Moving to Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii From California: Everything You Need to Know

Do you feel like moving to a breezy and sun-clad island where the spirits are always high and every day feels like a vacation? We know a spot and you might have guessed it right, HAWAII!

Known for its high spiritedness and golden warm beaches, it is the perfect place to move if you like going out and relaxing in nature. People visit Hawaii year round but if you plan to move there, here is everything you need to know about moving to Hawaii from California.

What’s It Like to Live in Hawaii?

Hawaii is your modern-day retreat to a peaceful and calm dwelling, with beaches and islands all around it is a great vacation spot. Its cool weather invites people from all over the world who are welcomed by its friendly and spirited natives.

Not only is its scenic beauty enough to tempt you, but the facts like the very low crime rate and a good after-school education program supporting working parents is a great opportunity too.

With its well-developed outdoor recreational spots, the state also has 7 national parks, 1600 surging sites, and more than 700 parks apart from botanical gardens. You will get to enjoy beautiful weather year-round and easy access to a lot of beaches as well as plenty of outdoor activities.

Coming from California, Hawaii gives you a break from mainstream living and a chance to sit back and relax.

Get Ready for Your Move to Hawaii

Moving Tasks

When you are moving, it’s important you take care of your paperwork and complete some administrative tasks. 

Illustrations-Mes changements d’adresse (1)

Hawaii DMV Change of Address

It’s important to notify the Hawaii DMV of your change of address so that you can legally drive a vehicle in Hawaii. When moving from California to Hawaii, you have to notify the Hawaii DMV within 30 days of your move. 

  • Notify the California DMV of your move to Hawaii within 10 days of moving.
  • You can only apply for a driver’s license and register your vehicle in-person at a Hawaii DMV office.
  • Bring your Social Security Number and 2 proofs of residency.
  • A vision test may be required.
  • Bring your out-of-state license with you. A written and road test will be required if you don’t have your out-of-state license or if it is expired.

For more information check out our article on how to notify the Hawaii DMV of an address change

Home Services in Hawaii

Electricity, Water, and Gas in Hawaii

Hawaii has various electricity providers such as:

Electricity bills in Hawaii are the highest in the US. To set up electricity in Hawaii, you can visit the websites of the electricity suppliers listed above, fill out the required information or you can contact them by calling the numbers on their contact page. For water supply, you can reach out to the Board of Water Supply. For gas set up, see set up instructions on the Hawaii Gas Company’s website.

Internet and Cell Phone in Hawaii

Hawaii has good internet at reasonable prices and speeds. You may need satellite internet if you live further away from the main cities. To save money on the internet and your cell phone plan, it’s a great idea to bundle your internet service with your cell phone provider. The best internet providers in Hawaii will have bundling options, various speeds, and multiple package options at reasonable prices.

Insurance in Hawaii

Car Insurance in Hawaii

If you’re planning your move to Hawaii from California, you need to think about the differences that will be involved in terms of the budget. This involved the cost of living in general, as well as important stuff like car insurance. Hawaii has relatively cheap car insurance policies if we compare it to other states. The average annual car insurance in Hawaii is $1079 which is 24% less than the US average.

Health Insurance in Hawaii

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you won’t have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. Healthcare is regulated by the state in the US and so the state of Hawaii proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Hawaii as your state and create an account.

Property Insurance in Hawaii

Home insurance is not mandatory in Hawaii. However, if your property is mortgaged with a lender, the lending company may contractually obligate you to purchase insurance to safeguard the amount outstanding on the loan. Being surrounded by water, Hawaii does get hurricanes and floods and all sorts of natural disasters. So, if you want to avoid paying for the damages, consider getting home insurance that will cover the damage caused by natural disasters.

Don’t Forget to Change Your Address Before Moving to Hawaii!

It’s important to change your address with all the providers listed in our complete change of address checklist to avoid delays in the reception of your benefits and in the set up of your home services. If you’re thinking about changing your address with USPS, don’t forget that mail forwarding does not actually change your address, it simply redirects mail. Mail forwarding will begin 7-10 business days after you sign up.There are two ways to change your address (set up mail forwarding) with USPS: online and in person.

Hawaii - things to know


Moving from California to Hawaii is quite an important move. Get prepared by planning how you and your belongings will get there. 

How Far Is Hawaii From California?

If you’ve finally decided to make your move from California to Hawaii, you might want to know important things like the distance, time difference and flight time to Hawaii. We have gathered everything you need to know before making your move. 

The distance from California to Hawaii is 2471 miles. If you plan on traveling to Hawaii from California by plane, it will take you 5 hours and 30 minutes. You might also want to know the time difference between both states. Not a big difference, California is 3 hours ahead of Hawaii

If you plan to ship a car from California to Hawaii, it will be ideal to hire a car shipping company. The cost to ship a car from California to Hawaii will be around $1500 depending on the company you are choosing. 

If you’re planning to travel from California to Hawaii by boat, it will require around 2000 gallons of fuel, or even more. Traveling on a boat from California to Hawaii can be the most liberating experience you can have, but can get very expensive. As a solo traveller by boat, the cost of a one-way trip to Hawaii from California is around $2000, not counting the cost of shipping the belongings you’ll bring along with you. Travelling by boat is a fun option, but a very expensive one. 

If you’re taking a flight for your move from California to Hawaii and don’t know how to transport your belongings, check out the best long-distance moving companies below.

The Best Long-Distance Moving Companies From California to Hawaii

The best long-distance moving companies to Hawaii will have good reviews, insurance, great customer service and a straightforward booking procedure. Here are the 5 best long-distance moving companies for your move from California to Hawaii.

