The Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act (UIPA) was established in 1975, and then the Office of Information Practices ("OIP") was created by the Legislature in 1988 to administer the UIPA. UIPA is Hawaii's public records law and governs access to and the use of government records (public records). The objectives of Hawaii's UIPA are to:
Hawaii public records are created by agencies and they are defined as "any unit of government in this State, any county, or any combination of counties; department; institution; board; commission; district; council; bureau; office; governing authority; other instrumentality of state or county government; or corporation or other establishment owned, operated, or managed by or on behalf of this State or any county, but does not include the non-administrative functions of the courts of this State." These agencies collect, store, maintain, and supply public records to requestors.
Hawaii's Uniform Information Practices Act defines government records as "information maintained by an agency in written, auditory, visual, electronic, or other physical form." Additionally, "Personal record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by an agency."
Hawaii's Office of Information Practices is the agency in charge of upholding the UIPA and ensuring that the public has access to government records as stipulated in the law.
Hawaii has a Hawaii State Archives Digital Collections website where patrons can access thousands of historical public records. The records include vital records going back to the 1700s, passenger manifests, government and judiciary records, private manuscripts and collections as well as photographs. The Hawaii State Archives physical location has even more information that you can review in person.
The state of Hawaii allows the general public to request and examine public records without providing any good reason to do so. The steps for requesting records are as follows:
In some cases, you may have to visit other government agency websites or visit courthouses or other offices to request records.
Hawaii allows criminal records for any person convicted of a crime to be requested and accessed by the general public. These records may also be called a "Police Clearance" or a "Police Abstract." Only adult records will be available. Anyone can use a "Public Access Site" to search for and review criminal records. You can also use theAdult Criminal Conviction Information (eCrim) Web Site or request documents by mail.
Some common types of criminal records in Hawaii include (but are not limited to):
Hawaii State Judiciary is the agency in charge of Court records in Hawaii. They offer two online services to search for court records: eCourt Kokua, and Hoohiki. However, they warn that these records are offered "as-is" and do not comprise all of the court records available in the state.
Some types of court records in Hawaii are:
Courts in Hawaii are organized in four levels starting with the Supreme Court, the Intermediate Court of Appeals, Circuit Court, and District Court.
The Hawaii State Judiciary recommends visiting the courthouse in person if you need paper or certified copies of any documents and files.
Hawaii arrest records are created by local law enforcement. However, the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center keeps track of all criminal records for the state and offers criminal and arrest records freely to the public. However, arrest records that are pending (meaning they could be dismissed) remain confidential until the perpetrator has been convicted. You can also peruse court records to find arrest records or contact the local police for copies.
Some different types of arrests records in Hawaii are:
The State of Hawaii Department of Public Health Vital Records office is the government agency in charge of all vital records for the state. They have birth, death, and also marriage certificates that you can purchase copies of. They also honor genealogy requests and provide marriage licenses. They have an online form you can use to order any of these items, but you can also use their walk-in service. Some other things they do is establish paternity, register reciprocal beneficiary relationships, help with Apostilles and process amendments to vital records.
Along with criminal, court, arrest, and vital records, other types of public records you can find in the state of Hawaii include, but are not limited to:
According to the Hawaii UIPA law, "medical, psychiatric, or psychological information; criminal investigations; social services or welfare benefits information; personnel files; fitness to be granted a license, and personal recommendations and evaluations" are not considered public records. Additionally, the following may not be available to the public: