Do You Need a Passport to Go to Hawaii?
Do you need a passport to go to Hawaii? Lots of travelers find themselves asking this question, and luckily the answer is extremely straightforward. It's understandable that people might be confused, given how far Hawaii is located off of the mainland United States, and it's not necessarily clear if visiting the tropical island paradise requires a passport.
Passport Requirements for Hawaii?
The answer you're looking for: No, you do not need a passport to visit Hawaii. This applies to both United States citizens and residents, as well as tourists from abroad, provided they are flying into Hawaii directly from another U.S. state.
Hawaii has been a U.S. territory since 1898 and was granted statehood in 1959. So, if you plan to visit Hawaii and are flying from California, New York, Florida, or any other state in the U.S., you can keep your passport tucked away for the occasion. Remember though, if you are entering Hawaii from another country, no matter your citizenship or residency status within the United States, you'll have to have a passport to be granted entry back into the country.
ID Documentation Needed to Enter Hawaii
Of course, to travel within the United States, to rent a car, and even to check into hotels or other lodging, you'll need a valid form of ID. Most people use their drivers' license for this purpose; however, you've probably heard about the REAL ID program that is rolling out across the country.
According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website, REAL ID allows compliant states to issue driver's licenses and identification cards where the identity of the applicant cannot be assured or for whom lawful presence is not determined. In fact, some states currently issue noncompliant cards to undocumented individuals.
If you're curious about the REAL ID program and what other kinds of acceptable documentation you can use to travel domestically, visit the TSA website for more information.