Military car shipping: How to ship a car to and from Hawaii

Military car shipping: How to ship a car to and from Hawaii


In total, there are 11 military bases across Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island. Hawaii is one of the few states that has at least one base from each of the military. Serving military personnel can receive a PCS or OCONUS order to Hawaii at any time. It might even be at very short notice. While the idea of moving to Hawaii might seem very exciting, you’re also going to feel slightly apprehensive. You’ve got a lot of planning to do, and that includes arranging military car shipping. 

Knowing what to expect if you ever need military PCS vehicle shipping means the process will be less stressful. In this article, we will take you through the process of shipping a car to and from Hawaii when you’re in the military, offer you some advice, and give you some tips on finding the best way to do it. And if you’re wondering, “Will the military ship my car to Hawaii?”, this article will answer the question.  

Does the military pay to ship your car to Hawaii?

If you receive a PCS, certain concessions may apply. You might be entitled to claim the cost of transporting your POV (Privately Owned Vehicle), under certain circumstances. Some examples of these include when the owner of the vehicle is medically unable to drive, when there’s not enough time to drive, or when the owner has a home port change. 

There are a couple of other instances when the military might pay to ship your car:

  • A DoD civilian employee might be able to transport their vehicle at no cost in certain instances
  • When a military service member retires or is separated

Service members and DoD employees should contact their local property office when they plan to ship a POV to a new duty station. You should address any questions about POV entitlements or shipping rates to the following Service contacts:

The option of a PPM

When you receive a PCS order, you have two options for the transportation of your belongings, including your POV. You can use military-contracted carriers, or make the arrangements yourself. This means you might have to hire a truck and drive your belongings to Hawaii or the mainland. You’ll also be responsible for organizing the moving of your car. 

Many military personnel choose to opt into a PPM program (Personally Procured Move), also known as a DIY move. There are many benefits to this route:

  • You minimize the risk of loss or damage to your household goods
  • You can choose the most convenient time to move
  • Every aspect of your relocation is under your control
  • If you can produce the right paperwork and receipts, the government could reimburse the cost of your relocation

How much to ship a car to Hawaii for military personnel? 

Military car shipping companies take several factors into account when they calculate the cost of shipping your POV from the mainland to Hawaii or vice versa. These factors include:

  • The distance between the pick-up and delivery locations
  • Whether you’re shipping from a military base in a rural or metropolitan area
  • The type of POV you want to ship and the age of the vehicle
  • Whether the POV is running or not
  • Type of auto transport service, for example, open car transport or enclosed auto transport
  • The time of year
  • Whether your chosen auto transport route is a popular one

You can use our instant online quote calculator if you want to know the cost of our military car shipping service. And don’t forget to get in touch with our shipping advisors to get more information about our car shipping military discounts. You could be eligible for a discount of up to $50. 

How to ship a car to Hawaii for military personnel?

The first step is to get in touch with a military car shipping company and request a quote. If you’re happy with the price, the next step is to book your order. Once you’ve made your booking you’ve got to get your vehicle ready for shipping. 

  • Clean the inside and outside of your car
  • Photograph any damage
  • Perform some basic maintenance, for example, check the tires are correctly inflated, the fluids topped up, and the standard car battery is fully charged. For EVs, the cells or battery packs should be at a 30% state of charge
  • Secure or remove any removable parts, such as DVD player, GPS, car stereo, and car charger
  • Deactivate parking passes, alarms, and toll tags
  • Run the gas tank down to at least a quarter-full

Rules for shipping a car from Hawaii

The rules for shipping a car to Hawaii are very simple but you do need certain documentation when you collect your car from the port. Make sure you take with you the current title and registration, a notarized letter of authorization from any non-present party, and a valid ID. When the auto transport service is in the other direction you need to provide certain documentation and clearances. These include:

  • Valid license and current registration
  • Proof of ownership, title, or bill of sale
  • If you’ve leased your vehicle, you need to produce authorization from the lien holder
  • Information relating to the person who is responsible for picking up the vehicle
  • Bill of lading
  • Certificate of safety inspection

You’re generally responsible for driving your car to the port in Hawaii. However, if this isn’t possible, you can appoint a representative to act on your behalf. They have to be over 18 years of age and in possession of a power of attorney that confirms the car can be shipped. 

When your car arrives on the mainland, it’s your responsibility to get it from the port to your new location. You can pick it up yourself or let an auto transport provider collect it for you and deliver it to your new base or home. 

Before they can release the vehicle into your care at the port on the mainland, you must provide certain documentation. This includes:

  • A copy of the title document and current registration
  • A copy of the letter from the lien holder, if the vehicle is leased
  • If the vehicle is owned jointly, both owners have to be present, or the absent owner has to provide a notarized consent
  • Valid photo ID and proof of ownership

Registering your vehicle (POV) in Hawaii

When you ship your POV to Hawaii, you must register it with the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicles Registration within the first 30 days of arrival. Vehicle registration approval depends on it passing a Hawaii State Safety Inspection. You can have this inspection done at selected auto-garages on the islands. 

Tips for choosing the best military car shipping company to and from Hawaii

There are so many options when it comes to choosing a military car shipping company that it can get confusing. Start your search by asking for recommendations. Good places to look are military forums or military Facebook groups. There might also be someone on base who has experience of using military car shipping. Visit the top auto transport review sites and read some customer feedback. With a handful of recommendations, you can narrow down your choices to 2 or 3.

A crucial element when choosing the best military car shipping company is experience. Shipping vehicles to and from a military base is a little bit different than to and from a civilian home. Different rules and regulations apply so you need a company to have experience shipping cars to and from such secure locations as military bases and duty stations.  

Useful resources about PCSing to Hawaii

If you want to know more about our military car shipping service to and from Hawaii please get in touch, You can speak with our shipping advisors by calling (864) 546-5038 or by Live Chat. 

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