Hawaii Public Records

Hawaii has two freedom of information laws: the Hawaii Sunshine Law, Haw. Rev. State. § 92-1 et seq., which governs how public meetings are conducted; and the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act, Haw. Rev. Stat. § 91-1 et seq. Together, these laws govern access to public information in Hawaii.

The Hawaii Sunshine Law covers public access to public meetings. It not only requires public bodies to allow public access to any gathering of a quorum of a public body, but also requires the boards to allow anyone interested the opportunity to submit written data, views, or arguments on any agenda item as well as present oral testimony on any agenda item.

The Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act governs public access to public records. Under this law, records include all materials maintained in government offices and agencies, whether those materials are written, auditory, visual, electronic, or in any other physical form. There are exemptions to the act, including records that would invade someone’s privacy, records of current judicial proceedings if the agency is part of the judicial proceeding, and confidential government records. In Hawaii, anyone can request public records without a state of purpose and with no restrictions on how the public records are used. Exempt public records include: medical, psychiatric, or psychological information; social services or welfare benefits information; criminal investigations; personnel files; personal recommendations and evaluations; and licensing examination information.

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Public & Vital Records for Counties in Hawaii

More About Hawaii

Hawaii is the nation’s most recent state, having been admitted to statehood on August 21, 1959. It is the 40th most populated state, but because it is not very large, it is relatively densely populated, despite its small population. It is the only one of the states that is located outside of North America, the only one located in Oceania, and the only state composed entirely of islands. Hawaii is located in Polynesia and is composed of almost the entire Hawaiian archipelago. The capital of Hawaii is Honolulu, which is located on the island of O’ahu.

Hawaii’s economy is primarily dependent on tourism. Hawaii also exports food and clothing. It is known for exporting honey, coffee, macadamia nuts, pineapple, livestock, sugarcane, honey, and honeybees.

Public Records in HI

Hawaii does not maintain a single repository for Hawaiian public records. However, you can find a wide variety of Hawaii public records online, including criminal records, court records, property records, and vital statistics.

Property Records

Generally speaking, there are three types of property records: land records, property tax records, and deed records. Usually, deed records refer to the records of conveyances of land between private owners; property tax records refer to records that detail property tax and whether it has been paid; and land grant records refer to the original conveyance from a government body to a private individual. However, because Hawaii did not become a U.S. territory or attain statehood until after substantial amounts of property were already in private ownership, their land records may not reflect complete information.

Land Records

In Hawaii, records of land transactions and ownership by individuals began with the mahele in 1848. These original land titles may be classified as Land Commission Awards (LCA), with a Royal Patent of Confirmation (RP); or grants, which refer to purchases of land from the government. You can find these records in the State Archives and might have information on who first used the land, as well as their relation to the claimant. In addition, testimony and register of documents may be in Hawaiian or English. For records originally in Hawaiian, you can find an English translation.

Property Tax Records

Hawaii’s property tax records are handled at a county level by the county’s real property tax division. To find tax information about property, visit the real property tax division for that county.

Deed Records

In Hawaii, you can search for land records from the Bureau of Conveyances. This can help you find land title documents. At this website, you can: find land titles, deeds, and liens; purchase and download non-certified electronic PDF documents; and purchase and request certified and printed documents by USPS mail.

HI Vital Records

The State of Hawaii, Department of Health, Vital Statistics bureau gathers information about births, deaths, marriages, and divorces that take place in the state. You can get the information on request. You can order Hawaii vital records online at https://vitrec.ehawaii.gov/vitalrecords/.

Birth Records

Hawaii allows you to order copies of birth certificates online. It has copies of birth certificates from July 1909 to the present. When ordering birth certificates, the name on the credit card the requestor used on the form and the name on the birth certificate. If it does not match, then the request may be delayed for further research.

Death Records

You can order Hawaiian death certificates online using VitalChek.

Marriage Records

You can order Hawaiian marriage certificates or civil union certificates online. The state has copies of marriage and civil union records going back to July 1909. To order a marriage certificate, the requestor needs to be one of the people named on the certificate or able to prove a relationship to the people named on the certificate.

Divorce Records

Qualified people can order divorce records from the state online. You may also find divorce records at the Hawaiian State Judiciary website.

Learn About Criminal Records in Other States

Learn about Hawaii criminal records, HI Property Records, or read about public records in another state from the list below: