Do You Need Passport For Hawaii?

If you are an American citizen and want to plan a trip to Hawaii, you may wonder whether you need a passport. While Hawaii is just under 3,000 miles away from the North American mainland, it is in fact a USA state.

This means you do not need a passport to visit Hawaii as an American citizen. However, you will not be able to visit Hawaii without some form of documentation (see also “What To Pack For Hawaii“).

Do You Need Passport For Hawaii

If you are still wondering if you need a passport for Hawaii, read on. We shall discuss what you need to visit Hawaii, as either a US citizen or a non-US citizen.

Is Hawaii A State In America?

Due to Hawaii having its own culture and identity, it can be hard to believe that the islands are a part of America. In fact, Hawaii is a member of the 50 states of America, which will come in useful if you are ever quizzed on what the American states are.

Hawaii was not originally a part of America. The last known ruler who was native to Hawaii came from the family known as Liliukalani. Americans during this time visited Hawaii to find sugar, but they also came to like Hawaii.

The land of Hawaii seemed very attractive to Americans, and both those in Hawaii and North America fought for a long time. Eventually, Hawaii gave up its land and it landed in the hands of the Americans.

It was in 1898 that the Hawaiian Islands joined America, however, the islands didn’t become an official American state until 1959.

The reason for this is that originally the U.S. only wanted Hawaii as territory due to using Hawaii as a naval base while the Spanish-American war was taking place.

This was all because of how close Hawaii is to Japan. However, Hawaii eventually became an official state of America at the end of the 1950s, long after the end of the Spanish-American war.

Do You Need A Passport To Visit Hawaii?

As an American citizen, you do not need a passport to visit Hawaii. This is because, as stated above, the Hawaiian Islands are a member of the American states. It joins the other 49 states that are scattered across North America.

However, while you will not need a passport as an American citizen, you will need some form of documentation to prove who you are. The easiest way of doing this is by using a driver’s license. 

You will find that to have this form of identification accepted it will need to have a yellow star on the righthand area of the driver’s license.

Using a driver’s license for identification is something that you will need to do across the USA anyway. For example, checking into a hotel or renting a car (see also “Best Hotels In Oahu“).

This is just so the TSA has the correct way to identify exactly who you say you are. 

When Does An American Citizen Need A Passport To Visit Hawaii?

The only time an American citizen will need a passport to visit Hawaii is if they are going to Hawaii via a non-American country. This means that you are visiting Hawaii while not coming from one of the other 49 states.

Instead, you have taken a trip to a country outside of America, and your next stop is Hawaii. Due to being out of the country anyway, it is very likely that you will have your passport ready to show. 

Do You Need Passport For Hawaii (1)

Do Under-18 American Citizens Need A Passport To Visit Hawaii?

If you are traveling to Hawaii with a minor (someone under the age of 18) who is an American citizen then they will not need a passport or any form of identification, so long as the adult they are traveling with does have identification.

However, sometimes it is better to have identification just in case they are asked to prove who they are. This can be in the form of a school card or a birth certificate – just remember to keep everything safe. 

Does A Non-American Citizen Living In America Need A Passport To Visit Hawaii?

If you are officially a permanent resident of America then you can visit Hawaii without a passport. To be a resident of America you will need to have an American passport.

If you live in America but are not classed as a permanent resident, then you will need a passport when traveling to Hawaii. This passport will be the one that is obtained from the country you are a citizen of.

Some countries require a visa to visit Hawaii. Some of the countries which are exempt from needing a visa to visit Hawaii are Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Belgium, and Spain. 

However, to put it simply, if you own an American passport then you do not need to show your passport to visit Hawaii and will only need identification.

If you own another nationalities passport, even if you are living in America, then you will need to show your passport.

You may also need a visa too! 

Final Thoughts

Because Hawaii has its own culture, it can be confusing to understand whether you need a passport or not when visiting as an American citizen.

If you have an American passport, you are considered to be an American citizen. This means that you do not need a passport when visiting Hawaii. Instead, you will need to take identification. In this circumstance, a driver’s license will do.

If you are not an American citizen, then you will need a passport to visit Hawaii.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Form Of Identification Do I Need To Visit Hawaii As An American Citizen?

A driver’s license is one of the best ways to prove who you are when visiting Hawaii as an American citizen. 

Do Those Under 18’s Need Identification When Visiting Hawaii?

So long as the person who is under 18 is an American citizen they do not require to show any identification when visiting Hawaii. The adult they are traveling with needs to have identification.

Julia Wright
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