Last Updated: 05/01/23

Whether you’re relocating for a job or seeking the tropical island lifestyle, Guam has plenty to offer.

Pristine white beaches, vibrant coral reefs, plentiful retail shopping options, and a wide variety of indoor and outdoor entertainment options all make Guam an attractive place to live.

Guam holds a special attraction for U.S. citizens, who can easily live and work in the territory. Neither citizens nor permanent residents require work visas for employment on Guam, and everything runs on the U.S. dollar, just like on the mainland.

As a U.S. territory, Guam is subject to all federal regulations, but it does have its own customs and quarantine agency. As a result, there are a few local procedures and regulations that can trip up new residents. The island also has its own unique culture, which makes it an interesting and inviting place to live. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to help you make a smooth transition to Guam.

In This Article

Getting to Know Guam

  • Fast Facts About Guam
  • Where Is Guam?
  • What Is Guam’s Climate Like?

Moving to Guam

  • What Should I Know Before Moving to Guam? What Is the Culture Like?
  • What Documentation Should I Bring?
  • What Vaccines Are Required for Guam?
  • What Kind of Medical Care Is Available on Guam?
  • What’s the Best Way to Plan My Move to Guam?
  • What Am I Allowed to Bring to Guam?
  • What Am I Not Allowed to Bring to Guam?

Living on Guam

  • What’s the Cost of Living on Guam?
  • Is It Hard to Find a Job on Guam?
  • What Kind of Schools Will I Find on Guam?
  • How Can I Bring My Pet to Guam?
  • What Kind of Cell Phone Service Is Available on Guam?

Getting Around on Guam

  • How Do I Get a Driver’s License on Guam?
  • Should I Take My Car to Guam?
  • How Can I Register My Car on Guam?
  • What Is It Like to Drive on Guam?

Finding a Home on Guam

  • What Are the Best Places to Live on Guam?
  • Should I Buy a Home on Guam or Rent?

Enjoying Your Time on Guam

  • What Is It Like to Live on Guam?
  • What Is There to Do on Guam?
  • Is Guam Safe?
  • What’s the Best Way to Make Friends on Guam?

Getting to Know Guam

Fast Facts About Guam

First, let’s get to know Guam with some facts that cover the basics about the island:

Population (2020)

210 mi²


Official Languages
English & Chamorro

Legal Status
U.S. Territory

Largest Ethnic Group
Chamorro (40.4%)

Time Zone
Chamorro Standard Time

Difference from EST
ChST is 15 hours ahead

Highest Point
1,334 ft. (Mt. Lamlam)

Where is Guam?

Guam is located in the northern part of the Pacific Ocean, 1600 miles east of Manila and 3808 miles west (and about 8° south in latitude) of Honolulu. Guam is part of the Mariana Island chain, an archipelago that extends about 450 miles north of Guam.

Guam’s nearest neighbors include the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, and the countries that make up the Asian continent.

What Is Guam’s Climate Like?  

The U.S. Geological Survey describes Guam’s climate as a “tropical marine climate.” In other words, Guam is warm and humid year-round, with average lows from 76-79° and average highs from 86-89°. You’ll experience two distinct seasons when living in Guam: 

Moving To Guam

Can Anyone Move to Guam?

Because Guam is a U.S. territory, the requirements for moving to Guam are the same as any other U.S. destination.

  • If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can move to Guam without any special paperwork, although you’ll want to check the documentation notes below.
  • If you’re a foreign citizen, you’ll need to check the entry requirements for your country before making the move.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Guam? What Is the Culture Like?

If you’re not used to living on an island, life on Guam will feel pretty different to you. Some find island life liberating. There’s a certain satisfaction in learning to get by with what you can buy in the stores on Guam. It can also spark some pretty ingenious solutions. Sure, several online retailers ship to Guam. (And we can help with the ones that don’t!) However, those who are used to the abundant shopping options on the U.S. mainland might find island life a little restricting. 

