Service Dog Laws Hawaii – Easy Guide & FAQ (2022)

Hawaii Service Dog Laws

Service Dog Laws Hawaii – Simple Summary for Humans

Autism Service Dog Laws Hawaii State
Autism Service Dog @service.doodle.piperOpens in a new tab.

Welcome to our new service dog laws Hawaii guide. This article has everything to do with Service Dog Laws Hawaii, including:

  • The ADAOpens in a new tab., or Americans with Disabilities Act, laws, which cover public access rights
  • The FHA,Opens in a new tab. or Fair Housing Act, laws which cover anything to do with housing situations
  • The ACAA,Opens in a new tab. or Air Carrier Access Act, which covers service animals while flying.

In addition, we will go through any Hawaii-specific State laws regarding the use of these special animals. The ADA is a U.S. federal service dog law regarding public access rights. 

However, individual states may have their own set of service dog laws. The people who use service dogs have the right to utilize whichever of these laws offer them the benefits they need.

Read more: Federal ADA Service Dog Laws Easy Guide & FAQ

Service Dog Laws Hawaii Border Collie
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Jump to a section:

  1. What is a Service Dog in Hawaii?
  2. Hawaii Fake Service Animal Laws
  3. Public Accommodations
  4. Registration & Certification
  5. Therapy Dogs
  6. Service Dog Requirements
  7. Can I take my Emotional Support Dog to Hawaii?
  8. Can I take my Service Animal to Hawaii?
  9. Service Dogs in Training
Service dog laws Hawaii


1. What is a Service Dog in Hawaii?

There are multiple definitions for service dogs, which can make things confusing. The ADA has a definition for public access rights. The FHA has another definition for housing. And the ACAA has yet another definition for air travel with service dogs.

Of course, Hawaii has another definition for service dogs, but it’s practically identical to the definition by the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act for public access rights. Let’s take a closer look.

“Service dog” means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.

State of HawaiiOpens in a new tab., Hawaii LawOpens in a new tab.
  • The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the individual’s disability
ADA Service Dog Laws Hawaii
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The service dog work or tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Helping people who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other related tasks
  • Alerting people who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds
  • Pulling a wheelchair
  • Helping someone during a seizure
  • Providing physical support and help with balance and stability to people with mobility disabilities
  • Helping people with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behavior 

Read more: The Giant List of Service Dog Tasks Opens in a new tab.

What doesn’t count as a service dog:

  • The crime deterrent effects of a dog or animal’s presence, such as dogs with “protection training”
  • Emotional support animals, animals for well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition
Service Dog Laws Hawaii Definition of Service Animal
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2. Hawaii Fake Service Animal Laws

Unfortunately, fake service animals are a real problem. This is when someone puts a vest on their pet and tries to pass off the pet as a service animal so that they can take their pet anywhere they want.

This makes life harder for people with real service dogs who are merely trying to go about their lives.

In Hawaii, misrepresentation of a service animal now carries a civil penalty.

It shall be unlawful for a person to knowingly misrepresent as a service animal any animal that does not meet the requirements of a service animal as defined in section.

Hawaii LawOpens in a new tab.
  • First violations will cost $100 – $250
  • Subsequent violations will cost $500 each
Hawaii Service Dog Laws German Shepherd
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3. Service Animals in Public Accommodations

According to Service Dog Laws Hawaii (Hawaii State law),

Unfair discriminatory practices that deny, or attempt to deny, a person the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation on the basis of race; sex, including gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; color; religion; ancestry; or disability, including the use of a service animal, are prohibited.

Hawaii State LawOpens in a new tab.
Service Dog Laws Hawaii Housing
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  • Under the ADA laws, service dogs are allowed to accompany their handlers anywhere that an individual with disability is allowed to enter
  • In other words, nearly anywhere that the general public is allowed or invited to go (there are a few exceptions)
  • This includes grocery stores, malls, movie theatres, restaurants, buses, taxis, community centres, government buildings, etc.

In other words, businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service dogs into all areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go.

This federal law applies to all businesses open to the public, including:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Taxis
  • Buses
  • Shuttles
  • Grocery stores
  • Malls
  • Department stores
  • Hospitals
  • Medical offices
  • Theaters
  • Health clubs
  • Parks
  • Zoos
  • + more

Read more: Can Service Dogs Go Anywhere? 


