Hawaii seller of travel law requires all individuals who seek to sell charter tours in Hawaii to get licensed with the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs.
"Charter tour" means any travel services in which a travel agency contracts with an air carrier and offers for sale a charter, with or without related ground transportation or hotel accommodations.
If you wish to only sell travel services (no charter tours) then you can get a general Hawaii Seller of Travel License. Check out the tutorial here.
How to get a Hawaii Travel Agency License (With Charter Tour Operator)
Step #1: Complete Application
The next step is to supply a financial guarantee. You are able to submit a surety bond OR irrevocable letter of credit.
There are huge benefits to a surety bond vs an irrevocable letter of credit, so this post will explain details on how to get a surety bond.
Step #2: Purchase Hawaii Charter Tour Operator Bond
A Hawaii Charter Tour Operator Bond is a type of surety bond required before you can secure your license. The bond protects your clients. Your clients are able to make claims against your bond if they feel you are not fullfilling your duties.
You will need to secure a bond in one of the following amounts:
- Operating 6 or less charter tours per year: $10,000 per flight up to $200,000 bond (see CFR 380.34)
- Operating 7 – 15 charter tours per year: $300,000 bond
- Operating more than 15 charter tours a year: $1,000,000 bond
You will not need to pay the full amount to get bonded. You will pay anywhere from 1-15% of the total bond amount.
The best way to see what you'd pay is to get a free quote:
Step #3: Set up a client trust account
Set up a client trust account via a checking or savings with a federally insured financial instutions located in Hawaii.
Submit evidence of this client trust account in the form of ONE of the following:
- An original letter from the financial institution with the following: name and address of financial institution, name on the account, Client Trust Account designation, when account was established, and account number
- Copy of a blank void check which has the name and address of financial institution, name of your travel agency, account number, and identifies account as a client trust account
Step #4: Submit
Mail your Hawaii Seller of Travel Application, original bond, and above paperwork to the address below:
Travel Agency Program
DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
PS Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Include a $20 application fee (made payable to the DCCA). This fee is non-refundable, even if your application is denied.
If you are denied a license, you may be entitled to a hearing as provided by Title 16, Chapter 201, Hawaii Administrative Rules, and/or Chapter 91, Hawaii Revised Statutes. Your written request for a hearing must be directed to the agency that denied your application, and must be made within 60 days of notification that your application for a registration has been denied.
License Expiration and Renewal
Hawaii Seller of Travel Licenses expire on December 31st of odd-numbered years (2017, 2019, etc).
Renewal postcard reminders are sent out early November of the expiration year. You can renew your license online at https://pvl.ehawaii.gov/mypvl.
You can find answers to common renewal questions by visiting the Renewal FAQ page.