When you move to Guam, you’ll also discover its unique culture. The island is a melting pot built on the foundation of the Chamorro culture of the islands’ original inhabitants. Layered on top, you’ll find colonial influences from Spain, Japan, and the U.S., plus the diverse cultures of people who have migrated from places like the Philippines, nearby Pacific Islands, and Asia. Adapting to and enjoying the customs you’ll discover from Guam’s inhabitants will become one of the pleasures of living on the island. A sense of curiosity and respect toward other cultures will serve you well on Guam. 

To sum it up, Guam has a number of unique features that will make your time on the island quite a singular experience. 

To help you prepare for what life will be like after you move to Guam, we asked our DeWitt Guam team for tips they would share with a friend who’s making the move. Check out the 9 things you need to know before moving to Guam. 

What Documentation Should I Bring to Guam?  

Entry requirements for Guam are the same as they would be for any destination in the United States:

What Vaccines Are Required for Guam?

Guam does not require any specific inoculations prior to entry. However, the CDC recommends that travelers consider the following vaccinations:

  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid

Talk to your doctor to create the immunization plan that’s right for you.

What Kind of Medical Care Is Available on Guam?

Should you need medical care while you’re on Guam, you’ll have a number of options for wellness care, urgent care, and acute care/emergencies:

When it comes to day-to-day health, wellness, and medical care:

What’s the Best Way to Plan My Move to Guam?

In our experience, a moving checklist can help tremendously to ensure you’re checking off all your to-dos as your moving date gets closer.

Each moving situation will be different—and will require its own personalized to-do list. However, our DeWitt Guam moving checklist is a great place to get started.

We’ll show you what to do starting 6-8 weeks before you move all the way through Moving Day—and beyond.

What Am I Allowed to Bring to Guam?

As we mentioned, although Guam is a territory, it has its own Customs & Quarantine Agency (CQA). Although the agency is responsible for enforcing hundreds of federal and local regulations, the rules relevant to newcomers include:

  • Any household goods you bring with you when moving to Guam must have been in your possession for at least three months prior to your move. They also must clearly not be intended for resale purposes.
  • Any prescription drugs should be carried with you. Bring a doctor’s note, just in case additional documentation is requested.
  • Your duty-free alcohol allowance is 1.136 liters per person. Anything above that limit may be subject to customs duty.

When it comes to tobacco, your duty-free allowance is:



grams of tobacco

If you have any questions, talk to your moving company. They’ll be able to help you make the packing and labeling decisions that will smooth your clearance through customs

What Am I Not Allowed to Bring to Guam?

The Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency prohibits you from bringing certain items into Guam, including the following:

  • Live plants, flowers, vegetables, and fruits
  • Milk, meat, and meat products
  • Items in breach of U.S. copyright laws (CQA reported 2,193 seizures in 2017 alone!)
  • Illicit drugs
  • Explosives, including fireworks, ammunition, knives and any other weapons (Although it is possible to import firearms by following their procedures.)
  • Toxic, poisonous or hazardous materials such as fertilizers
  • Dangerous toys

Ask now and avoid problems later. If you have any questions about something you want to bring with you, talk to your moving company or contact the Guam Customs & Quarantine Agency.

Living On Guam

What’s the Cost of Living on Guam?

Depending on where you’re coming from, the cost of living in Guam may be an adjustment for you. As with many other islands and remote locations, most everything has to be shipped in, which means that things cost more than they do in many mainland locations. Fresh vegetables, gas, and electricity are among some of the pricier items on Guam. 

Read More

What's the Real Cost of Living on Guam?

From groceries to gas, housing to utilities—get the scoop on the real cost of living on Guam.
Read More

Depending on where you live, rents on Guam can vary significantly. The median gross rent on Guam is currently $1,057, according to census data. (Data excludes the cost of military housing units.) The exact cost of any unit will be dependent on its size, location, and amenities, so let’s take a look at some additional data to clarify the picture.

  • Below, you’ll find a selection of median gross rents from around the island, giving you a sense of the ranges you’ll encounter:








Agaña Heights

Finally, if you’re moving to Guam as a member of the military, you’ll get a cost-of-living allowance to compensate for the increased prices. To give you some idea of how Guam compares to some other destinations, Guam’s COLA is only slightly higher than the one you’d receive in Honolulu, Hawaii. If you’ve been to Hawaii, that will give you a sense of what you can expect in Guam. 

