Getting settled in a new home can take time, but with information on

    your side, it doesn’t have to be painful. Our guide will help you master

    everything from hooking up the electricity to finding the best place to

    play golf.

    So, you’re migrating to beautiful and bustling Honolulu, Hawaii.

    Thousands before you have been drawn here by the region’s climate,

    economy and attractions. Before you can establish roots in your new

    home, though, you’ll need to take care of the basics, such as hooking up

    utilities, getting your car registered, and finding a doctor.


    Honolulu residents have some choices to make when it comes to the

    basic utilities they use in their homes. The city government oversees the

    water supply, wastewater, and solid waste and recycling. There are

    mandatory recycling laws in place in Honolulu, so you’ll want to check

    those out at The Board of Water Supply oversees all

    water use and billing, while consumers have more options when it comes

    to things like cable and Internet. You can set up all your utilities on your

    own, or employ a company like Connect Utilities

    ( to

    help you connect everything at once.



    Unless you are renting a home where utilities are included, your first

    step will likely be to hook up the juice, so to speak. Almost all of the

    electricity in Honolulu is provided by Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.,

    which owns Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaiian Electric Light

    Company and Maui Electric Company.

    The largest provider of electricity in Honolulu is Hawaiian Electric

    Company, 808-548-7311, The rates vary based on

    which subsidiary provides your electricity and where exactly you live;

    however, the average residential rate is about 28 cents per kilowatt hour.

    The company does provide energy efficiency rebates and tax credits for

    employing solar energy.

    Natural Gas

    If your home uses natural gas for heating, cooling or to operate a gas

    range or other appliances, you will need to contact The Gas Company,

    808-535-5933,, the only gas company in the area, to

    set up service. The company charges based on a metered rate, and may

    sometimes charge based on an estimated usage rate, which is based on the

    average of the previous six months’ charges.


    Hawaiian Telcom provides local telephone service to most Honolulu

    homes, and also offers both long distance and wireless plans. Other long

    distance options are available through companies such as AT&T. Prices

    generally start at about $40 a month for local landline service. Plans with

    unlimited long distance are becoming more common, and usualiy depend

    on your monthly usage.

    . AT&T, 888-757-6500,

    . Hawaiian Telcom, 808-643-0813,



    As broadband Internet access has become more common, a number

    of companies have started offering low-cost telephone service using a

    broadband Internet connection. Some of the most established Internet

    phone services are Vonage, 800-519-4007,, and

    Net2phone, 973-438-3111, These plans can cost as

    little as $25 a month, but keep in mind that if you choose one of these

    companies for phone service, your phone won’t work when your Internet

    is down.

    Area Code

    The area code for Honolulu is 808. That includes all islands out to

    the Midway Islands.

    Cell Phones

    Both AT&T and Hawaiian Telcom, listed above under “telephone,”

    offer cell phone service. In addition, here are some of the many compa

    nies that offer wireless service and phones.

    . Verizon Wireless, 800-922-0204, www.

    . Sprint. 888-211-4727,

    . T-Mobile, 800-T-MOBILE,

    . VirginMobile, 888-322-1122,

    Cell phone service will start at about $30 a month for a single phone,

    and the prices will go up from there as you add services, phones and

    minutes. A family plan with two phones and 200 minutes will run about

    $60 a month with most companies. This is an increasingly popular

    option, as some families choose to give up their landline phone in favor

    of using cell phones. Many companies offer free or low-price phones

    when you sign up for their service.

    Another increasingly popular option for people who don’t use their

    cell phones much is the pay-as-you-go plan. Under these plans, you pay

    about $20 for 200 minutes. Usually you have to add minutes to the


    phone every month in order for the minutes to roll over, or every three

    months to keep the same phone number. VirginMobile has a variety of

    pay-as-you-go options, as does AT&T and smaller companies such as

    BoostMobile, 866-402-7366,


    Oceanic Time Warner Cable,, the area’s largest

    provider of cable television, dominates the market for high-speed Internet

    service as well. Oceanic Time Warner also offers bundled cable TV, high-

    speed Internet and telephone service with unlimited long distance

    starting at about $150 a month. Each is more expensive separately.