Hawaii Service Animal Laws
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4. Register & Certify Your Service Dog in Hawaii

The truth is that you are not legally required to register or certify a service dog in Hawaii or any other state in the US. Service dogs are protected under the ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act.

Registration and certification done online from some website does not convey any legal rights under the ADA or the Department of Justice. 

Service Animal Registration Not Necessary

5. Therapy Dogs

Therapy dogs are not considered service animals under any definition I have found anywhere. Therapy dogs are usually a pet that enjoys visiting a large number of different people.

Therapy dogs often accompany their owner to various places, such as nursing homes, hospitals, schools and universities, and other settings.

The people these dogs visit seem to benefit from the stress reducing effects that the visits bring.

What is a Therapy Dog?

6. What are the Requirements for a Service Dog in Hawaii?

In order to be eligible for a service dog in Hawaii, a person must have a disability. Their service dog must be individually trained to do work or tasks for that specific person. Additionally, the work or tasks must be directly related to the disability, and help to mitigate their effects.

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7. Can I Take My Emotional Support Dog to Hawaii?

You can certainly take your emotional support dog to Hawaii, but it will likely need to travel as a pet if you’re travelling there by air. The ACAA definition of service animals do not include emotional support animals.

Emotional support animals do not have the same public access rights as service animals. So while outdoor environments probably won’t be a problem, the same can not necessarily be said for public places, although some are welcoming to animals and pets.

Under the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) a service animal means a dog, regardless of breed or type, that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a qualified individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Animal species other than dogs, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not service animals.

U.S. Department of TransportationOpens in a new tab.
service animals flying to Hawaii
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8. Can I Take My Service Animal to Hawaii?

Yes, you can take your service dog to Hawaii. To enter Hawaii without having to quarantine, certain conditions and requirements must be met. The Daniel K. Inouye International AirportOpens in a new tab. on OahuOpens in a new tab. is the only port of entry for all dogs and cats entering Hawaii, unless a valid Neighbor Island Inspection Permit has been issued by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. Opens in a new tab.

Service Dog Requirements for Entering Hawaii

  • The service dog or guide dog must have a current rabies vaccination. You need documentation of the vaccination, and it must include the product name, the lot or serial number, and the expiration date
  • The dog must have an electronic microchip implanted for identification
  • Before your arrival, every service dog and guide dog must have passed the OIE-FAVNOpens in a new tab. test with a level of 0.5 I.U. rabies antibody or greater.  Your passing test result will be valid for 3 years and must be repeated every 3 years if you continue to travel to Hawaii. The test should be conducted after 12 months of age
  • Animals in training do not qualify as service animals because under the ADA, the dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places
  • The service dog or guide dog must have a standard health certificate issued not more than 30 days prior to your arrival in Hawaii. This needs to attest that the dog was treated within 14 days of arrival with a product containing FipronilOpens in a new tab. or an equivalent long-acting product labeled to kill ticks. A valid health certificate is required for every entry into Hawaii
  • The work or specific task(s) the animal has been trained to perform need to be disclosed
  • The service dog or guide dog must be traveling with the disabled person when arriving in Hawaii
  • In order to prevent delays on your arrival, it is strongly recommended that all required documents be sent to the Rabies Quarantine Branch well ahead of time.  Information can be mailed to the Animal Quarantine Station, 99-951 Halawa Valley Street, Aiea, HI  96701 or faxed to (808) 483-7161.  Staff may be contacted by telephone (808) 483-7151 or (808) 837-8092 or e-mail: to help you with preparing
  • The Rabies Quarantine Branch must receive notification at least 24 hours in advance of arrival information and location where the dog will be staying. Information can be faxed to 808-483-7161
  • When you arrive in Hawaii, your dog must be brought by the airline to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility for verification of compliance with the above requirements and examination of the dog for external parasites.  If everything is good, the dog will be released at that point
service dogs entering Hawaii
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9. Service Dogs in Training

Under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) service dogs in training do not have the same rights as fully trained service animals. Service animals must be finished training before public access is permitted. Most states have some kind of their own service animal laws that in some way or another include service animals in training. However, Hawaii does not. Therefore, the ADA laws apply.

Under the ADA, the dog must already be trained before it can be taken into public places. However, some State or local laws cover animals that are still in training.

ADA FAQOpens in a new tab.


Sam Nelson

Sam Nelson is an experienced writer, advocate for people with disabilities and mental health, dog lover, artist, philosopher, and generally complicated human being.

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