Rules For Shipping A Car To Hawaii

Rules for shipping a car to hawaii

Shipping a car to Hawaii is easier than many think. However, there are certain rules and regulations that you should be aware of before moving to or from Hawaii. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about those rules for shipping a car to/from Hawaii, in order to be better prepared.

Rules for shipping a Car to Hawaii from the mainland

There are no complicated rules for shipping a car to Hawaii from the mainland. Additional paperwork is not required. If you are not staying for an extended period, you will need to apply for an out-of-state permit. However, If you are planning to move permanently to one of the islands, you must register the vehicle within 30 days.

Rules For Shipping a Car to Hawaii

Rules for shipping a car from Hawaii to the mainland

A car that is being shipped from Hawaii to the U.S. mainland needs to be cleaned thoroughly on both the inside and outside. Roll on and roll off Hawaii car transport requires your car to be in good running condition. You should perform standard maintenance checks before shipping your car.

You might check the fluid levels, tire pressure, and battery charge, as well as ensure there are no fluid leaks. Your vehicle may be denied entry onto the ship if it has a fluid leak.

These are the records and clearances you will need to ship a car from Hawaii to the mainland

  • A valid driver’s license and current registration for the vehicle
  • A title, bill of sale, or proof of ownership
  • If you have leased your vehicle, you must get authorization from the lien holder before you can ship it
  • Information about the consignee – the individual who will get the vehicle
  • Bill of lading, which is needed to register your car
  • Safety inspection certificate
  • VIN Number
  • Registration plate and the state it’s from
  • The color of the vehicle

Your car will arrive at a port on the mainland after crossing the ocean. If you live nearby, you can pick it up yourself. You will have to submit specific documentation before the port authorities will release your car to you. These documents include:

  • Copy of the title document and registration, where the name matches that on the shipping order
  • If you have leased your vehicle, a copy of the lien holder’s authorization
  • If you own your car jointly, both owners must be present. The absent owner must provide notarized consent if this is not possible
  • A valid photo ID and proof of ownership are required

Hiring a car shipping company to pick up and deliver your car will streamline the transport process and save you time.

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You cannot ship personal items in your car

It is illegal to leave any personal items in your car while it is on a trip because this poses a safety concern, as well as a liability concern. After your car is inspected at the port, any personal items left inside will be removed before the vehicle is loaded onto a ship.

What if our workers cannot remove them? The port will reject your car, and you will have to book another shipment immediately.

Hawaii’s size restrictions on shipping vehicles

A passenger-type vehicle (sedans, SUVs, passenger vans, station wagons) has maximum dimensions of 21’8″ long, 8′ wide, and 7′ high.

In general, motorcycles must not exceed 96″ in length and have a maximum tire width of 8″. If you need assistance with oversize vehicles, such as limousines, RVs, boats, or trailers, please call our customer service department at 888-802-8250.

Vehicle condition rules

Vehicles should be delivered in clean condition inside and out with no more than a 1/4 tank of gas and no personal belongings.

All other items must be removed from the vehicle except a properly stored spare tire and jack, an owner’s manual, as well as floor mats, and seat covers.

Vehicles must roll, brake, and steer, have no leaking fluids, and require no special starting instructions to operate. Vehicles should be serviced before shipping to ensure mechanical and safety issues are corrected.

Regardless of the way in which you decide to ship your car, there are things you need to do to get it ready.

How to Prepare Your Car for Hawaii Car Transport

When the vehicle is prepared for shipment, it must be operational. As well as a working emergency brake, it must be licensed or qualified for road use. Pay attention to the following information to speed up your move:

Don’t fuel up:

Please deliver your vehicle with 1/4 tank or less of fuel. Upon arrival, our port personnel will ensure your vehicle is ready for departure. Call 888-802-8250 for special shipping instructions if your vehicle is powered by an alternative fuel – propane, electricity, natural gas, etc.

Electric vehicles: 

You must charge the battery between 45% and 50%. Otherwise, the port will reject it.

Empty your vehicle. 

Only items permanently installed inside the dashboard, doors, rear deck, or console can be shipped in an automobile.

Wash Your Vehicle: 

Keep your vehicle clean for a quick inspection. Dirty vehicles will not be accepted. Make sure the windshield or windows are not damaged or cracked.

Modified vehicles:

If a vehicle is modified in any way, customers must disclose this information as shipping costs will vary. A minimum ground clearance of 6 inches is required.

Replenish antifreeze: 

Cars being shipped from Seattle to Hawaii should be delivered with antifreeze in the fall and winter.

Remove fire extinguishers: 

Having a fire extinguisher in your car is not permitted by the federal government.