    Hawaiian Telcom, 808-643-0813,, also offers

    Internet to the Honolulu area. Like Time Warner, they offer a bundling

    service starting at around $50 per month.

    You may also be able to get satellite Internet service, which is quite

    common in rural areas. Companies like Dish Network,, Wild Blue (a Direct TV service),, and Hughes Net,, offer satellite

    Internet service. You will need to enter your new address at the Web site

    or with a customer service representative in order to determine if service

    is available at your new home.

    Water and Sewer

    The Board of Water Supply, 808-748-5000,

    display.cfm?sid=1069, controls your water service in Honolulu. When

    you call to start service, be sure to have on hand the date you want to

    start, your new address and your billing address, if it is different from the

    address of service.

    New Honolulu water customers do not have to pay a deposit or

    hookup fee; however, the person setting up the account must be the same

    person who will be responsible for paying the bill. The water charges are



    calculated based on usage and your meter reading, starting at around

    $1.75 per 13,000 gallons. A full chart of water charges can be found on

    the Water Supply’s Web site.

    Water restrictions are common throughout the island in times of

    drought, usually limiting outdoor watering to evenings and mornings on

    certain days of the week. Honolulu does enact voluntary restrictions

    often, and also offers lots of information on water conservation as well as

    special programs and rebates. Check with the Water Supply Board to get

    a list of its water restrictions.

    Honolulu operates on a sewer system that is regulated by the city.

    There is a sewer base charge of $50.40 per month for a single family

    home as well as a sewer usage charge. The usage charge is calculated by

    your monthly water consumption, although each family is also given two

    credits: one for water used in a non-sewage purpose (such as gardening)

    and one called a lifeline , which allows customers to pay only the base

    charge for the first 2,000 gallons of water used. More information on

    sewer usage and charges can be found on the Honolulu government Web


    Garbage and Recycling

    The City of Honolulu picks up garbage and recyclable items twice a

    week from homes throughout the city. This schedule is always evolving,

    as more and more recycling is integrated into the disposal process. The

    city’s Solid Waste Services, 808-768-3401,, is still

    working on getting standardized containers to everyone, so you may need

    your own 35-gallon container for waste and recycling. Bulky items are

    picked up for free at your home once a month. The city also picks up

    yard waste, which is used to make mulch and compost that is available

    for free to the general public.




    To register your vehicle(s) in Hawaii, you will need to register

    it/them in your home county or city. Hawaii requires annual registra

    tion of vehicles, and you can be fmed for a lapsed registration; so it’s a

    good idea to take care of your car matters soon after you arrive.

    Driver’s Licenses, State IDs, and Automobile

    Registratio n

    To make any changes to your current licensing or registration, you

    must visit a driver’s license office in person. You will he required to bring

    along certain documents, including your current registration and license,

    and other identifying documents. To transfer your out-of-state license to

    a valid Hawaii license, you must visit a driver’s license office and fill out

    all the relevant documents. You will need to bring along your current

    license as well as an original social security card (not a photocopy). To

    find the phone number of the DMV office closest to you and general

    information about obtaining a driver’s license go to http://www.cohawaii. hi. us/vrl/dlgeninfo.html.

    To get a Hawaiian license, you will have to not only prove your iden—

    tity but also take a written and eye test. If you fail the tests, you will have

    one additional opportunity to take the tests before a road test will be

    required. The whole process can cost anywhere from $10 to $40 depend

    ing on the length of time the license is valid (you have choices) and your


    Drivers as young as 15 1/2 who have taken a driver’s education

    course are eligible for a learner’s permit, which must be signed by both

    parents. The permit must be held for 180 days before a road test is

    allowed. Until the age of 19, drivers are issued provisional licenses. Young

    drivers go through tiered rules that become less strict the longer they

    drive without any violations.



    Licenses are issued for a period of two to eight years, and cost $3 a

    year. All applicants for driver’s licenses will have to pass a vision screening

    and a written test covering road signs and driving knowledge. Handbooks

    are available online or at the licensing offices.

