Bringing your Car


 Automobiles (and household effects) are usually shipped to Hawaii by Matson Navigation Company, (808) 848-1215, or Sea-Land Service, (808) 842-5300, both are located at Sand Island, just Ewa (West) of downtown Honolulu.  Make separate arrangements for the shipping of household goods or other baggage, as the shipping lines do not allow anything other than a spare tire and jack, to be transported in the trunk or passenger area of the vehicle.

When delivering your car to the docks, remember the gasoline will be siphoned from the tank, allowing only enough gasoline to get you to a nearby service station.  From the continental west coast, shipping takes one to two weeks, depending on when you deliver your vehicle to the docks and the ship’s departure date.   When you get your car to Hawaii make a thorough inspection for damage before leaving the docks.  As soon as possible after getting your car, consider having it rust protected.  The salt and moisture in Hawaii’s trade winds will erode the body of your car.


All automobiles brought into Hawaii must have a Hawaii Vehicle Permit.  The permit must be obtained within 10 days of arrival.  The automobile may be used in Hawaii for one year, or until your mainland plates expire, whatever comes first.

The Vehicle Permit may be obtained at the City Finance Department, located at 1370 Maunakea Street, by submitting a current Certification of Registration from your previous state, the bill of lading with the date of arrival in Hawaii, a safety inspection certificate, evidence of insurance, and payment of necessary fees.  Hawaii State safety inspections can be obtained at service stations displaying a special approval sign.  Vehicle registration fees are based on vehicle weight.  For office hours 527-6695


To obtain a driver’s license, persons over 15 year of age must pass a written, vision and road test.  Applicants 15 to 17 years old must have their parents or legal guardian sign the application.  Before obtaining a driver’s license, applicants must also present their social security card.  In addition, the vehicle used in the road test must have a valid Hawaii safety inspection sticker and proof of insurance.  Licenses issued by other states or Canada are valid until they expire and must be renewed prior to the expiration date in order to be exempt from the standard road test.  To help you prepare for the license test, pick up a copy of the Hawaii Driver’s Manual, available at most area food markets, drug stores, book stores and military exchanges.


Other useful links

Moving to Hawaii

Housing in Hawaii

Hawaii Schools

Bringing your Pet


Honolulu Real Estate

Housing in Hawaii

Buying in Hawaii

Selling Property in Hawaii

Foreign Ownership in Hawaii

Property Tax in Hawaii

Rent or Own


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