Moving to Hawaii takes plenty of planning and preparation. This is especially true for families with pets. There are strict rules about animals entering the country. Rabies doesn’t exist in Hawaii, and officials are serious about keeping it that way.

There are ways to avoid a lengthy quarantine, but you must follow the rules precisely and complete all the paperwork well in advance. The Maui Humane Society recommends you start preparing four to six months before your move.

The Hawaiian Department of Agriculture has a comprehensive information brochure that explains the rules and regulations and the two main quarantine programs available for those entering the country with domestic animals. Some of what you’ll need to know are listed below.


  1. Decide whether or not your pet should make a move. If you have a very old or young dog or an animal with a chronic illness, shipping may not be an option. Pregnant animals are not allowed to enter the country.
  2. You will be bringing your pet into the country at your own risk. Hawaii is not liable for any adverse results during shipment or quarantine.

Quarantine Programs

120 Day Program

  1. Animals that do not qualify for the Five Day or Less Program will be quarantined for 120 days. Common reasons for not qualifying to include a failed blood test, no blood test, invalid rabies vaccinations, age (puppies, kittens, etc.). You will need to submit the following at least 14 days before your arrival:
  2. Original Health Certificate (copies and faxes are unacceptable). The certificate must be in English and include the certifying veterinarian's original signature and complete contact information.
  3. Electronic Microchip. Working, implanted microchips are required.
  4. Vaccinations. Any dog that is 90 days old or older must have been vaccinated for rabies. Other required vaccinations must be given at least 10 days before arrival.
  5. Veterinary Hospital Registration. The hospital must be approved, and it is the owner's responsibility to contact an approved hospital and register their pet.

Five Day or Less (including direct airport release) Program

1. Planning

  • Not every airline participates in the Direct Release Program in Maui. You should contact your carrier directly.
  • A Neighbor Island Inspection Permit (NIIP) is required to fly your pet directly into the Island of Maui (OGG).
  • All documents required must be submitted no later than 30 days before arrival.

2. Microchip

  • A working and implanted microchip are required.
  • The microchip must be implanted before any FAVN rabies antibody test.

3. Rabies Vaccination

  • Your dog must have had at least two rabies vaccinations (more than 30 days apart) in its lifetime.
  • The most recent vaccination must have been administered at least 30 days before arrival.

4. FAVN Rabies Antibody Blood Test

  • The test must be done at an approved lab at least 30 days before arrival.
  • The test results must equal or exceed 0.5 IU/mi.
  • You must obtain a blood test copy from your veterinarian. You may not contact the lab to obtain the copy directly.

5. Required Documents

  • The owner must confirm that an approved veterinary inspector is sent at least 30 days before arrival.
  • Contact the Maui Humane Society (808) 877-3680 ext. 249 or (808) 856-9454.

6. Waiting Period

  • Animals may not arrive until at least 30 days after successful FAVN test results have been received.
  • If your pet arrives before the required 30-day period, it will be quarantined until 30 days have passed. The animal will be disqualified for the 5 Day or Less Program, and owners assessed $14.30 per day plus the $244.00 program fee. There are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

7. Neighborhood Island Inspection Permit

  • The permit will be issued once the Animal Quarantine Station has received the required documentation and fees.
  • Your pet must meet all the 5-Day Or Fewer program requirements for a permit to be issued.
  • Before the permit is issued, the Animal Quarantine Station must receive confirmation from an approved veterinary hospital (Maui Humane Society).
  • The original health certificate will be collected upon your arrival on the island.

We have a wonderful person on Maui named Karen, who owns and operates a Direct-Release-Vet-Tech operation. She is an expert on the process and is happy to speak and work with you. Please get in touch with us for her phone number or connect directly through

The Maui Humane Society is a great resource for all the information you need. You will also find helpful information on Hawaii’s Animal Industry Division website.  

Home Animal Hospital has been a great vet to work with over the years, and we LOVE their doctors and staff.  Wonderful people who care.  Visit their site by Clicking Here.

Let us know if you have any questions, and contact Joe Erlemann at 808-283-9892 or

Photo by Mir Ali on Unsplash