    State ID cards are administered by the Attorney General’s office and

    not the DMV, as in other states. The ID card is purely for the purposes

    of identification and does not grant permission to operate a moving

    vehicle. To obtain the card, you must visit the office in person, as well as

    provide your proof of your residency (such as a bill), an original social

    security card, a birth certificate or passport, alien resident card, and

    change of name documentation, depending on your situation. If you are

    under 65, you will have to pay a fee of $15 cash; if you are over 65, the

    cost is $10. Much more information and specifics are available on

    the Attorney General’ s Web site, http://ha waii.go v/ag/hcjdclmain/


    Automobile Registration

    Vehicle registrations are required to be updated yearly in Hawaii and

    your fee will be determined by the weight and usage of your vehicle.

    Proof of vehicle inspection is required for any registration, and proof of

    insurance is required for inspection — so your first order of business is to

    make sure that your insurance is up to date and legal in Honolulu. After

    that, you can get your car inspected, and then registered. As with most

    states, inspections can be conducted at service stations, car dealerships

    and mechanics. More information on car registrations can be found on

    the Honolulu government Web site, www. honoiuiu.go v/csd/vehiciel

    mvinforrnation. htm.


    Parking is ample and mostly free throughout the suburban areas that

    surround Honolulu. Downtown Honolulu is a different story; so know-



    ing the ropes can prove helpful when it comes to parking downtown.

    There are free parking garages, free validated parking for certain activities,

    and paid parking garages available throughout the city.

    If you wish to stay in the same place longer than a couple of hours,

    you will have to choose one of the parking lots scattered throughout the

    city. Lots vary in price, so you may want to do a bit of research before

    heading out. Most of the lots in Chinatown start at about $3 for every

    half hour, with a flat rate of $7 to$8 during certain times. The rest of

    downtown is fairly similar, with the visitors’ spots experiencing a slight

    bump in price. is a good resource for both finding and

    pricing parking.

    Violations, Towing and Theft

    Hawaii has created a Web site for its legal system, including traffic

    violations: If

    you receive a parking citation or moving violation, you have 21 days to

    pay your fine, which you may do in person or via the state’s online

    payment system. If you do not pay within the set time, your fine is sent

    to a collection agency and a “stop” may be placed on your license,

    keeping your from renewing your license until the debt is settled.

    If your car is towed from a private lot in the city, a price scale set by

    the state protects you. The tower cannot charge you any more than $75

    pertow and $7.50 per mile towed. They are only allowed to charge you

    $25 per day for storage. If your car is towed, you will need to contact the

    private towing company directly to arrange to get it back.

    If you suspect your car has been stolen or broken into, call 911 im





    Televisio n

    Television reception is spotty in Honolulu if you don’t subscribe to

    cable or satellite service. Most households can expect to get all the major

    networks without an antenna. For access to the hundreds of stations

    available these days, you’ll have to purchase cable or satellite service.

    Cable access:

    Oceanic Time Warner Cable, 800-892-2253,

    Satellite service is the other way to buy access to more channels.

    Those companies include:

    Direct TV, 877-897-813

    Dish Network, 888-581-9813,

    Because the infrastructure is different on the islands than in the con

    tinental United States, you may have to call to find out what the limita

    tions are in your service in the area.

    Honolulu Television Stations

    . KHET (Statewide public television), Channel 11,

    . KGMB (CBS affiliate), Channel 9, 808- 847-3246,

    . KITV (ABC affiliate), Channel 4, 808-535-0400,

    . KHNL (NBC affiliate), Channel 13, 808- 847-3246,

    . KHON2 (CW affiliate), Channel 11.2, 808-591-2222

    . KHON2 (Fox affiliate), Channel 2, 808-591-2222,




    Honolulu radio listeners can access a wide variety of local and nation

    al programming through stations based in Honolulu and beyond. Below

    are just a few of the stations available to you once you reach Honolulu.

