The mission of the State Records website is to provide public records to anyone who wishes to obtain, preview, or use such information. This website allows Hawaii residents to access this information in accordance with the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act, which specifies that all government information and records are available to the public.
This website ensures that all members of the general public have the right to access Hawaii state public records without requiring a reason for needing the information or revealing any personal information.
Hawaii State Records contain information about criminal records, court records, and vital records, and includes over 13 million transparent public records.
Yes. Records generated or maintained by government agencies in Hawaii are mostly open to the public. The Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act defines Hawaii public records as information maintained by an agency in written, auditory, visual, electronic, or other physical forms. These records are available to the general public except where exempted by law.
Public agencies in Hawaii often create procedures to assist the general public with their search to obtain public records. Generally, when submitting Public Records Act requests, a person can either carry out a free public data search or request copies of government records from custodians.
Hawaii public records include:
Any person can find public records in Hawaii by making a request to the custodian. A requester can choose to either inspect public records or obtain copies. Hawaii state law obliges public agencies to make records available once they receive a request unless the record is exempt. Even where the record is exempt, the record custodian should communicate a denial in writing to the requester stating the law that allows the denial. Any person can find public records in Hawaii through the following steps.
Any person can look up government records in Hawaii for free. However, free Hawaii public records searches are not available for every record. The amount the requester would need to pay to access a public record depends on how the request is made, how the record is maintained, and the custodian of the record. Only records that custodians maintain online are available for free. Even among these, only some online databases are free. One example of an online database where records can be accessed for free is the sex offender registry maintained by the Department of the Attorney General. Others include the case records search system maintained online by the judiciary, a Hawaii public records search system maintained by a court clerk's office, and the Land Records Management System provided by the Bureau of Conveyance, the state recorder's office.
Apart from using Hawaii public records search sites to look up government records for free, requesters can try to reduce the costs for Hawaii public records that they cannot obtain for free. Inspecting a record, rather than obtaining copies, may reduce costs. A requester would only need to pay the custodian’s record search fee and would not pay for the making of copies. Also, a requester may take pictures or make videos of a public record while inspecting it. A requester may also be able to obtain records for free if they can convince the custodian that disclosure is in the public's interest.
When Hawaii started creating public records in 1826, the state also began creating public records for its 5 counties. As digitalization of these records has become the standard for the past 30 years, both third-party and government websites are offering these records with increased reliability. This ensures that Hawaiians abide by the commitment to the United States of America to remain a fair and just society for all.