Hawaii Public Records

Start your FREE search
The following is for informational purposes only

What are Hawaii Public Records, and How are They Created?

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
  • "Promote the public interest in disclosure;
  • Provide for accurate, relevant, timely, and complete government records;
  • Enhance governmental accountability through a general policy of access to government records;
  • Make government accountable to individuals in the collection, use, and dissemination of information relating to them; and
  • Balance the individual privacy interest and the public access interest, allowing access unless it would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. [L 1988, c 262, pt of §1]."

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.

 

How to Access Hawaii Public Records?

How to Access Hawaii Public Records

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.

 

Different Types of Public Records in Hawaii

Hawaii Criminal 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):

  • Felony and Misdemeanor Records - common misdemeanors in Hawaii are third-degree negligent homicide, court-degree sexual assault, fourth-degree theft, and possession of certain drugs. Some popular felonies in Hawaii include murder, kidnapping, theft, and sexual assault of a child.
  • Hawaii Jail and Inmate Records - both jails and prisons keep inmate records, and those too are public records. The Hawaii Department of Corrections has an offender search tool on their website to locate criminals and their records.
  • Police Records - local police can provide copies of incident reports, police reports, sometimes mugshots, and even crime scene photos upon request.

Hawaii Court Records

Different Types of Public Records in Hawaii

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:

  • Civil Court Records - domestic relations cases such as divorces, marriages, paternity lawsuits, custody and child support cases, estates, conservatorships, wills, civil lawsuits, and small claims lawsuits.
  • Criminal Court Records - criminal filings for misdemeanors, felonies, and other citations. These may include things like trial paperwork, sentencing, prison transfers, and evidence related to the court case.
  • Financial Court Records - bankruptcies, liens, tax issues, company stock filings, and corporate financial reports.
  • Other Court Records - such as bench warrants, arrest warrants, judgments, traffic tickets and other traffic violations, and name changes.

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

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:

  • Drug charges.
  • Murder.
  • Burglary.
  • Aggravated assault.
  • DUIs/DWIs.
  • Sexual assault.
  • Trespassing.
  • Arson.
  • Booking details like fingerprints and mugshots.
  • Arrest warrants granted by a judge.
  • Bench warrants for not appearing in court.
  • Crime scene photos.
  • Witness statements.
  • Property crimes and accompanying paperwork.
  • Vehicle records if one was used during the crime.

Hawaii Vital Records

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.

 

Other Public Records in Hawaii

Other Public Records in Hawaii

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:

  • Government contract bids and proposals.
  • Driving records (without personally identifiable information).
  • Home addresses.
  • Maps, books, and tapes.
  • State health and wellness statistics.
  • Air and water quality (pollution reports).
  • Property records, real estate deals, and land deeds.
  • Home phone numbers.
  • Police and accident reports.
  • Liens & tax issues.
  • Company incorporation records.
  • Personnel records for state agencies.
  • Permits, licenses, and certifications.
  • Salaries.
 

What Information is Not Public Record in Hawaii?

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:

  • "Records which, if disclosed, would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.
  • Records that must be confidential in order for the government to avoid the frustration of a legitimate government function.
  • Records pertaining to the prosecution or defense of any judicial or quasi-judicial action to which the state or any county is or may be a party, to the extent that such records would not be discoverable."
  • Records that are protected from disclosure by state or federal law, including records protected by court order.
  • Partial and draft working papers of legislative committees, the personal files of members of the Legislature, and un-filed committee reports.