    . KHPR 89.3 FM, 808-995-8821, Hawaii Public Radio,

    . KYHU 90.3 FM, University of Hawaii,

    . KQMQ 93.1 FM, The Q — The Beat of Hawaii, 80s Rock

    . KIKI 93.9 FM, 194— Hawaii’s Hottest Music, Hip Hop,, 808-550-9200

    . KUMU 94.7 FM, Lite 94.7, Adult Contemporary,, 808-947-1500

    . KAIM 95.5 FM, Christian Music,, 808-


    . KHNR 97.5, News Radio,, 808-533-0065

    . KDNN 98.5 FM, Hawaiian Style & Reggae,,


    . KHUI 99.5 FM, Hot Adult Contemporary

    . KCCN 100.3 FM, Ethnic,, 808-275-1000

    . KINE 105.1 FM, Ethnic,, 808-275-1000

    . KSSK 590 AM, Adult Contemporary, www.ksskradiocom, 808-


    . KHNR 650 AM, News/Talk,, 808-533-0065

    . KORL 690, Children’s Radio

    . KGU 760 AM, Christian Talk,, 808-533-


    . KHVH 830 AM, Talk,, 808-550-9200

    . KZOO 1210 AM, J-Pop,

    . KKEA 1420 AM, Sports Radio,, 808-




    . iHeart Radio: Listen to hundreds of radio stations from more

    than 150 US cities. A Team Lally favorite!

    http ://wv4,rw. iheart. corn!

    Newspapers and Magazines

    . The Honolulu Advertiser, 808-538-6397,, is the one of the island’s largest

    newspapers. There are several other newspapers available,

    including a few weeklies:

    . Honolulu Weekly, 808-528-1475,

    . Hawaii Tribune Herald, 808-935-6621, www.hawaiitribune

    . Honolulu Star Bulletin, 808-529-4700,

    Local Magazines

    . Honolulu Magazine, 808-534-7541,

    . Hawaii Business Magazine, 808-537-9500,

    . Honolulu Streets Magazine, 541-621-1830,

    . Pacific Magazine,

    . Hawaii Skin Diver, 808-843-8182,

    . Hawaii Fishing News, 808-395-4499,

    www.hawaiifishingnews. corn


    A number of blogs (that’s Web logs to the uninitiated) are cropping

    up where people discuss all kinds of local issues. These tend to come and



    go pretty quickly, but here is a sampling of what’s available at the mo


    . The Tasty Island,

    . City Pulse,


    . Guilty Pleasures,


    • The Hitt List,


    • Volcanic Ash,

    . Homespun Honolulu,


    Voter Registration

    Hawaii has come late to the party as far as early voting, although vot

    ers in the past could effectively vote early by registering for absentee

    voting, which did not require (and still doesn’t) that a voter be absent

    from the state to employ this option. However, you still must register at

    least two weeks before and election in order to vote on Election Day at

    your assigned precinct. You can register to vote when you get your new

    license, at any of the licensing offices, but Hawaii also encourages mail-in

    registrations, so pick up a form at a local library, post office, satellite city

    hail, or any school in the University of Hawaii system. You can also print

    a form from the Web site, The HI Board of

    Elections, 808-453-8683, is the place to find

    all the information you need about elections, including polling and one

    stop voting places, upcoming election dates and sample ballots.

    In Hawaiian primaries, you must select a political party (Democrat or

    Republican) and vote ONLY for candidates of that party on your ballot

    in order for your vote to count. Votes that do not adhere to this process



    will not be counted. In the general election this restriction is lifted and

    you may vote for whomever you like, regardless of which party you


    Library Cards

    Hawaii operates 24 libraries throughout the island of Oahu, as well as

    bookmobile services and libraries on the other islands. Most offer com

    puter access, children’s activities such as weekly story times, classes for

    adults, and other activities. A full list of libraries and the activities they

    offer are available from the state library,

    You can apply for a library card at any library, and the card is good

    for all Hawaii library locations. To get a card you will need to bring a

    photo ID that has your current address or a photo ID with a bill, lease or

    other document to prove that you are a permanent resident. Residents

    from outside Hawaii can still get a card good for 5 years for a $25 fee, or

    a visitor card for just 3 months for $10. The visitor card may not be

    renewed. Once you have a card, a lot of library business can be done

    online, including requesting and renewing books, using a four-number

    PIN that you choose when you apply. Books can be returned to any


    The library system also offers a telephone reference service where li

    brarians answer questions that require short, factual answers. To reach

    them, call 808-586-3621. You may also use the online “Ask a Librarian”

    feature, wivw.forrnstack. com/forms/?981 621 -yPo OAxi3 iz.