Is It Hard to Find a Job on Guam?

A number of people moving to Guam already have a job lined up, are members of the U.S. military, or work remotely. However, if you’re moving to Guam without a job, you might wonder how challenging it will be to secure employment.

Two things will make it easier to find a job on Guam:

  • Specialized knowledge in a particular field, such law, medicine, and construction (e.g., architects & engineers).
  • Friends, family, or professional contacts on Guam.

In other words, getting a job on Guam can be about both what and who you know.

Don’t be afraid to ask around when you’re looking for a job. A good word from a friend or family member can help you get your foot in the door much more quickly.

If you’re new to Guam and haven’t established a network yet, consider this your encouragement to get out there and meet some new people. In addition to building that all-important social circle, it might also help you make a connection that gets you employed on Guam.

As you’re starting your job search, keep the island’s major industries in mind. Where the private sector is concerned, jobs supporting Guam’s tourism industry are far and away the most plentiful. More than 15,000 people on Guam work in accommodation and food services. Another 10,000 work in retail, an industry that gets a fair amount of support from visitors.

Beyond tourism, the next-most-popular industries by job count include construction; health care and social assistance; administrative and support and waste management and remediation services; and wholesale trade.

Finally, don’t get discouraged too quickly. The hiring process on Guam can move more slowly than on the U.S. mainland. A little patience will go a long way.

Want more tips for securing employment on Guam? Check out our Complete Guide to Finding a Job on Guam.

What Kind of Schools Will I Find on Guam?

Guam’s educational system is similar to that on the U.S. mainland, with school required from age 5 to age 16. You’ll find public, private, and religious schools on the island, as well as a set of schools for the dependents of U.S. military servicemembers.

How Can I Bring My Pet to Guam?

Please note we do not currently move pets. However, you are able to move your furry friends with you—either by doing it yourself or hiring an outside service to assist you. That said, Guam is a rabies-free island, and their strict quarantine laws are designed to protect both the island’s human and animal residents from the spread of rabies.

The Department of Agriculture offers four options for bringing your pets to Guam:

  1. A Full 120-Day Commercial Quarantine: If your pet is not arriving from an exempt area and if your pet fails to pass or complete the Rabies Antibody Test for Pet Export (FAVN) testing, as well as the other requirements, then your pet will have to complete 120 days of commercial quarantine.
  2. Calculated Quarantine: If your pet has completed all of the requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 0.5 I.U., then your pet will have to spend only as many days in commercial quarantine as required to reach 120 total days since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory.
  3. Home Quarantine on Guam: If your pet is coming from the United States or an overseas United States military installation, has completed all other requirements and has a rabies FAVN titer of at least 1.0 I.U., then your pet may qualify for home quarantine until 120 total days have elapsed since the FAVN blood sample reached the laboratory.
  4. Exempt From Quarantine: If your pet is coming from an exempt country such as Japan or Australia—and has been there for at least 120 days—then your pet may not be required to go through the quarantine process.

For more details, see the Department of Agriculture brochure on the quarantine program. You’ll also need to work with your veterinarian in order to get the necessary documentation, including a health certificate and vaccination documentation. You’ll also need to meet Guam’s microchip requirements.

Note: If you have a certified guide dog or a service dog that belongs to a federal or state government agency, you can apply for qualifications that may allow you to bypass strict quarantines. You’ll need to obtain a valid Entry Permit regardless.

What Kind of Cell Phone Service Is Available on Guam?

Guam has three local cellular service providers:

Depending on your situation, Google Fi might be a good solution for you. Alternatively, depending on how long you plan to stay, you may want to talk with your current carrier to price out a roaming plan that includes coverage on Guam.

Getting Around On Guam

How Do I Get a Driver’s License on Guam?

