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The U.S. state of Hawaii, consisting of several islands in the Pacific Ocean, is sometimes abbreviated as HI or Haw. These abbreviations can be useful for things like postal addresses and airport codes.

In this short article, we’ll look at the different abbreviations for Hawaii and when you might use them.

The 2-Letter Postal Abbreviation for Hawaii


The two-letter postal abbreviation used for the state of Hawaii is “HI”. This abbreviation is used by the United States Postal Service (USPS) to represent Hawaii in mailing addresses, ZIP codes, and other codes.

For example, Honolulu’s ZIP code is written as “96813-HI” with the “HI” indicating it is in Hawaii.

The USPS abbreviates state names to help quickly identify locations and speed up mail sorting and delivery. According to USPS Publication 28 – Postal Addressing Standards, all state and territory names must be written in capital letters with periods. So “HI” meets that standard format.

Most major shipping carriers like FedEx, UPS, and DHL also use the standard “HI” abbreviation for Hawaii. So residents and businesses in the state commonly see packages addressed with HI after the city and ZIP code.

Other entities like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Election Commission (FEC), Department of Defense (DoD), and Hawaii state agencies utilize the “HI” abbreviation in identification codes, forms, and databases as well.

For example, active duty military members from Hawaii have HI listed as their state code in personnel records.

So whether it’s the USPS delivering letters or Amazon shipping orders, “HI” is universally used and recognized as the way to indicate the state of Hawaii in addresses across government, business, and personal communication.

Seeing HI in Addresses and Codes

Because it meets the USPS’s two-letter abbreviation standard, Hawaii’s “HI” can be found in mailing and shipping addresses, ZIP codes, phone numbers, license plates, tax documentation, voter registration, vehicle registration forms, and many other identification codes and databases.

For example, a typical mailing address in Hawaii would look like:

John Doe

123 Beach Rd Apt 456

Honolulu, HI 96813

The “HI” is always positioned after the city and before the ZIP code. This clearly identifies the address is located in Hawaii for quick mail sorting.

HI may also be used in phone numbers to indicate a Hawaii area code, such as (808) HI-1234. Though the “HI” is not technically required, some businesses and individuals format numbers this way.

On tax forms, election paperwork, car registration, and other government documents, there is usually a two-letter state abbreviation field. Residents and entities in Hawaii would enter “HI” there.

So whether it’s mail, packages, bureaucratic paperwork, or simple communications, seeing “HI” is a clear signal indicating the great state of Hawaii.

Haw as an Informal Abbreviation

Hawaii is sometimes informally referred to as “Haw” for short. This one-syllable nickname is often used in casual contexts or conversations to quickly reference the state.

Some examples of using “Haw” as shorthand for Hawaii include:

  • Referring to someone being from there: “She’s a Haw girl.”
  • Talking about visiting on vacation: “We’re headed to Haw next month.”
  • Mentioning local food or culture: “We’re having a traditional Haw luau.”

Using “Haw” this way likely started as a spoken short form that got carried over into written communication for convenience. Hawaii’s full name takes a bit more effort to say and spell out, so “Haw” saves some syllables. This kind of abbreviation via truncation is common in informal English.

While seen as more casual, referring to Hawaii this way is rarely viewed negatively. The term conveys a sense of familiarity rather than disrespect. Many lifelong Hawaii residents will use “Haw” themselves in everyday discussions about their state.

That said, for formal writing it’s advisable to stick to the complete spelling. Using the informal “Haw” as an abbreviation comes across the same way contractions like “can’t” would. Fine conversationally, but too casual for official contexts.

Other Hawaii Abbreviations

Airport Codes

Hawaii has several airports with their own unique airport codes used to designate them in flight schedules, on luggage tags, and for ticketing purposes. The major airport codes for Hawaii airports include:

  • HNL – Honolulu International Airport on O’ahu
  • OGG – Kahului Airport on Maui
  • KOA – Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport on Hawaii Island
  • LIH – Līhuʻe Airport on Kauai
  • MKK – Molokaʻi Airport on Molokaʻi
  • LNY – Lanai Airport on Lānaʻi

These codes help travelers identify which Hawaiian island they will be flying into or out of. For example, a flight itinerary from Los Angeles to Maui would indicate the destination airport code is OGG for Kahului Airport.

State Codes

In mailing addresses and other governmental administrative purposes, Hawaii uses the two-letter state abbreviation HI. This follows the U.S. Postal Service standards for state abbreviations.

Some other examples of Hawaii state code uses include:

  • Vehicle license plates in Hawaii use the prefix HI
  • The Hawaii state sales tax form is designated as HI SUT
  • IRS tax forms will indicate HI to specify Hawaiian state taxes
  • US government statistics and surveys use HI to represent aggregate data for the state of Hawaii


In summary, the main abbreviations used for the state of Hawaii are HI and Haw. HI is used formally in things like addresses and codes, while Haw is more informal. Other abbreviations like HNL and HI may show up for airports and state codes specifically related to Hawaii.

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