Moving to Hawaii is definitely an adventure and presents some unique challenges as you transfer your belongings and self across the Pacific to your island home. While we don’t claim to have all the answers, Hamakua Coast Realty does strive to provide information to make your transition to Hawaii a smooth process. To that end, following are links to answer the most Frequently Asked Questions about moving to Hawaii.

Q. How do I get all my stuff from the mainland to Hawaii?

A. First, make sure you WANT to bring all your stuff–and that it will be worth the cost of shipping, survive the crossing and then when it gets here, will be something that will survive the variations in humidity and salt air. When our Agent Amy moved here (twenty-odd years ago) she could not bear to part with an antique upholstered sofa and chair from a 1920’s brothel. She went through considerable expense to insure the furniture was wrapped and crated. Six months after moving to Hawaii, she discovered a slightly moldy smell coming from the sofa and went through several rounds of cleaning, spraying, sealing, and deodorizing to no avail. Within a year, the sofa was donated to a theater group to use as a prop for a production of Orphan Annie and a year later was taken to the recycling center. So be sure the things you’re bringing have the ability to ‘breath’, are worth the cost of shipping and will fit into your new island life style (probably don’t need your snow blower). Also check to insure you aren’t violating any state or federal laws in shipping invasive plants, animals or contraband items (firearms, gasoline, explosives, etc) Once you have determined what to bring (and not to bring), there are a number of companies that ship freight to Hawaii including (but not limited to)Matson, Hawaii Ocean Transport and DHX,

Q. What about moving my pets to Hawaii?

A. Bringing pets to the islands requires careful consideration–there area lot of steps to the process. Here’s a link that should answer all your animal related questions

Q. Are there earthquakes?

A. Since the island does have an active volcano, there is quite a bit of seismic activity on the island, primarily centered around the Volcano in the Puna district. Here is a link to a map of eartquake activity on the island. The Hamakua Coast is in an area deemed safe from volcanic hazzards

Q. Where do I go to get a driver’s license and register a car?

A. This link will take you to the Hawaii County Department of Finance and provide all the information you need for getting a new drivers license, registering a car or transferring licenses or vehicles from another state.

Q. I have a lot of questions about ethnic diversity of the Big Island and a lot of other population related questions. Where can I find those answers?

A. The Hilo Tribune Herald published an East Side of Hawaii FAQ book in September, 2011 that covers many of those questions.

Q. Where do I register to vote?

A. Hey!! THANK YOU for being a good citizen and wanting to exercise your right and privilege to vote! The State of Hawaii office of elections site has all that information.

Q. How do I get a hunting and or fishing license?

A. Hunting License applications can be completed online. Fishing Regulations in the state are very comprehensive and there are a variety of fishing permits and licenses required depending on the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Once you figure out what you need, here’s a link to the Fresh Water Fishing application.

Q. How can I tell when its High Tide or if the surf is going to be good?

A. Here’s the Weather and Tide Chart for the island and that should let you know when conditions are right and the best times of day to head for the water.

Q. What about electric, water, gas, phone and water?

Unless you’re going to live off grid, these are the main companies you’ll work with for utilities on the Big Island.

County and State Government, School Information & Local Newspapers

Can’t find the answers you need? Send us an email, we’ll try to find the answers for you (and maybe add your question to the list!)