Are you planning on moving to Hawaii, and you’re not sure how to bring your pet with you? Hawaii has some strict regulations regarding pet relocation, but as long as you follow each step in the process, you’ll be happy to know that your furry friends will be allowed to accompany you to Hawaii!

Why Relocating Your Pet to Hawaii Can Be a Challenge

There’s one big challenge when it comes to moving to Hawaii with your pet: the Hawaiian Islands are rabies-free. If rabies got introduced to the islands, it would be devastating to the local ecosystem and infect the people, pets, and wildlife of the state. If that were to happen, Hawaii’s inhabitants and its massive tourism industry would get damaged beyond repair. Because of this, Hawaii has strict regulations in regards to bringing a new pet into the state.

Related: Relocating Your Pet: What Paperwork Do You Need?

So, You Want to Move Your Pet to Hawaii? Here’s What You Should Know

The process for moving with your pets to Hawaii depends on where you’re coming from: a rabies-free country or any other one.

Moving From a Rabies-Free Country

Very few areas of the world are rabies-free areas. If you’re moving with your pets from the UK, New Zealand, Australia, or Guam, they will be eligible for Hawaii’s easiest importation. If you have all of the required documentation, your pet will not have to quarantine upon entering Hawaii.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A health certificate signed by a veterinarian showing that your pet does not have signs of diseases or parasites — you must obtain this within 14 days before you plan to move.
  • An affidavit stating that your pet has not left your home country in the last six months.
  • An affidavit from your plane’s captain stating that your pet traveled on a single plane or one that details what happened if they had to switch planes.
  • The travel carrier that holds your pet must have a seal that will break if they are removed from the carrier.

Moving From Other Countries

When you move your pet to Hawaii they only look at two things regarding the area you’re coming from: one of the ones mentioned above or anywhere else. If you’re moving to Hawaii from another US state or a country not listed above, you’ll have to go through a very specific set of instructions to bring your pet with you. There are a few different ways that your pet can get into Hawaii, and it varies based on several factors. Your pet may have to quarantine from anywhere between five and 120 days upon arrival.

Other Requirements to Move Your Pet to Hawaii

A dog playing in the ocean

If you’re moving from an area that is not considered rabies-free by Hawaii, here’s what you’ll need for the shortest pet quarantine time:

  • The original signed certificates showing that your pet received two rabies vaccinations at least 30 days apart and at least 90 days before traveling.
  • The results of an OIE-FAVN rabies test performed by a lab recognized by Hawaii (either Kansas State University or the Department of Defense FADL in Texas) that was performed at least 120 days before your pet will arrive in Hawaii.
  • A microchip implanted before their OIE-FAVN blood test.
  • A health certificate and tick treatments must get performed within 14 days of your pet’s arrival.
  • A notarized, official “Dog & Cat Import Form”.

You have to submit all of this paperwork and their associated fees at least ten days before your pet is set to arrive in Hawaii. These fees are:

  • $165 for direct release.
  • $224 for a 5-day quarantine.
  • $1,080 for a 120-day quarantine.

What is Direct Release?

Some airlines will let you travel with your pet in the plane’s cabin. Even in this case, they still must move your pet to the quarantine facility in Hawaii upon arrival for them to get inspected. If you meet every single requirement and your pet has no health issues, they will be eligible for direct release, meaning no quarantine time for them! 

Moving Your Pet to Hawaii: The Five Steps

Here’s your complete guide to moving your pet to Hawaii. We recommend that you start working on all of these requirements about six months before you plan to move to Hawaii.

  1. Vaccinations

Your pet’s vaccinations must be up-to-date, and their last two rabies shots must have been 30 days apart. Their most recent rabies vaccine must have occurred at least 90 days prior to arriving in Hawaii. Their rabies certificate must include the two most recent vaccination dates and the vaccine type that they received.

  1. Microchip

All pets moving to Hawaii must have a working microchip. If the microchip isn’t functioning correctly or it doesn’t match your pet’s identity, they’ll get quarantined for 120 days upon getting to Hawaii. It’s also important to know that their microchip must get implanted before going on to step three.

Related: Why Microchipping is Important

  1. Rabies Blood Test

The first thing to do is pick one of the labs mentioned above. Then you need to head to your vet, but make sure it’s been at least three weeks since your pet’s last rabies vaccination. It’s important that your vet lists Hawaii as a destination on the blood test form. You can’t move to Hawaii until at least 120 days have passed since the lab got the sample to perform the test.

  1. Documentation

You will need to fill out and file these original documents:

Next, send in your documents along with a money order or cashier’s check to the Dept. of Agriculture to cover your fees mentioned above.

  1. Picking Up Your Pet

If your pet is getting directly released at the airport, it’s important to know that if you arrive after 4:30 PM, you won’t be able to pick them up until the next day at 8:00 AM. Other than that, you’re all set to take your pet to their new home or begin the five or 120 quarantine process, depending on your paperwork and pet’s health.

Move Your Pet to Hawaii Safely With All Paws Express

A dog in a moving box

Wow, that’s a lot of requirements to move your pet to Hawaii! It’s important not to miss any step of the process, or your pet may be required to quarantine for 120 days (which costs you over $1,000!). If you want to put yourself and your pet at ease during the moving process, let All Paws Express help — we know the ins and outs of relocating your best friend to Hawaii. Do you want to ensure that moving your pet to Hawaii will go flawlessly? Get a free estimate from All Paws Express today — we’re happy to help! 

Related: What Does it Cost to Move a Dog?