Military Car Shipping Services in Hawaii

by Staff

Hawaii is not only an island of beauty but of strength as well.  Even though she is not part of the US Mainland, Hawaii is one of the most important states in terms of military strategy.  It gave the United States a strategic advantage during World War II and in sea travel.

This holds true even today as Hawaii houses 11 military bases on its shores.  Each branch of the military is there and there are about 42,000 active military personnel living there.

As with all its bases, military personnel from US Mainland are assigned to Hawaii regularly. If you have been assigned there, you have the privilege of having your privately owned vehicle (POV) shipped to Hawaii. If you also bought a car in Hawaii and want to bring it to the US, there are also options to shipping car from Hawaii to mainland military.

Who is Eligible?

These are the eligible persons that can have their POV shipped from Hawaii to US Mainland and vice-versa.

  • Members of the U.S. armed forces with PCS (Permanent Change of Station) overseas. This covers the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard.
  • Department of Defense civilian who has orders that authorize the shipment of  POV
  • A retiree with authorization have a POV shipped out in Hawaii

What Are The Limitations?

Even though having the government pay for shipping your POV sounds great, there are some limitations to it. Here are some of the guidelines when choosing to send POV.

  • Military service members who want to ship POVs have to book through the military. Only civil-military employees can choose their commercial shipping for reimbursement. Army and Air Force personnel shipments are accepted when it is delivered to Hawaii within 3 months service personnel has departed to a new location. Navy and Marine Corps POV shipments on the other hand will be accepted if there are at least 12 months left on their assignment term.
  • Only 1 POV owned or leased by you is allowed. You can still ship another POV commercially but you have to pay the recurring import duties. Don’t forget to talk to your sponsor and local transportation branch for additional guidelines.

Auto transport companies offer military discounts for overseas and domestic car shipping. These discounts apply to active and retired military personnel.

  • Shipment is limited to self-propelled and wheeled POVs such as automobiles, cars, vans, pickups, station wagons, jeeps, and motor scooters.
  • Limited to only 20 measurement tons. To give an idea, a compact car is about 9 measurement tons while a regular car is about 15 measurement tons. You will be paying for the extra transportation costs for anything exceeding that.

What are the Requirements?

You will need to present documents to process the shipment to Hawaii. Here are the necessary documents needed when you hire military car shipping services for military car shipping Hawaii.

  • Proof of Identification

You will need to present valid government or stated issued IDs.  This is part of the documentation needed at US Mainland and Hawaii ports.

  • Proof of Entitlement 

Provide a copy of your orders and amendments.

  • Proof of Ownership

You will need to present a copy of the vehicle’s registration or lien authorization letter. Both should be under the name of the service member.

  • Filled IAL Form

Complete the International Auto Logistics (IAL) to expedite the turn-in of your POV.

  • Additional Documents

If the vehicle is leased, you will need to provide an authorization letter to export the vehicle. Also, if another person will ship the car for the service member, a signed and certified power of attorney is required

How Long Does Shipment Take?

Factor in lead time for shipment so you know when to expect POV at the port. Here is an estimated table of how long shipping car from Hawaii to mainland military will take.

Sailing Days 5-7 days
Port Loading/Unloading 2-4 days

Remember that transit times are based on the vessel and connecting barge schedules, so it can vary. You can choose to have it delivered to an exact address or pick it up from the port.  Keep in mind that extra days will be added if you chose to have your car shipped port to door.

How Much Does It Cost to Ship a Car?

Basically, the cost of shipping a military car to Hawaii can vary. The range is between $280 and $2,060 depending on what port from Hawaii it will come from and where in the US it will be delivered.

What Do You Need to Do Before Shipment?

You need to prepare your vehicle when it will be shipped from Hawaii to Mainland

  • Thoroughly clean your car.
  • Remove personal items since any damage or loss is not covered by the transport company.
  • Leave just a quarter full of gas.
  • Provide the auto transporter with an extra set of keys in case your car needs to be moved during loading or inspection.
  • Document car exterior and interior before shipping. This is to check for any damage when you pick up or receive it in US Mainland.
  • Disable car alarm to prevent it from going off during transport and inspection.


Whether you are returning your POV from Hawaii to the US or bought one from Hawaii, shipping a vehicle is fairly easy. If you will opt to ship commercially, auto transport companies give out big discounts to military personnel like you. This is one way to make sure you are comfortable as you travel and serve the country.

Main Photo by Jay Hawk

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The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

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