Hawaii Public Records
Public records hold a wealth of information, but they are not always easy to access. Each state handles public records in its way.
Hawaii is one of few states with a specific government agency dedicated to access to public records. It is called the Office of Information Practices. This office not only handles requests from the public but can also give advice and manage appeals.
Since Hawaii has a government agency dedicated to records, it is easier to find and review records in this state compared to others.
In many cases, public records can be found online and accessed.
However, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) does give citizens the right to access records.
Every state has different processes, so it’s essential to know the state’s law before requesting any documents.
Table of Contents
- 1 What does the Hawaii public records law say?
- 2 How can a person access public records in Hawaii?
- 3 Hawaii Criminal Records
- 4 Hawaii Inmate Records
- 5 Hawaii Court Records
- 6 Hawaii Vital Records
- 6.1 What information do I need to request a Hawaii birth certificate?
- 6.2 Where can I find a Hawaii birth certificate?
- 6.3 What information do I need for a death certificate in Hawaii?
- 6.4 Where can I find a Hawaii death record?
- 6.5 What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Hawaii?
- 6.6 Where can I find an existing Hawaii marriage record?
- 6.7 What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Hawaii?
- 6.8 Where can I find a Hawaii divorce record?
- 7 Hawaii Property Records
- 8 FAQs
- 8.1 Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Hawaii?
- 8.2 Is there a records custodian in Hawaii?
- 8.3 What exemptions exist for public records requests in Hawaii?
- 8.4 How long does Hawaii have to respond?
- 8.5 Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Hawaii?
- 8.6 What fees are associated with requesting public records in Hawaii?
What does the Hawaii public records law say?
Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act is specific and expansive.
The law gives the state of Hawaii ten business days to respond to a formal request for records. If the state needs more time to gather information, the state must notify you and can only take another ten days to complete the request.
All branches of government are subject to the law. Some records are exempt from the law, including personal information, medical information, or public safety.
The cost to request or copy records is reasonable, and all media outlets can have the fees waived.
To learn more about Hawaii’s public record rules, visit the state website at Hawaii.gov.
How can a person access public records in Hawaii?
In some cases, Hawaiian law requires a person to submit a public records request. The request is sent via mail, email, or phone to the record-holding department.
Every department is different, so expect some variation to the rules if you access records from multiple places.
In general, a public records request should include:
- Your name
- Contact information
- The name of the document
- Details about the document
- A time frame that you would like to receive the materials by
- Document delivery method, mail or email
Hawaii Criminal Records
Criminal records, sometimes called criminal histories, are an essential piece of a background check. Employers often conduct background checks before bringing a new employee on board.
Traffic cases and misdemeanors are often not on criminal history.
The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center maintains criminal records in the state.
What’s on a criminal record?
A criminal record contains a collection of information collected from various law enforcement agencies and inmate housing facilities in Hawaii.
In Hawaii, this official document can vary, but most will include:
- Date of birth
- Current and past addresses
- Former arrest records
- Current and past warrants
Where can I find Hawaii criminal records?
You can access Hawaii criminal records using the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center: eCrim website.
These records will let you review a person’s arrest and conviction record. To gain access, you need to set up an account on the site, pay a fee, and the person’s record will be emailed to you.
These records are also available by requesting them in person at one of the following police stations:
- Honolulu Police Department (Honolulu)
- Hawaii Police Department (Hilo)
- Kona Police Station (Kailua-Kona)
- Kauai County Police Department (Lihue)
- Maui County Police Department (Wailuku)
Hawaii Inmate Records
The state of Hawaii maintains records on all of its state inmates. However, unlike other states, Hawaii doesn’t have an online searchable database that you can use.
The Hawaii Public Safety Corrections Division maintains inmate records.
What’s on a Hawaii inmate record?
There will be specific details about the inmate’s incarceration circumstances on an inmate record.
The records you receive will provide the following information:
- Inmate’s name and status
- Court Name
- Incarceration date
- Sentence Type
- Convicted offense including the degree of offense
- Expected release date
- Housing facility
Where can I find Hawaii inmate records?
While many states have a searchable database that gives the public access to inmate records, Hawaii does not.
A person may call and request records from the individual county or jail where the inmate resides to access individual records.
You can access various inmate record searches online for a fee. Vinelink is the one recommended by the Hawaii Public Safety Corrections Division.
Hawaii Court Records
Court records can be challenging to track down, but Hawaii has the process fairly streamlined compared to other states.