    The university libraries at area institutions are also available for re

    search, though most will not allow you to check out materials unless you

    are a student there.


    “Think ahead” should perhaps be your mantra these days when

    you’re preparing for international travel. With the process for obtaining a



    U.S. passport getting ever stricter, you will need to allow at least 6 weeks

    to get a passport, and at least three weeks if you pay an extra $60, plus

    shipping, to expedite service.

    The U.S. State Department, 877-4-USA-PASSPORT,, issues passports from its 15 regional

    offices. The Hawaiian passport office is one place to obtain your passport,

    Prince Jonah KuhioKalanianaole Federal Building, 300 AlaMoana

    Blvd., Suite T-330, Honolulu, HI 96850, but you can also apply in

    person at some area post offices. Forms are available at these locations

    and at the passport Web site:

    . 3600 Aolele St., Honolulu, 96820

    . 2330 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, 96815

    . 335 Merchant St., Honolulu, 96813

    . 2754 Woodlawn Dr., Honolulu, 96822

    . 100 N. Beretania St., Honolulu, 96805

    . 1450 AlaMoana Blvd., Honolulu, 96805

    . 1170 Nuuanu Ave, Honolulu, 96817

    You must apply in person if you are applying for the first time, are

    under 16 (or were when your current passport was issued), lost your

    passport or suspect it was stolen, or your name has changed. Otherwise,

    you may send the forms and documents by mail. Generally you will need

    to provide a birth certificate and picture ID for a new passport, as well as

    two passport photos. Contact the passport office for alternative forms of

    ID if you don’t have these handy.


    Your dog, cat, or more exotic pet will likely find Honolulu as hospi

    table a home as you do, as long as your landlord or neighbors are wel

    coming. To bring Fido to Hawaii, however, you will also have to pass

    through some strict regulations for dogs, cats and other pets.



    Bringing your Pet to Hawaii

    Because Hawaii is rabies-free, most pets will have to undergo a quar

    antine period of up to 120 days upon entering the state at your expense.

    To avoid a long quarantine, which can be both costly and stressful, your

    best bet is to qualify for the 5-day-or-less or direct release from the

    airport. Your pet should qualify for this program if it has been properly

    vaccinated, has an implanted microchip and passes other requirements.

    To qualify, though, it is vital to follow precisely the elaborate and

    somewhat intimidating regulations detailed in the Department of Agri

    culture Web site: You should begin

    this process early. It takes a minimum of four months preparation to

    bring an adult dog or cat. A puppy or kitten under ten months will not

    be able to qualify.

    There are a great many regulations for bringing pets into Hawaii. An

    imals past forty days’ gestation are not permitted entry. If your pet has

    special medical needs, you must arrange its quarantine at an approved

    veterinary hospital prior to arrival in Hawaii. Airport regulations prohibit

    animals being released from crates at the airport, so you will need a way

    to transport the crate to your vehicle and then load it onto your vehicle;

    there are no baggage carriers available at the quarantine station. If you are

    anticipating direct release, your flight will need to arrive no later than

    3:30 p.m., or there will not be time for your pet to receive inspection,

    and it will need to remain overnight. You may want to contact the

    authorities directly with your questions. Direct all queries to the follow

    ing addresses: Animal Quarantine Station, 99-95 1 Halawa Valley St.,

    Aiea, Hawaii 9670 1-5602 or send an email to

    A number of animals are prohibited for entry or ownership in Ha

    waii, including alligators, geckos, gerbils, ferrets, hamsters, hermit crabs,

    snakes, wolf hybrids, and some birds. For questions about whether it is

    permissible to bring a particular animal, contact the Plant Quarantine

    Non-Domestic and Microorganism office, 808-832-0566 or 808-837-




    Licensing and Pet Laws

    Dogs and cats over four months of’ age in Honolulu must be regis

    tered, and must have a rabies vaccine to register. The cost of a dog or cat

    tag is $10 each for spayed or neutered animals and $28.50 for fertile

    animals. The Hawaiian Humane Society,, 808-

    356-2227, has more information as well as the forms you need to register

    your pet.

