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Getting a passport is essential for those looking to travel outside the United States. If you’re a Hawaii resident needing to get a new passport or renew your existing one, this guide will walk you through everything you need to know.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: As a Hawaii resident, you can apply for a new passport or renew an existing one online, by mail, or in person at an acceptance facility. You’ll need to complete an application, submit proof of citizenship and ID, provide a passport photo, and pay applicable fees.

Checking if You Need a Passport

Validating Your Current Passport

If you already have a valid U.S. passport, verify that it has not expired and that you have blank visa pages available for new stamps. According to the U.S. Department of State, your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the dates of your planned trip abroad.

An expired or near-expired passport needs to be renewed before traveling internationally from Hawaii.

You can renew your passport by mail or in person at a passport application acceptance facility in Hawaii. Renewal by mail costs $130 plus a $35 processing fee, while renewing in person costs $170. Allow 5-7 weeks by mail or 4-6 weeks in person before receiving your renewed passport.

First-Time Applicants

If you do not currently have a valid U.S. passport, you will need to apply for a new passport before traveling abroad from Hawaii. According to the Bureau of Consular Affairs, the average passport processing time is 8-11 weeks from mailing in or dropping off your application.

Expedited service cuts that down to 5-7 weeks for an additional $60 fee.

To apply for your first adult U.S. passport, gather the following documents:

  • Proof of U.S. citizenship like an original birth certificate or naturalization certificate
  • Primary identification like a valid driver’s license
  • A passport photo taken in the last 6 months
  • The applicable fees – $130 passport fee plus a $35 processing charge

Schedule an appointment at your nearest passport agency in Hawaii to apply in person and ask any questions you may have. First-time passport approval happens much quicker in person than through the mail.

Gathering Required Documents

Proof of U.S. Citizenship

To apply for a U.S. passport, you must provide documentation proving your U.S. citizenship or nationality. The most common forms of proof include a certified U.S. birth certificate or a previous U.S. passport.

For Hawaii residents born in the state, you can request an official birth certificate from the Hawaii Department of Health Vital Records office. This will have the raised seal required for passport applications.

If you were born outside Hawaii or don’t have your birth certificate, other options include a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Naturalization, or Certificate of Citizenship. Your proof of citizenship must be an original or certified document, as photocopies are not accepted.

It also needs to show your full name, date and place of birth, parents’ full names, and contain signatures or seals.


Along with proof of citizenship, you also have to verify your identity. A previous U.S. passport or passport card that is undamaged and was issued in the past 15 years serves as both citizenship and ID documentation.

If you don’t have this, you need to provide a Hawaii driver’s license or state ID card. It must be current or expired less than 5 years ago and show your signature and photograph.

If you don’t drive, other valid options are a U.S. military ID, government employee ID, current school ID, or two documents like a debit/credit card, car registration, library card, insurance policy etc. Make sure your ID is not damaged and clearly identifies you.

Passport Photo

The last key required document is an official passport photo taken in the past six months. This 2×2 inch headshot can be taken at CVS, Walgreens, the post office, or another establishment that does passport photos.

There are also apps like PassportCamera that utilize a smartphone’s camera and tools to properly crop and size your image.

Your photo must be in color, display a full front view of your face, and have a plain white or off-white background. Prescription glasses can be worn as long as there is no glare obscuring your eyes. Be sure to use a neutral facial expression or natural smile.

Passport photos generally cost $5 to $15 depending on where you have them taken.

Completing Your Passport Application

Application Form Options

When applying for a passport in Hawaii, you have a few options for completing the application form. The easiest is to fill out the form online at and print it out to bring to your appointment. This ensures everything is typed clearly and accurately.

You can also download a paper form and fill it out by hand, but be sure to write neatly. Finally, you can fill out the application form in person at an acceptance facility, but this takes more time.

Filling Out the Application

Regardless of which application option you choose, be prepared to provide details like your full legal name, date and place of birth, Social Security number, home address, and parent’s information if you’re under 16. You’ll also need to upload or bring a recent 2×2 inch color photo.

Carefully review the application checklist on the U.S. Department of State website to ensure you don’t miss anything important.