District Court – Oahu
777 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu HI 96813-5093
Circuit Court Hawaii County
777 Kilauea Avenue
Hilo, Hawai`i 96720-4212
What’s on a Hawaii court record?
You can request several types of court records. However, you will need to know what court has the documents you wish to access, the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the trial courts, etc.
Most people find the following documents the most helpful:
- Court minutes
- Court information
- Case number
- Orders of the court
- Judgment documentation
- Jury records and files
- Witness documentation
Where can I find Hawaii court records?
The Hawaii State Judiciary maintains court records in the state.
You will need to contact the courthouse that holds the public document you attempt to access.
The Hawaii State Judiciary Ho’ohiki gives the public access to family court civil cases.
While many cases are available online, some records may be incomplete, and some may not be online. Different courts started using the system at different times, so older cases may be challenging to find.
To get access to court documents that are not online, you can call or visit the court where the case was heard and speak to the clerk of courts.
Hawaii Vital Records
The Hawaii State Department of Health maintains public vital records in Hawaii.
Hawaii public vital records include:
- Birth Certificates
- Death Certificates
- Marriage Licenses
- Divorce Decrees
Hawaii vital records requests vary depending on the document you are requesting.
The Hawaii State Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
1250 Punchbowl St
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone number: 808-933-0917
What information do I need to request a Hawaii birth certificate?
The Request for a Certified Copy of a Birth Record will ask for specific details.
- Full name on the birth certificate
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Full name of both parents
Where can I find a Hawaii birth certificate?
The cost for a certified copy of a Hawaii birth certificate is $10. It is $4 for every additional copy.
State Department of Health
Office of Health Status Monitoring
Issuance/Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, HI 96801
Phone number: 808-586-4400
What information do I need for a death certificate in Hawaii?
The Request for a Certified Copy of a Death Record will ask for specific details.
- Full name of the deceased
- Date of death
- Place of death
- Social security number
- Relationship to the deceased
- Purpose of the certified copy of the death certificate
Where can I find a Hawaii death record?
You will need to complete the Request for a Certified Copy of a Death Record and submit it by mail.
The cost for a certified death certificate is $10, and $4 for every additional copy.
What information do I need to request a marriage certificate in Hawaii?
The Request for Certified Copy of Marriage Record will ask for specific information.
- Full name of both spouses before marriage
- Date of marriage
- Place of marriage
Where can I find an existing Hawaii marriage record?
What information do I need to request a divorce certificate in Hawaii?
The information on your Hawaii public records request will include.
- Full name of both spouses before the divorce
- Dates of birth of both spouses
- Date of divorce
- Place of divorce
Where can I find a Hawaii divorce record?
You can access a Hawaii divorce record online using the Hawaii State Judiciary website.
You will need to contact the clerk’s office in the family court where the divorce decree was issued in order to obtain a Hawaii divorce record in person.
Divorce decrees are not public records in Hawaii.
Hawaii Property Records
The Bureau of Conveyances Land Records Management System makes it easy to search public property records in Hawaii.
The property records you can access include:
- Property deeds
- Property tax assessment records
- Zoning information
- Land court and tax appeal court details
What information do I need to request property records in Hawaii?
You will need to complete the appropriate property request form.
Where can I find a Hawaii property record?
You will search the Bureau of Conveyances Land Records Management System for the public property record.
1151 Punchbowl St. #120
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 587-0147
Fax: (808) 587-0136
Can a request be submitted by non-residents of Hawaii?
Anyone can request public records in Hawaii. There are no resident or citizenship requirements that other states have in place.
Is there a records custodian in Hawaii?
The OIP fields requests and can deny a request as well. If a requester wants to appeal a denial, the same office will hear the case.
The state also has a Legislature-appointed state ombudsman.
What exemptions exist for public records requests in Hawaii?
Few exceptions exist. Most exemptions for a public records search pertain to records that have personal, medical, or safety information.
Some judicial records are off-limits. Any records that are deemed “non-administrative functions” are not available.
In the state legislature, records that pertain to the budget and specific transcripts are also exempt.
How long does Hawaii have to respond?
Hawaii has ten business days to respond to a request.
Is there an appeals process in place for public records requests in Hawaii?
If a request is denied, the requester has two years to appeal the decision. The OIP can review the case, or it can be heard in court.s.
What fees are associated with requesting public records in Hawaii?
Hawaii does charge a fee to copy and retrieve records.
However, the first $30 fee is waived.