West Hawaii Moving Guide (Updated 2024)


Resource Guide to Make Moving Easier and Getting Set Up in West Hawaii

This resource guide is your Golden Ticket to getting the connections, resources and info you will need to make your dream of moving to West Hawaii easier!

As you consider a move, these are valuable links and info to save you time, money, and energy.

Real Estate:

Since we wrote this guide, I would ask that you please contact US, Julie and Eric Ziemelis-REALTORS with the 365Hawaii Group/Real Broker and founders of the 365 Kona Newbies Group. We are neighborhood experts in West Hawaii AND have a team of partners around Hawaii Island to help you purchase a home successfully. We also can help you connect with our private Facebook groups and free resources and connection to community! [email protected]

Rental Housing

Rentals are notoriously tight in Kona. Here are a few places to look:

CraigsList  – I put in the search around Kona parameters for you!


Furnished Finder



Zillow Rentals: http://bit.ly/ZillowKona

Make sure you know your rental rights before signing a lease agreement. You are moving to a new state. Each state has different rules and regulations for landlord/tenants rights. It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the information before signing an agreement.



Moving Your Belongings

Most residents who move to the Big Island wish they had not brought so much stuff. However, if you plan on bringing everything with you, here are some moving service companies that can help:

Kona Trans

(808) 329-4111


Honolulu Freight Services  (we recently saved thousands on shipping using this company!) 


Royal Hawaiian Movers



Moving Your Car

Here are a few local resources to consider for shipping your car to Hawaii. Remember, you have to ship your car with nothing in it. Depending upon where you are shipping from will be how much you pay, but on average it costs about $2000 to ship your car from the Port of Oakland to Hilo using Matson as a cost estimate. (As of 2024, shipping rates are rising, so contact Matson directly)




Hawaii Car Transport

(808) 445-6695


Moving Your Pets

Moving your pets over to Hawaii can be quite a process due to the fact that the entire Hawaiian Island chain has been able to stop rabies from occurring here, so they have a strict vaccination and quarantine regimen that needs to be followed. MAKE SURE YOU ALLOW AT LEAST A FEW MONTHS TO PREPARE.  Here are the Hawaii State requirements:



Getting Your Electricity Turned On

HELCO (Hawaiian Electric Light Company) is the main electric company.

Contact: (808) 548-7311

They suggest giving them at least a two-day heads up to get your power turned on. A service establishment charge of $20 is required to start or reconnect electric service to any customer. There is an additional charge of $25 for same-day service requests.



Getting Your Water Turned On

Department of Water Supply, County of Hawaii

Contact: (808) 322-0600


To get your water service turned on or prevent it from being turned off, you will need to give them a $100 security deposit.


Getting Your Cable/DSL

Spectrum is the main service provider for TV, Internet, and home phone.



Supplementary Spectrum page: This additional resource allows residents to compare and contrast services with other providers in the area.

Remember to allow at least a week, sometimes two, for the “cable guys” to show up and connect you.


Getting Your Telephone Land Line

Hawaiian Telecom

Offers bundles for phone and TV

Toll Free (877) 482-2211



You may think your cell phone is enough. There have been enough cell phone tower and cable issues with weather and accidents that you need to consider having a land line in your home for emergencies. 


Mobile Phone Providers 

Both your Verizon and ATT services should work fine here in Kona. Sprint customers say they get frequent dropped calls.


Kona Commons Shopping Center

74-5457 Makala Boulevard

Suite 100

Kailua Kona




Kona Commons Shopping Center

74-5444 Makala Blvd





75-5595 Palani Rd, Ste B-8


(808) 326-9540


Getting Your Driver’s License

Department of Motor Vehicles

West Hawai`i Civic Center, 75-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, near the harbor


Contact (808) 323-4800

Stop by Long’s Drugstore and pick up the Driver’s License Manual to take the test (Not everyone has to take the test, read requirements).  You can also go to the DMV site to take practice tests online.http://hidot.hawaii.gov/highways/library/motor-vehicle-safety-office/

You will need some form of proof of license eligibility from the last state in which you held a license.

