Moving is stressful. Moving with a pet… definitely adds some complications. Moving to Hawaii with a pet is pretty much a mess unless you’re prepared for it. Hawaii is a rabies-free state, and as such, it has pretty strict laws regarding animals. In fact, pets arriving in Hawaii are subject to a 4-month quarantine unless you follow specific steps to qualify for the Direct Release or 5-Days-or-Less Program. Here’s what you need to know about moving to Hawaii with a pet.
Your Checklist for Moving to Hawaii with a Pet
Get Your Rabies Vaccines
All pets are required to have two rabies shots, at least 30 days apart, and the most recent no fewer than 90 days before the pet’s arrival in Hawaii. You will need to obtain a Health Certificate that shows these vaccination dates and types.
Have Your Pet Microchipped
All pets are required to have a working microchip that matches their blood sample, so make sure it’s working!
Request a Rabies Blood Test
At least 21 days after the final rabies shot, have your vet send a rabies blood test to one of two qualified labs, Kansas State University or the Department of Defense Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory. Note, the arrival of the blood sample at the lab must be at least 120 days before your pet’s arrival in Hawaii!
Plan Your Flight
To qualify for Direct Release, your pet will need to arrive at the Animal Quarantine Station between 8 and 5pm. However, they do not allow pickups after 4:30, and since the pickup process can be a bit lengthy, it’s ideal to arrive at the station for pickup before 3. If you miss this window, your pet will be eligible for pickup the next day.
Gather & Send Your Documents
You will need two rabies vaccination certificates, an original Health Certificate, a notarized Dog & Cat Import Form (with correct flight and pickup information). Send this information to the Animal Quarantine Station at least 10 days before your arrival.
Pick Up Your Pet
Note: If You Need Somewhere to Keep Your Pet
If you’re in the process of moving, looking for a place to live, or do not have a pet-friendly hotel, you can choose to leave your pet in quarantine for up to 5 days for a flat-rate fee of $224 as part of the 5-Days-or-Less Program.
Still Have Questions About Moving to Hawaii with a Pet?
Ask us! At RE/MAX Honolulu, we’re qualified relocation specialists who want to help you get prepared and learn everything you need to know about relocating to O’ahu. Give us a call so we can help you explore the area, discover its cities, and find the perfect home.