Moving to Oahu

Moving to Oahu is a wonderful experience (once you get here). There are a lot of moving parts, but it is well worth the complexities of shipping your household goods thousands of miles, finding a Hawaii home, and getting used to a new place and new culture.

move to oahu and enjoy the viewFinding a Place to Live on Oahu

  • Real Estate Sales - If you are moving to Oahu and looking for a full-service, experienced REALTOR Call Yvonne Ahearn at 808-721-8088. We can set you up with MLS searches, property previews, showings, and give you any other information and help that might be needed to find a home to purchase on Oahu.
  • Rentals on Oahu - If you are looking to rent a house or apartment on Oahu, please try Craigs List ( OR Automated Housing Referral Network ( And contact us to set up a HiCentral MLS search for rentals, as a courtesy.  For short term rentals, try Vacation Rentals by Owner ( or AirBnB

Shipment of Household Goods to Oahu

Many people sell all of their furniture and start fresh when moving to the islands. However, some people want to keep their belongings. Generally speaking, there are two options to ship large quantities of household goods: (1) arrange for container transport yourself from a major West Coast city or (2) hire a full-service moving company.

  • Full Service Moving Companies: These are companies such as United, Allied, Etc. They will move you from almost any location to Hawaii, for a hefty price.
  • Container Shipment Companies: These are companies such as Hawaii Ocean Transport, Matson, etc. They generally ship from a West Coast location, but some of them will arrange to get your stuff to them from other US cities. If you live in one of the main West-Coast cities serviced by these companies, you may be able to arrange to have a container sent to your home, where you can load it yourself. This requires hiring a trucker to transport the container on both ends. It is a bit involved, but will usually save money over hiring a full-service mover in the end.
  • Smaller Shipments: Try PODs, they will move your POD from almost anywhere on the mainland to Oahu and provide short or long-term storage too. Also try: Ship to Hawaii, USPS, UPS, etc.

Shipment of Cars to Oahu

Your car may be shipped to Oahu (to the Port of Honolulu) on its own, or inside your container. Unless in a container, you may not pack your car with your belongings for shipment. Shipping a car is easiest and least expensive from the major US West Coast cities and currently (2009) runs around $1000. However, you can arrange to have a car shipped to Hawaii from almost anywhere in the US for more money. Not an all-inclusive list on automobile shipment companies that ship cars to Oahu, but here are a few: Matson, West Point Relocation, and TAS.

Moving Your Pets to Oahu - Quarantine Procedures

In Hawaii there is no rabies. One reason is because Hawaii has strict Pet Quarantine Procedures for dogs and cats coming to the islands. There are specific 120-day and 5-day waiting period procedures, which may apply. With transport of pets from some locations, such as New Zealand (which has similar restrictions) there may be no waiting period. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture regulates this process. Information in these procedures is subject to change, so please contact them for the most up to date information.

Setting Up Household Utilities on Oahu

Getting Your Hawaii State ID or Hawaii Drivers License and Hawaii Motor Vehicle Registration on Oahu

Unlike the mainland, on Oahu, there is no centralized main State DMV for driver’s licenses. You can get your Hawaii driver’s license and your Hawaii motor vehicle registration at small local City offices called Satellite City Halls. You can also conduct many other types of government business there. It is actually pretty convenient, since there is usually one nearby, and service at these offices tends to move pretty quickly, in my experience. However, please note that not all Satellite City Halls have the same services, so double check by calling before you go.

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