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Traveling to Hawaii with Pets

Pet traveling to Hawaii

Anyone planning to vacation in the Aloha State with a pet must be fully aware of as well as comply with the State of Hawaii’s quarantine rules before a pet can actually exit the airport quarantine area.  The bottom line is bringing a pet to Hawaii is an extremely challenging process.  Hawaii is the only state in America never to have had an indigenous case of rabies.  To maintain this record and the safety of the natives and animals of the islands, the Animal Quarantine Branch of the State of Hawaii has gone to great lengths to protect the islands from potential infections.  We advise all guests wishing to travel to Hawaii with their pet be aware of the difficulty of the quarantine process.  Please be prepared to comply with the exact stipulations before the trip in order for your pet to be granted access into the State.


In order to gain access into Hawaii, pet owners must see to it that their animal has completed these primary requirements before boarding any aircraft.

  • The pet must have been vaccinated for rabies at least twice in its lifetime at least a month apart.
  • The pet must have a functioning microchip.
  • The pet much have passed the OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test at least 120 days before arrival into Hawaii and not longer than 36 months after. Should you arrive in Hawaii before the 120 days have passed, your pet may legally be held until the allotted time is complete.
  • The correct documentation must be brought with the travelers to Hawaii. This includes certificates of the two most recent rabies vaccinations, a recent official bill of good health and a certificate verifying that a vet has given the pet tick treatments within 14 days prior to arrival.  Finally, if you have been to Hawaii during the same time frame as your current OIE-FAVN rabies blood test, then you must also bring the Airport Release card you received when your pet was last allowed to enter the state.

The current quarantine program allows any pet to be given back to their owner at the airport upon arrival, provided that the owner has adhered to the above requirements prior to the journey.  Bear in mind, depending on the pet’s age some of these might be time sensitive.  For example, it would require 4 months to clear an adult pet with a rabies vaccination and at least 10 months for newborn or young pets to be accepted.

To be completely sure that your pet has met with all the stipulations to be eligible for the 5-days-or-less quarantine, review the details on the official form and complete all the requirements listed.

If the pet has accomplished all the requirements–both before arrival and being found satisfactory upon arrival in Hawaii–then the animal might be granted 5 days or less of a stay on the islands.  If the dog or cat does not pass the import requirements, they will be subjected to up to 120 days of being quarantined in the State of Hawaii.

Airport Arrival Details

Travelers with pets should purchase plane tickets that arrive in the Honolulu International Airport anytime between 8 am to 3:30 pm so that they would be able to go through the pet-inspection before the offices close at 5 pm daily.  For plane flights which are delayed or are scheduled to arrive after 5 pm, these pets will be held overnight until they are able to undergo analysis the next morning.  The animals will be kept at the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility and must be reclaimed by 10 am or the pet owner will be responsible to cover a fee of $59.

These quarantine laws do not apply for visitors (either for short-term or long-term trips) coming from regions where the rabies-prevention laws are equal or stricter to Hawaii’s.  Travelers from the following countries are exempt from undergoing the Hawaii’s quarantine procedures:  New Zealand, Guam, Australia and the United Kingdom.  As long as the pet has lived continuously in one of those countries for the six months before traveling and they meet the standard requirements, the pet may enter Hawaii without quarantine.


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