    The city’s leash law prohibits dogs and cats from roaming unattended

    within the city limits, though this law is rarely enforced unless there is a

    specific complaint. Dogs must remain leashed while in public, unless they

    are in a designated off-leash area. Dogs are also not allowed on private

    property except by the owner’s consent, so be sure to walk your pet only

    in public or designated areas. Roaming dogs and cats will be brought to

    the Humane Society, To report a roaming

    animal, call 808-946-2187.

    Local laws mandate that pets receive adequate food, water and shelter.

    Pet owners are also required by “pooper scooper’ laws to clean up after

    their dogs and cats.

    Because of the unique environment in Hawaii, certain animals are

    not allowed into the state. Other animals may have to be quarantined for

    a period of 5 days before being released to their owners.

    Spay/Neuter and Rabies

    The only mandatory spay/neuter law in Honolulu applies to cats aged

    6 months or older that are allowed outside. Indoor cats are not required

    to be spayed/neutered, nor are dogs, though it is highly recommended.

    Acquiring a Pet

    There is no shortage of rescue groups and shelters where cats, dogs, or

    even rabbits and birds await new owners. Even purebred dogs are availa

    ble, largely through rescue groups who focus on particular breeds. Most


    will charge an adoption fee of about $65 that covers vaccinations and

    spaying or neutering. A good place to start any pet search is with your

    local shelter, where knowledgeable staff can find your pet of choice or

    point you to another source: Hawaiian Humane Society, 808-356-2218,

    Pet Recreation

    Honolulu runs several parks and beaches where dogs can roam free

    for a spell without running afoul of local leash laws.

    . AlaWai K-9 Playground, next to AlaWai Elementary School

    (not an official dog park)

    . Bark Park, Diamond Head Rd. at 18th Ave.

    . Hawaii Kai Dog Park, Keahole St. at the end of the Hawaii Kai

    Park & Ride

    . Moanalua Dog Park, Moanalua Community Park off Pu’uola Rd.

    . Mililani Dog Park, 95-1069 Ukuwai St.

    . Mclnerny Dog Park, Hawaiian Human Society

    . Area 19 Dog Park: Ewa Gentry Beach


    If you’ve been looking for a place with a iow crime rate, congratula

    tions! In 2008, Honolulu was found to have the lowest per-capita crime

    rate out of cities with a population of over 500,000.

    Like any urban area, Honolulu has its share of high-profile crimes. In

    recent years, the island town has also seen an uptick in property crimes and

    drug use in both urban and rural areas. But generally, the crime rate in

    Honolulu is below average for its size. Of course, that doesn’t mean you

    shouldn’t take precautions such as being aware of your surroundings and

    avoiding poorly lit, solitary or otherwise dangerous situations. If you want

    to know how often certain crimes occur in certain areas, the Honolulu



    police department keeps an online mapping system that allows you to

    search reported crimes:

    Should you need to contact law enforcement, Honolulu (and the en

    tire island of Oahu) is served by the Honolulu Police Department. To

    find them during an emergency, though, use only one number: 911. For

    all other matters, here is a list of the non-emergency numbers and

    jurisdictions for each department:

    . Honolulu Police Non-Emergency Number, 808-529-3111

    . Criminal Investigative Division, 808-529-3115

    . Juvenile Services Division, 808-529-3202

    . Fatal or critical accident investigations, 808-529-3499

    . Central Receiving Division, 808-529-3331

    Hawaii is also served statewide by the sheriff’s department, 808-587-

    3621, which has jurisdiction across all islands and counties. They provide

    security to many of the state’s hospitals, visiting dignitaries and Fort

    Ruger. Their particular duties vary in scope and function, but their

    mission is to always work in conjunction with other law enforcement

    agencies throughout the state, including the Honolulu police department.



    “Adrienne and her team helped tremendously with the sale of our home. I had relocated to the mainland on short notice due to a job and my wife was left with the daunting task to prep and sell our home before she could follow. Adrienne helped her get the property ready and advised her along the way. The sale closed pretty close to the schedule that Adrienne estimated and soon after my wife was able to join me on the mainland. Thanks Adrienne and Team Lally.”