  1. Allied Van Lines
  2. Adams Van Lines
  3. North American Van Lines
  4. Atlas Van Lines
  5. American Van Lines


While Hawaii is for many things, here is what you should prepare yourself to.

Cost of Living in Hawaii vs California

The average cost of living in Honolulu, for a couple is $4625 per month whereas the average cost in Los Angeles, California, is $4500. 



Los Angeles

Rent – House



Average cost of utilities 









Insurance  (home, car, health)



Other (transportation, material goods)



*Cost of living is not reflective of the entire states, but of their respective major cities.

(*Numbeo1, Numbeo2, Insurify, Valuepenguin, EhealthinsuranceBestplaces, Payscale, and Expatisan)

How Much Does It Cost to Move to Hawaii (From California)?

Living in Hawaii will cost you more than in California but if you have made up your mind and chose the islands, we think this is how much it costs to move to Hawaii from California. A one-way plane ticket to Hawaii from California will cost you around $200, but the total cost of shipping your things and bringing your family along with you is estimated to cost around $10.000.

How Much Is a House in Hawaii?

A house in Hawaii typically costs around $1.1M in 2021.

Source: LocationsHawaii

How Much Is Rent in Hawaii?

A 2-bedroom apartment in Hawaii typically rents for $2900 in 2021.

Source: RentCafé

What Is the Sales Tax in Hawaii?

The sales tax in Hawaii is 4% whereas in California it is 7.25%.

Sources: & CDTFA

How Much Is the Property Tax in Hawaii?

The property tax in Hawaii averages at 0.28% (lowest in the US) whereas in California it is 0.73%.                                                                             

       Sources: SmartAsset&SmartAsset

Pros and Cons of Living in Hawaii


  • Hawaii has great weather year-round. It isn’t too humid and isn’t too hot either.
  • In Hawaii there are many interesting activities and places to explore.
  • The crime rates in Hawaii are low.
  • Hawaii is a family-friendly place with good schools.


  • It rains almost 200 days a year in Hawaii.
  • Hawaii is one of the most expensive places to live in America.
  • The highways often have heavy traffic jams due to a large population living in a smaller area.
  • The waste management system is lacking in Hawaii.

Advice When Moving to Hawaii

Hawaii is a stunning place to move, but there are a few things that you need to be mindful of when moving to Hawaii. Here’s some advice before moving to Hawaii.

  • Make sure you can afford it first. You cannot deny that Hawaii is expensive, costing 50% more than the mainland just for food.
  • Come prepared if you have sinus issues or allergies. The volcanic smog can make your stay uncomfortable. Though it is occasional and only on the main island, it can cause discomfort. 
  • Don’t expect the fun places to be empty. Being one of the best vacation spots, be ready to see herds of tourists around the main recreational spots.
  • There’s no need to dress fancy.  Most people in Hawaii wear casual clothes year-round. 
  • Groceries aren’t as readily available as on the mainland. Groceries and toiletries are rapidly bought at stores as they’re aren’t many of them. 


The Best Places To Live in Hawaii

Moving to Hawaii means deciding where you want to live and considering your priorities. We’ve listed the best places to live in Hawaii: 

  1. Oahu, Maunawili: Oahu is a good living option for anyone because it offers a great suburban area with the coastal line throughout.
  2. Honolulu: Costing less than Maunawili it is like Vegas, an urban city to party and have fun with all high-end facilities.
  3. Kailua: The second-best suburb to live in with above-average schools and good restaurants and parks. Professionals love it here.
  4.  Hilo: In Hilo you’ll find residential homes and a diverse population; professionals to retirees. 
  5. Mililani: Mililani is recognized as the third-best suburb in Hawaii which is a very practical choice for families moving to Hawaii. 

Best Places To Retire in Hawaii

A lot of people choose to retire in Hawaii because of the calm lifestyle and scenic views. Here are the best places to retire in Hawaii.

  • Hilo, Big Island: A treasure to its people, it is the best option to live, costing 18% less than the average living cost in Hawaii.
  •  Kailua-Kona, Big Island: Perfect for adventurers and golf lovers, if you like to enjoy great greens, you’ll love it here.
  • Kaneohe, Oahu: Mountains, beaches, rainforests-you name it has it all. It offers fishing, boating, kayaking, surfing, and more entertaining activities.
  • Lihue, Kauai: Small town with many hiking options gives a very calm and laid-back vibe if that is what you are looking for.

Best Places to Live in Hawaii With a Family

People think that Hawaii is best only to visit with your family during holidays, but it’s actually livable year-round! 

Here are few places to consider if you are moving with a family from California to Hawaii:

  • Mililani Mauka: Undoubtedly the best place to raise a family in Hawaii, it has the best schools and neighborhoods for a family.
  • Maunawili: tt is generally a very good place to live in Hawaii but with a mix of rural settings and above-average schools.
  • Kailua: A suburban area with good schools and lots of residential areas.
  • Mililani: Known as the 3rd best Hawaiian suburb, a lot of families chose to live here. 
  • Honolulu: While Honolulu is an expensive and bustling city, it has everything you need in proximity to raise a family. 

The Weather in Hawaii

The weather in Hawaii is quite consistent with only little changes in temperature throughout the year. There are only two seasons in Hawaii, winter (from November to April) and Summer (from May to October). The average winter temperature is 78° and the average summer temperature is 85°. Rainfalls are expected from November to March.

Fun Facts About Hawaii

  1. Hawaii is the most isolated population center on Earth having its own separate time zone, the Hawaii Standard Time.
  2. Hawaii consists of 137 islands rather than being one single island, it is more like a chain of islands making it the widest state.  
  3.  It is the only state with two official languages, English and Ōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian).

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