Ah ... Oahu .... Yes, it's paradise! It's also an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, where spaces are small, living expenses are high, and getting there is more difficult than your average PCS move. That's why we've put together some helpful information on getting here and getting settled so you can begin enjoying your stay in paradise!
When you're packing up to make the move to Hawaii keep in mind that living spaces are smaller in here than on the mainland - the average home size is 3 bed/2 bath/1,500 square feet. To avoid a cramped and cluttered space you may want to consider putting non-essentials in storage for the duration of your stay on Oahu. This can be arranged through your transportation office at your current duty station.
Shipping - The government will ship one vehicle for you. Additional vehicles are at your expense; approximately $1,000 from West Coast ports. Transportation time ranges from two weeks to more than a month, so plan accordingly. Once you arrive on Oahu, delivery of your vehicle can be arranged through the Vehicle Processing Center. For more information on vehicle turn in, checkout, or in-transit visibility, visit PCSMyPOV.com.
Registration - Newcomers must register their POV with the Hawaii Department of Motor Vehicle Registration within the first 30 days of arrival. For more information, visit the Department of Motor Vehicle Information webpage.
Drivers Licensing - For information on getting a Hawaii’s drivers license, visit the Driver’s License Information webpage.
Hawaii is rabies-free, and the quarantine law in Hawaii is designed to protect residents and pets from the health problems associated with the introduction and spread of rabies. All dogs, cats, puppies and kittens must comply with Hawaii’s dog and cat import requirements and must go through quarantine.
How early you get started on your pet’s pre-arrival checklist will determine how long your pet stays in quarantine. Pets may be eligible for 30 day, 5 day, or direct release from the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) if requirements are met. Otherwise, pets will be quarantined for 120 days upon arrival. For more information visit Hawaii’s Animal Quarantine information page.
Newcomers must report to their housing office within 72 hours. From there you will be directed to on or off base temporary lodging. Depending on availability of on base lodging, there’s a chance you’ll be authorized Temporary Lodging Allowance (TLA) which can extend up from 30 to 60 days.
Before checking into a TLA-approved hotel, ensure you have authorization to do so by requesting a TLA “Non-Availability” letter prior to making any reservation at a TLA-approved hotel. Here’s a current list of Oahu’s TLA-approved hotels and rates.
If searching for a home off base, newcomers will need to provide documentation to the housing office as evidence of your home’s search and current escrow if you enter a contract to buy any island house or condo.
Like anywhere else, military members living on Oahu have three choices when it comes to living arrangements: on-base (or post) housing, rent or purchase.
On Base/Post – The base/post you are assigned to determines housing options and availability. Keep in mind that all or most of your Base Housing Allowance (BAH) will be subtracted from your pay once you sign for housing and move on base.
Renting – If you decide to rent off base you will receive BAH in accordance with your grade and dependent status. BAH amounts are determined by local rent averages. Rent averages are high on Oahu, and so is BAH; however, you may still find yourself paying out of pocket. Use the Defense Travel Management Office’s BAH Calculator Tool to find out what your Oahu BAH will be.
Buying – If you want to put your BAH to work for you, buying a home on Oahu might be a good investment. You can begin getting an idea of what's available and what homes here cost be viewing all current homes for sale throughout Oahu.
The median price of a house on Oahu is roughly $759,000. The good news is that Oahu’s current VA loan benefit limit is set at $721,050. This means if you are pre-approved for a VA loan, you can buy a home at 0% down up to $721,050. The only requirement for use of the VA loan is that you must live in the home for at least one year immediately after closing.
Questions about buying a home on Oahu? Just ask!
The free monthly newcomers briefings offered at each military base or post can be valuable sources of information about island living. Contact your base housing office for times and locations.
Triple Army Medical Center
Jarrett White Rd Honolulu, HI 96859
Online Appointments: www.tricareonline.com
24-Hour Nurses’ Line: 1-800 TRICARE (874.2273)
Center Emergency Room: 808.433.6629
Central Appointments: 808.433.6661
Drop-In Care: 808.433.3270
United Healthcare: 877.988.9378
All Medical/Dental: www.tricare.mil
Schofield Acute Care Clinic
Located on the first floor of Building 684 of the Schofield Barracks Health Clinic.
The Hawaii State Department of Education manages Hawaii’s public schools. School enrollment requirements, zone maps, and FAQ can be found online at http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/Pages/Home.aspx.
Check out GreatSchools.org for school ratings and performance.