Relocating to Hawaii

With Pets

If you’re thinking of or planning on relocating to Hawaii and you have pets, it’s time to start planning! Relocating with pets is not the same for Hawaii as for other states. Because Hawaii is a rabies-free state, it requires a little bit more preparation and quite a bit of paperwork. Here’s what you need to know before you move to Hawaii with a pet.

Reserving a Veterinarian

Prior to your arrival, it's a good idea to do some research on local veterinarians. You'll need to setup an appointment shortly after arrival to have your pet inspected. The Quarantine station will require verification that you have set up this appointment when they review your documents, so here's a few vets in the area to help you get started. 

Direct Airport Release

If you plan on picking your pet up directly at the airport after you arrive, then you’ll want to ensure your pet qualifies for Direct Airport Release. If you are unable to pick your pet up right away, your pet will be entered into the 5-Day-or-Less Program.

5-Days-or-Less Program

If your pet isn’t picked up the day of your arrival, if your pet’s flight arrives outside of the animal inspection hours, or if you need somewhere to house your pet for a few days while you get settled, then your pet will qualify for the 5-Days-or-Less Program, in which pets are kept at a quarantine facility for a $224 flat-rate fee for up to 5 days.

Full 120 Day Quarantine

If you don’t or are unable to prepare for your pet's move in advance and your pet does not meet all the requirements of Direct Airport Release, then your pet will automatically undergo a full 120 day (4 month) quarantine at a Hawaii animal facility at a rate of $14.30/day. Unless you want to pay a sizable fee and spend a lot of time away from your pet, or unless you have no other option, it’s recommended that you take some time to prepare!

Qualifying for Direct Airport Release/5-Days-or-Less

Rabies Vaccinations

You pet must have had at least 2 rabies vaccinations, at least 30 days apart, with the last vaccination no more than 12 months before arrival in Hawaii. You will need to present original copies of both rabies vaccination certificates.


You pet must be microchipped, and the microchip must be able to be used to identify your pet.

OIE-FAVN Rabies Blood Test

You must send a blood sample to one of two approved laboratories if have your pet’s blood tested for rabies at least 3 weeks after their last vaccine. This must be between 36 months and 120 days before your arrival. If you don’t wait the required 120 days between the blood test and your move, your pet won’t qualify for Direct Airport Release and will be entered into quarantine.

Accepted Labs: Kansas State University, Department of Defense Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory in Texas.

Required Documentation

Before your move, you will want to send in all your required pet documents. This includes:

  • Two rabies vaccination certificates (with vaccine name, serial number, date, and expiration date)
  • An original health certificate dated within 14 days of your arrival (with rabies information, pet’s microchip number, breed information, an original vet signature, and documentation on a recent tick treatment containing Fipronil). Be sure to keep this on you when traveling as well, some airlines will require a current certificate from within 10 days. 
  • Completed Dog & Cat Form AQS-278
  • Neighbor Island Inspection Permit (if you are traveling to the Kona Airport on the Big Island, Kahului Airport on Maui, or Lihue Airport on Kauai)
  • $145 in cashier’s check or money order
  • A letter requesting Direct Airport Release
  • Your full flight itinerary

This can all be mailed to:

Animal Quarantine Station 99-951
Halawa Valley Street
Aiea, Hawaii 96701

except for your Neighbor Island Inspection Permit, which will need to arrive at your designated airport with your pet.

Still Have Questions About Your Relocation to Hawaii?

We bet you do! There’s so much to know, to learn, and to do before you move, it’s hard to keep it all in line. That’s why we’re here to help. As your local Hawaii lifestyle and real estate experts, we’ve got all the answers to all your moving and relocation questions. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out to us with your questions or if you’re ready to get started searching for your dream home in Hawaii!

Questions? Just Ask!

By giving us your phone number and email address, you are giving Christi Mallicoat permission to contact you via email, phone, or text.