Guam is subject to the same REAL ID regulations as the 50 U.S. states. As a result, you’ll need to present original versions of the following documents:

  1. Proof of Identity
  2. Proof of Date of Birth
  3. Proof of Citizenship or Lawful Status in the United States
  4. Proof of Social Security Number
  5. Proof of Residency

On the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation website, you’ll find a list of acceptable documents for each category. The page linked above includes instructions for U.S. citizens, permanent residents, and foreign citizens.

If you’re an active duty servicemember, you won’t have to get a Guam driver’s license as long as you maintain a valid driver’s license from your home state.

However, any family members who join you must turn in their driver’s licenses within 30 days for a Guam driver’s license.

There is one exception: Any family members who will be on Guam more than 30 days but less than a year can purchase an extension for $25 from the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation Motor Vehicle Division office.

Should I Take My Car to Guam?

We get this question often, and it truly depends on 1) what kind of car you’re shipping and 2) how long you plan to stay on Guam. We’ll walk you through what’s involved in shipping a car to Guam, which may help you make your decision.

First, all imported vehicles must meet certain standards, including U.S. motor vehicle safety, Department of Transportation and Environmental Protection Agency standards.

  • Vehicles more than 21 years old may be eligible for EPA exemptions.
  • Vehicles more than 25 years old may be eligible for DOT exemptions.
  • Those that don’t meet these standards may still be eligible, but you’ll want to check the make and model number, as well as understand what modifications might be required prior to import.

Vehicles that you’ve owned for less than three months are subject to a 4% import tax. Additionally, you’ll need to work with your shipper to assemble the necessary paperwork, including:

  • The certificate of title and registration
  • An invoice, bill of sale, or statement of value that states the vehicle’s VIN, description, model, and year
  • Proof of insurance
  • A copy of your current driver’s license
  • Any additional documentation required by your car’s origin, make, and model
  • Cars can be more expensive to purchase on Guam. However, the cost of shipping your car—especially if it’s an older car that you’d likely replace in a few years—may outweigh the benefits.

The bottom line? Get a quote for shipping, and then compare it to buying a car on Guam. Once you consider how many years your current car has left, you may discover it’s a better idea to buy on-island once you arrive.

How Can I Register My Car on Guam?

When you’re registering your car on Guam for the first time, you’ll need four items:

  1. The original manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin or the most recent off-island vehicle registration
  1. A Guam vehicle inspection report stating that your vehicle passed inspection
  1. Proof of auto insurance
  1. A photocopy of your driver’s license

But let’s back up a few steps: If you’re shipping your car to Guam, there are a couple of things you’ll need to do before submitting your application to the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.

  • First, you’ll need to pick up your vehicle from the port. In order to get your vehicle released, you’ll need a temporary vehicle permit. Head to the Department of Revenue and Taxation’s Vehicle Registration Branch in Tamuning to get your permit for $5.
  • Then, once it’s released from the port, you’ll take your vehicle to an official vehicle safety inspection station. You’ll see signs for these stations around the island, or you can try one of the providers on this list from the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation.

Once your vehicle has officially passed inspection, you’ve got the all-clear to collect the rest of the items on the list and bring them to the Vehicle Registration Branch to officially register your car.

What Is It Like to Drive on Guam?

As in the continental U.S., cars on Guam drive on the right-hand side of the road, and drivers sit on the left side of the vehicle. This setup will offer drivers from many parts of the world some familiarity as they navigate Guam’s roads.

The default speed limit on Guam is 35 mph. In residential areas, it goes down to 15 mph. When you’re driving on Guam, take the opportunity to relax, slow down, and drive with care as you explore the island.

If you need even further encouragement to watch your speed, Guam’s roads are often paved with a mix of coral. This means they can get quite slippery when wet. Drive cautiously after it rains.

Note: It’s illegal to text while driving on Guam, and it’s also illegal to hold or use a mobile phone while driving. Emergency calls are allowed, as is the use of a hands-free device, like a Bluetooth device.

Finding a Home on Guam

What Are the Best Places to Live on Guam?

The island of Guam is organized into 19 villages, each of which will offer you a different experience. Picking the best place to live on Guam starts with understanding what kind of lifestyle you’re after.