Review this list to prove you live in Hawaii BEFORE you go: http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/finance-dl-hi-legal-presence#HPPR

Get an appointment. You may wish to even consider a nice drive up to Waimea to save some time, as well.


Registering your vehicle

Motor Vehicle Registration

Contact (808) 323-4818

While you are at the DMV, register your vehicle too. You can download the forms you will need from here:http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/Weblink8/Browse.aspx?dbid=1&startid=63777

There is a new vehicle registration inside the Safeway in Kona that you can use to save time, too.

You will also need to have a vehicle safety inspection before they will finalize the registration of your vehicle. Get this done as soon as you get your vehicle on the island. Cost is about $20.

Lex Brodies

75-5570 Kuakini Hwy, Kailua Kona


Dixson 76

75-5756 Hualalai Rd

Kailua Kona, HI 96740

(808) 329-9395

Kona Kwik Lube 

74-5590 Alapa St # E

(808) 329-2110


Setting Up Your Bank Account:

There are no mainland “mega” banks here in Hawaii. Here’s a list of some of the more popular financial institutions:

Bank of Hawaii


(808) 326-3900

First Hawaiian Bank



Central Pacific Bank


(808) 935-5251

American Savings Bank


(808) 329-5281

Hawaii Community Federal Credit Union


(808) 930-7700

HFS Federal Credit Union


(808) 322-2121

Getting Your Child A TB Test

Before you can enroll your children in school, you will need to get them a TB test. You can do this at the County Health Services or through your child’s own doctor. Here are the locations, times, and phone numbers of the County Health Clinics


School Enrollment 

If you are considering a move to the island and have school age children, you should know that many charter schools on the island require you to apply for their school admission by February before the Fall semester for their lottery requirements. Check each school’s website for the guidelines. Local charter schools include Kona Pacific Public Charter School, Innovations Public Charter School and West Hawaii Explorations Academy and Hawaii Technology Academy.


Health Care Centers

Major West Hawaii hospitals are located in Kealakekua and Waimea. There is an Urgent Care in Keauhou Shopping Center, which is highly recommended for emergencies. They are open 9am-9pm, 7 days a week, and can be a good alternative to the hospital emergency room.

  • Kona Community Hospital (808) 322-9311
  • North Hawai’i Community Hospital (808) 885-4444
  • Kaiser Permanente Medical Center outpatient clinic (808) 432-3400
  • Keauhou Urgent Care Center (808) 322-2544
  • Kona Urgent Care Center (Sunset Dr. in downtown) (808) 327-4357
  • American Cancer Society, West Hawai’i Unit (808) 334-0442
  • Veterans Services (808) 969-3833

Registering to VOTE and how to contact your elected representatives:

A state-by-state guide provides a unique clickable state map with information about voter registration, ways to change a voter registration address, details on how to vote by mail, and absentee ballot deadlines.


Freebie: The Kona Buy/Sell/Trade Group FB page!



I sincerely hope that this resource list makes your move here easier and less daunting! Join us at the Kona Newbies group on Facebook or the Hilo Newbies Group or the Kohala Newbies Group and ask recent residents questions and share your experience, too!

Don’t forget: If you are considering purchasing a home on Hawaii Island, contact me directly at [email protected] and I will provide you a complimentary copy of  my  “Insider’s Guide to Buying A Home on the Big Island” .  Moving anywhere on the island, I can connect you to a trusted Realtor in our 365Hawaii team!

Julie Ziemelis, REALTOR – Real Broker  RS-85062


Spread the word if you love what you heard! #365kona so we can say Thanks!

Meet the Author

Julie Ziemelis

Julie Ziemelis is an entrepreneur, business owner, author, blogger and vlogger in Kailua Kona. She created and moderates the “365 Things to Do in Kona” page and the Kona Newbies group on Facebook. She blogs at 365Kona.com and MoveToHawaii365.com and vlogs with her husband, Eric, at “365Hawaii” on YouTube. Julie also authored the books, “How to Move to Kona” and the “Insiders Guide to Buying Real Estate on the Big Island of Hawaii”. You will most likely find Julie in Kona hiking, running, biking, taking photos and sharing Aloha.

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