Empty propane tanks:

All vehicles with propane tanks should be delivered with empty tanks. “Gas-free” tags must be applied to empty propane tanks. Verify the cost of draining and certifying propane tanks. Buying a brand-new tank at your destination may be cheaper.

Make sure you have a set of keys for your ignition, trunk, gas tank, and anything else. All compartments of your vehicle are inspected by the USDA. Ensure all compartments are unlocked and accessible. Failure to do so may result in a delay in vehicle movement. Your keys will accompany your vehicle to its discharge port.

Note:  Shipments that do not meet safety requirements for safe transportation and handling may be rejected by ports.

Remove All Personal Belongings

For example, if not bolted in, the following items should be removed: The following items should be removed if not bolted in:

Loose radios and Extra SpeakersCD's and radar scanners
Power boosters and equalizers
Tape players and tapesDecorative ornamentsAuto roof racks if not factory installed
Compact disc players and discsAuto protective covers/auto bras
Car alarms should be turned off before shipping if you leave them in
Portable telephones of any typeTruck tailgate nets Any peripherals or accessories not permanently attached to the vehicle

Register your vehicle within 30 days of arrival

Vehicles must be registered with the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Hawaii consists of islands, so registration is different than in other states. A safety inspection certificate is required before you can fully register your car. As part of the registration process, you’ll also need to provide:

  • Vehicle registration application completed
  • An out-of-state certificate of registration
  • Titles issued out-of-state
  • BOLs or shipping receipts
  • Weight of vehicle, provided by the manufacturer
  • Motor vehicle use tax certification
  • registration Fees

For those traveling to Hawaii but not staying long enough to register their vehicles, an out-of-state permit can be obtained. It must be obtained within 30 days of arrival.

Pro Tips: Learn everything you need to know about registering a car in Hawaii in our ” How to register a car in Hawaii” Guide

Make sure you know the road rules before you drive

The roads in Hawaii are well marked and maintained, particularly on Oahu. Home to the tourist mecca of Honolulu, Oahu’s roads are the busiest. Expect to find several freeways here as well as the most developed roads in Hawaii. Similar to mainland America, Hawaiians drive on the right-hand side of the road, and speed limits are given in miles per hour.

A valid international driver’s license or a foreign driver’s license in English is required for driving in Hawaii. A variety of reputable rental agencies offer cars and motorbikes for US$28-$35 a day. If you plan on renting for the whole length of your holiday, you will also receive a discount, so don’t be afraid to do so.

Buying a car in Hawaii

Some people who move to Hawaii decide to leave their old cars behind and buy new cars on the islands, but shipping a car to Hawaii is almost always less expensive (and simpler, too) than buying a new one. If you are moving to Hawaii it is wise to learn about some of the best places to live in Hawaii.

Related Article: Is it better to buy a car in Hawaii or ship it?

Why Is It Important To Follow The Rules For Shipping A Car To Hawaii?

It is crucial to follow the rules for shipping a car to Hawaii since failing to do so could cause your vehicle to be held at the port or even seized by US Customs.

If you’re thinking about shipping your car to Hawaii, make sure you check any customs or border rules that may affect your shipment. As an example, there are rules regarding the value of items that can be shipped duty-free. If your car’s value exceeds this limit, you may have to pay taxes and duties when it arrives in Hawaii.

It is also important to be aware of any proof of ownership requirements for the car. The US Customs may request proof that you own the car before releasing it to you in some cases.

To learn more about rules and regulations that may affect your shipment, check with your car transport company and the Hawaii Department of Transportation (DOT). When shipping your car to Hawaii, there may be hidden costs, road rules, and border restrictions.

Hopefully, these rules on shipping your car to Hawaii will be useful to you! We aim to make transportation as simple and convenient as possible so you can focus on enjoying your trip to Hawaii. If you would like to know how much it costs to transport a car to Hawaii, request a custom quote below.

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    Victoria Ruiz

    A wanderer at heart, Victoria keeps taking her RAM 1500 to new places. She has been working in the auto transport industry for 7+ years. As an evangelist for Auto Star Transport (and as a friend who transports her vehicle), Victoria loves helping Auto Star Transport customers with help guides and insights. She is nowhere to be found when she is not in the office.
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    Edward Larrivee

    Introducing Edward - the beach-loving car carrier guru at AutoStar Transport Express! With his expertise, Edward helps clients surf through the car shipping process with ease. And when he's not working, he's making waves on the sand court as an avid beach volleyball player. With Edward on your team, your car will arrive safely and on time, and you might even catch a tan!
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