  • Love being in the middle of everything? Living in Tamuning-Tumon-Harmon (Tamuneng-Tomhom in Chamorro) might be perfect for you.
  • Want to be close to Naval Base Guam? Check out the villages of Piti and Santa Rita-Sumai.
  • Looking for a peaceful, serene existence? Consider Talo’fo’fo and soak up its gorgeous natural landscape.

You’ll find even more options in our article: The Best Places to Live on Guam. Happy house hunting!

Should I Buy a Home on Guam or Rent?

If you’re planning on making Guam your permanent home, it may make sense for you to buy a house or a condo on Guam.

U.S. citizens can buy property on Guam without restrictions. If you’re a foreign resident, there are a few restrictions to be aware of. Learn more in our article on what to know before you buy on Guam.

You may also want to investigate both scenarios—renting and buying—before you make a final decision. Our guides will get you started with all the background info you need:

Enjoying Your Time on Guam

What Is It Like to Live on Guam?

To answer this question, we polled our DeWitt Guam team to get their take. “Expect an abundance of hospitality,” was one team member’s take.

Others pointed to the influence of the Chamorro people, the original settlers of Guam, who arrived to the island more than 4,000 years ago. In the words of Joyce Diamadi, Sales Director/Records Manager at DeWitt Guam:

“Chamorro culture is friendly and open to newcomers. It welcomes you with open arms and warm hospitality—and immediately makes you feel like you’re part of the family.”

In other words, expect a warm welcome to this island community once you arrive.

What Is There to Do on Guam?

Of course, Guam is well known for its gorgeous beaches. If you love enjoying a good book while you soak up some sun, snorkeling in crystal clear water to explore the abundant marine life under the surface, or just frolicking along the shoreline, you’ll love living in Guam. (Check out our list of Guam’s best beaches!)

There’s also plenty to do beyond Guam’s beaches, including:

  • Playing a round of golf at Onward Mangilao
  • Checking out the latest fashions in Tumon, Guam’s premiere shopping area
  • Exploring Guam’s rich history at the Guam Museum
  • Tasting Guam’s diverse food offerings at the island’s best restaurants

To give you an even better idea of what’s waiting for you, check out our 10 favorite things to do on Guam.

Is Guam Safe?

Guam is a perfectly safe destination to visit or move to. As with all locations, there are a few things to be aware of in terms of health and safety:

  • Mosquito-borne illnesses like malaria and dengue fever are not prominent on Guam. If you plan to go boonie stomping, long sleeves and long pants can protect you from those pesky mosquito bites. (Even if they don’t carry disease, they can sure get itchy!)
  • It’s a good idea to make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, measles, and typhoid.
  • In case of an emergency, you can dial 911, just as you would on the U.S. mainland.

Check out our article, “Is Guam Safe?” for more health and safety tips for visitors and residents alike.

What’s the Best Way to Make Friends on Guam?

No matter where you’re moving, forging new social connections in a new destination can feel like a challenge. On Guam, one of the best ways we’ve found to make new friends is to sign up for an activity that interests you.

  • If you’re excited to get out and explore Guam’s gorgeous natural landscape, check out Guam Boonie Stompers, a group that organizes regular hikes on Guam.
  • If you want to pick up the pace with something more intense, check out the Agaña House Hash Harriers.
  • Some of Guam’s most incredible sights are found underwater. Since scuba diving is best with a buddy, it’s a great way to meet new people. Start at one of the local shops, and you’ll soon find yourself connected to the diving community.
  • Finally, volunteering is another great way to find people whose interests align with yours. Check out the Volunteer Guam Facebook page for opportunities or stop by the mayor’s office in your village for more ideas.

What If I Have Other Questions About Relocating to Guam?

We would be happy to assist! We’ve been helping families move to, from and around Guam for the last 30+ years. If you have any questions, just reach out to us. We’ll get you the answers you need.

We’d also be happy to help you move your belongings to Guam. Our team has extensive experience with both mainland and international moves. Contact us today for a complimentary quote.


Tell us about your move!