Do I Need a Passport To Go To Hawaii? FAQs About Traveling to the Aloha State

You’d be surprised how many people visiting Hawaii aren’t sure whether or not they need to bring a passport to the Aloha State. Or maybe not, because here you are, Googling it yourself. But separated by a culture that’s utterly unique on top of a few thousand miles distance, the confusion becomes a little clearer. Hawaii feels a world away, and considering US citizens need a passport to visit Canada just over the border, it stands to reason that many would think of packing their passports to visit Hawaii. After all, traveling to paradise shouldn’t be that easy, should it? 

Well, passport or not, traveling to Hawaii is that easy, and in most situations, you won’t even need a passport. Here’s everything you do need to bring to make getting to the islands as breezy as the air on the beach.

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Traveling to Hawaii: 8 FAQs

Whether an American citizen or an international visitor, Hawaii welcomes all … so long as you have the required documents for entry. Don’t worry—visiting Hawaii isn’t difficult. Here are eight quick FAQs to get you ready for your trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

1. What ID Is Required to Fly to Hawaii?

Domestic flights to Hawaii require a valid government photo ID. For most travelers, that’ll be a state driver’s license or another state-issued photo identification card. Though the deadline has been extended, starting on May 7th, 2025, all state-issued IDs, including your license, must be REAL ID-compliant, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). 

The quickest way to check that your ID is compliant is to look for the star at the top of the card. 

Flyers traveling without a REAL ID driver’s license or another state card may be subject to additional screening or unable to fly at all.

Of course, if you’re in a bind, your passport will work just fine as a valid form of identification, even for domestic travel. 

2. Do You Need a Passport for Hawaii if You’re a US Citizen?

In most cases, no. You don’t need a passport for the Aloha State if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident. However, there is a curious caveat where you’ll need a passport on hand. If you’re traveling from or through a foreign country, you’ll need a valid passport to get into Hawaii.

International travel always requires a passport, so if you have a layover in Canada or you’re traveling on a cruise ship with international stops, you’ll need to bring your passport. 

However, suppose you’re just traveling between the mainland United States and Hawaii or among the Hawaiian Islands. For example, the Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) Pride of America only sails between the islands of Hawaii. In that case, you can leave your passport at home for your Hawaiian vacation.

3. Do You Need a Passport for Hawaii if You’re Not a US Citizen?

As a general rule of thumb, international travel requires a passport. So, at the very least, foreign nationals who are neither American citizens nor permanent residents will need a passport to go to Hawaii. 

Passport requirements will differ based on the length of stay and the country of origin. 

For example, Canadian citizens can travel with a NEXUS card in place of a passport, while visitors planning to stay for longer than 90 days will need their passport and a visa.

4. Can I Use My Driver’s License to Fly to Hawaii?

Yes, you can fly to Hawaii using your driver’s license. As long as you’re not traveling out of the country, you won’t need any other form of identification. However, your driver’s license will need to be REAL ID-compliant to fly without issue in the future. 

Starting May 7th, 2025, all travelers must present REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses when flying domestically. If you don’t have a REAL ID driver’s license, you’ll have to provide another acceptable form of identification to get through airport security.

5. What Paperwork Do I Need to Travel to Hawaii?

You’ll be pleased to know that a driver’s license is all the travel documents you need to fly to Hawaii. Truthfully, you could hop on a plane and jet off to the lush green isles with nothing more than your driver’s license and a boarding pass. 

That said, you don’t have to worry if there’s an issue with your driver’s license, such as it not being REAL ID compliant. The TSA will accept plenty of other travel documents as valid forms of identification, including a Global Entry card.

6. Can I Go to Hawaii with a Green Card?

Yes. Those staying in the US as permanent residents can travel around the domestic United States just as a US citizen can. As such, permanent residents (or green card holders) can travel to Hawaii with a valid, unexpired green card, known formally as Form I-551 or a Permanent Resident Card. 

So, you can either use a state-issued REAL ID card or your green card as a valid ID to go to Hawaii.

7. Do You Need a Passport to Fly to Hawaii if You’re a Minor?

You don’t need a passport to go to Hawaii as a minor. In addition, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, children under 18 won’t need a REAL ID to travel when accompanied by an adult. However, requirements can differ by airline. 

For example, Hawaiian Airlines doesn’t require underage travelers to provide REAL ID-compliant cards. However, they suggest traveling with some form of identification, like a school ID card. For lap infants, you may have to provide proof of your child’s age, so double-check with the airline if you need to bring a copy of their birth certificate. 

Note: Unaccompanied minor procedures have different requirements and usually demand other documents like a passport, specialized ticket, etc. Government-issued ID is also required for adults dropping off/picking up unaccompanied minors.

8. Do I Need a Passport to Fly to Hawaii if I’m Part of the US Visa Waiver Program?

Even if you’re a part of the Visa Waiver Program, you still need a passport to go to Hawaii. The Visa Waiver Program allows travelers from 40 countries to visit the US—including Hawaii—for business or tourism for up to 90 days. To get approval for the Visa, you’ll need a valid e-passport while applying and at customs.

Find the Best Deals to the Aloha State with Next Vacay

You may not need a passport to experience paradise, but you will need a ticket. And the easiest way to get that is by signing up for Next Vacay. 

With a dedicated team of deal hunters at the ready, you don’t need to lift a finger to find the best deals to Hawaii from all over the country. Simply sign up, sit back, and wait for the deals to roll in. As soon as your perfect deal becomes available, you can choose your dates and book your tickets with a few simple clicks.

Flying to Hawaii is easy. Make getting your tickets even easier—book with Next Vacay.

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