Pro tip: Double check that all names, dates, and numbers match exactly what is printed on your evidence documents like your driver’s license and birth certificate. Mismatched details could delay processing.

Paying Fees

As of 2023, a passport book costs $145 for applicants age 16 and over and $115 for younger applicants. You must pay this fee as well as a $35 processing charge when applying. Options for payment include:

  • Money order or personal check
  • Major credit card (if applying at an acceptance facility)
  • Debit card with the Visa or Mastercard logo (if applying at an acceptance facility)

You can save money if you qualify for a passport fee waiver. This is offered in special circumstances like emergency travel or extreme financial hardship.

Stay organized with payment by bringing exact change or a pre-filled check. Fees are non-refundable so confirm details before submitting.

Submitting Your Application

In-Person at an Acceptance Facility

Applying for a passport in person at one of Hawaii’s passport acceptance facilities can provide the quickest overall turnaround time. Many post offices, libraries, and clerks of court serve as acceptance facilities and are authorized to review your application, verify your identification, and accept your documents before they are shipped to the regional passport agency for processing.

You can search for the closest acceptance facility online. Make sure to confirm the location’s business hours and application requirements ahead of your visit. Some tips for applying for a passport in person include:

  • Come prepared with all necessary documents, photos, and payment
  • Double check the facility’s application, photo, and fees requirements
  • Allow extra time – wait times may vary depending on customer volume

By Mail

You also have the option to mail your passport application directly to a passport agency or center. This involves printing out application forms, attaching your documents, including your photos and identification, and mailing them together with your payment and fees to the address specified.

To mail your passport application to Hawaii’s passport agency, you would address it to the Honolulu Passport Agency at:

Honolulu Passport Agency

300 Ala Moana Blvd, Room 2300

Honolulu, HI 96850-4977

Some tips for mailing passport applications include:

  • Use a trackable mailing service like USPS Certified Mail
  • Make copies of all documents before sending
  • Include proper postage – check rates for size and weight of envelope

Processing times for mailing applications varies but usually takes around 6-8 weeks.


Applying online through the government’s passport application website can be convenient, saving a visit to a facility, post office, or avoiding paying for shipping. Renewals can usually be processed online but first-time passport applicants may need an in-person visit.

To apply for your first Hawaii passport online, you would:

  1. Visit the State Department’s online application page
  2. Create an account and complete the application questions
  3. Upload your ID photo
  4. Pay fees using a debit or credit card
  5. Print your application and make an appointment at a facility
  6. Visit the facility to finalize verification procedures

Some benefits of applying online include:

  • Quick pre-screening of your application
  • Ability to upload necessary documents
  • Secure payment platform & tracking system

Make sure to check the website for the latest requirements before starting your online application.

Receiving Your New Passport

Processing Times

According to the U.S. Department of State, routine passport processing takes 6-8 weeks. You can pay an extra $60 for expedited service to reduce wait times to 2-3 weeks. The processing time starts when the Department of State receives your complete application from the Acceptance Facility.

Tracking your application status online provides updates on where your passport is in the process.

Expediting Your Application

To receive your new passport more quickly, you can pay an additional $60 expedite fee when applying. This reduces standard processing times from 6-8 weeks down to 2-3 weeks. You must have a departure date within 14 days to qualify for expedited service. Reasons for expedited service include:

  • International travel within 2 weeks for business, family emergency, or other reasons
  • Needed to obtain a foreign visa within 4 weeks

When the Department of State receives your expedited application, they will accelerate the processing. You can still track your application status online to follow the progress.

Tracking Your Application Status

You can check the status of your passport application through the U.S. Department of State’s Passport Status Check online tracking system. It will show updates on the processing location and estimated completion timeframe. This allows you to see when your application enters each step like:

  • Received and pending processing
  • Under review
  • Approved and sent for printing
  • Completed and mailed out

The tool also works for tracking expedited applications. Checking online saves you time instead of calling the National Passport Information Center. After creating an account, you can view details on all your pending and recently issued passports there.


Getting your first passport or renewing your current one in Hawaii involves gathering documents, completing applications, submitting your paperwork either online, by mail or in person, and waiting for processing.

By following the steps outlined above and allotting enough time before your trip, Hawaii residents can obtain passports to travel abroad smoothly.

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