depends on your citizenship.
American Citizens do not need to acquire a passport before going to Hawaii. Hawaii was inducted as the 50th state on August 21, 1959. Like going from Ohio to Pennsylvania or Texas to California, U.S. citizens can pass between states without the necessary documentation.
However, this only applies to driving. If you are driving, hiking, or taking a train between states, there is no declaration or form of documentation needed at every border. However, for most train or bus companies, you will need an I.D. to purchase a ticket.
It is different for flying between states. To fly anywhere in the U.S., you will have to have some form of photo identification. This could be a state I.D., driver’s license, or passport, depending on what form of I.D. you have.
Hawaii does not require a passport to enter from anywhere within the United States. However, you should have some basics and important information before you plan your trip to the beautiful Aloha State.
We’ll talk a bit about the history, required documentation related to Covid-19 Restrictions, international visitors, and a few tips for tourists. It is essential to know what you are considering when planning a family vacation, and we’ll cover all the vital information related to Hawaii.
Why not also check out our guides to the best all-inclusive family resorts in Hawaii, the best family resorts in Hawaii and the best family resorts in Oahu, Maui and Kauai?
Hawaii In History
Hawaii is known as one of two of the independent nations that were annexed as states. Hawaii was originally a kingdom from 1810 until 1893, when the monarchy was overthrown.
The overthrow was led by American and European landholders and business people who sought to protect their interests. However, the first human settlement in Hawaii took place around the eleventh and twelfth centuries.
Likely settled by Polynesian emigrants from Marquesas, it wasn’t until the late 18th century that the entire archipelago encountered Europeans. In 1795, the Hawaiian archipelago was united under a single leader who is famous even today – King Kamehameha the Great.
He established the ruling dynasty of Hawaii until its downfall a century later. During the nineteenth century, European trade brought disease and hardship to native peoples, resulting in the loss of over a fifth of the population.
Hawaii was annexed to the United States after the monarchy was overthrown, where it remained a Territory and hub for Pacific trade routes. Despite several attempts to become a state, Hawaii was governed by sugar and fruit plantation owners until World War II.
What prompted the United States to officially declare war was the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor catapulted the Island Paradise into the limelight. It was thereafter used as a strategic military base.
With the post-war labor movement, a greater push was demanded by natives and business owners. Finally, in 1959, a decade after the war, Hawaii was voted in as the 50th and so far final state.
Hawaii has always had a proud history and culture, which is why it is vital to understand just a bit of history before you take your trip to this tropical paradise.
What Documentation Do I Need?
If you are a United States citizen, there is no paperwork or documentation needed to travel from any of the 49 other states, or outlying territories, to Hawaii. Hawaii is like any other state that you would travel to by air.
There is some specific documentation that you will need to book and board a flight, though. The new millennium has propelled agencies like the TSA and Homeland Security to document thoroughly each airline ticket purchased.
With the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic, restrictions, lockdowns, and enhanced safety measures have been put into effect in Hawaii. We’ll cover all of this and the essential documentation needed to travel anywhere via airplane in the United States.
To book a flight anywhere within the United States and its major outline territories, you need to be an adult with access to a credit or debit card. Though a photo I.D. is not required to book a flight, it is required during the long airport security, baggage, and boarding process.
Arriving two hours early for domestic flights is always a good idea because the security lines and baggage check lines can be very long. Depending on your airline, you may be able to use a digital boarding pass or print one out at the airport, either at the desk or one of the self-service kiosks.
When this is done, you present your boarding pass and a valid photo I.D. where you would check your bags. If you are not checking your bags, the process is quicker without stopping at the baggage counter.
Once through security, which will not ask you for your I.D. usually, you can go to your gate. It is at the gate while boarding that your identification and boarding pass is checked. This is for international and domestic flights.
However, this process has gotten a bit more complicated with the state-by-state Covid-19 restrictions.
Current Covid Restrictions
So, do you need a passport to go to Hawaii? Sort of as a Covid-19 document like a passport is needed.
During the height of the pandemic, Hawaii adopted one of the most strict travel policies in the nation. It has loosened since then, and to be sure you understand it, we’ll make sure to explain every aspect of the Safe Travels Hawai’i protocols.
Flying to Hawaii from the States and outlying territories with full vaccinations acquired in the US or Territories may skip quarantine and pre-travel tests. That means that if you received both doses of the vaccine at least two weeks ago, you could travel into Hawaii without hassle.
The vaccination record document (CDC card) must be uploaded to the Hawai’i Safe Travels website. You must print out the subsequent form prior to departure. Finally, you must have a hard copy in hand when you arrive in Hawaii.
Having the proper paperwork is a perfect way to enjoy expedited processing at the airport. No one likes long lines and carrying heavy baggage across the terminal. If you were fully vaccinated in Hawaii, you are eligible for expedited processing as well.
All of these protocols apply to travelers under the age of 18 and over the age of 5. However, there are some specific rules for underage travelers.
Underage travelers who do not have a form of photo I.D. are required to travel with an adult on domestic flights. The adult must have a valid form of photo I.D.
For underage travelers who are flying alone, typical restrictions apply, and a specialized ticket must be purchased. Children under the age of five are required to fly with an adult, but some airlines might allow children as young as 12 to travel without unaccompanied minor procedures.
Requirements For Non-Citizens
Currently, international travelers flying directly to Hawaii do not need to complete the above-mentioned Safe Travels application. Instead, your chosen airline will screen passengers prior to their departure to Hawaii.
Following the CDC requirements for travel to the U.S. is essential to understand, and we’ll briefly cover it here.
Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, all passengers, despite their citizenship, are required to show a negative Covid-19 test result or documentation of recovery before boarding the flight bound for the United States.
If you are fully vaccinated, you must conduct this test no more than 72 hours before the flight’s departure. If you are not fully vaccinated, you have only 24 hours to conduct the test. If you have recently recovered from Covid-19, you may instead travel with paperwork stating you’ve recovered.
Now that you understand the basics, you can travel to the Aloha State with more confidence. Though there are a few required documents, a passport is not needed to travel to Hawaii.
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