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Vital records, as their name suggests, are connected with central life events: birth, marriage, and death. Maintained by civil authorities, they are prime sources of genealogical information; but, unfortunately, official vital records are available only for relatively recent periods. These records, despite their recent creation in the United States, are critically important in genealogical research, often supplying details on family members well back into the nineteenth century. The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, by Loretto Szucs and Sandra Luebking.
Hawaii State Vital Records Office
Make certified cashier’s check or money order payable to Hawaii State Department of Health. If a record is not found after a search has been conducted, all fees collected will be retained. The fee covers the cost of the search.
Vital records (birth, death, marriage, and divorce certificates) for events that occurred in Hawaii are received and preserved by the Office of Health Status Monitoring, a unit of the Department of Health. In Hawaii, access to vital records is restricted by statute (HRS §338-18).
Certified copies of these records may be issued to authorized individuals and used for such diverse purposes as school entry, passports, Social Security participation, driver’s licenses, employment, sports participation, survivor’s benefits, proof of property rights, and other needs
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR CERTIFIED COPIES OF VITAL RECORDS
A certified copy of a vital record (birth, death, marriage, or divorce certificate) is issued only to an applicant who has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons are considered to have such an interest:
- the registrant (the person whom the record is concerned with);
- the registrant’s spouse;
- the registrant’s parent(s);
- a descendant of the registrant (e.g., a child or grandchild);
- a person having a common ancestor with the registrant (e.g., a sibling, grandparent, aunt/uncle, or cousin);
- a legal guardian of the registrant;
- a person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant;
- a personal representative of the registrant’s estate;
- a person whose right to obtain a copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
- adoptive parents who have filed a petition for adoption and need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child’s natural or legal parents;
- a person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
- a person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
- a person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
If you are not able to establish a direct and tangible interest in the record, you are ineligible and will not be issued a certified copy of the record.
Upon request, a letter of verification attesting to the existence of a requested record on file with the Department of Health may be issued. Instructions for applying for letters of verification are included in the next section and immediately follow the set of instructions on applying for certified copies.
Application forms for downloading are in Adobe Acrobat portable document format (pdf). Abode Acrobat Reader software must be available on your computer in order for you to make use of the downloaded forms. This software may also be downloaded if you do not already have it on your computer.
Birth $10.00 Since 1853
Death $10.00 Since 1853
Divorce $10.00 Since July 1951
If the records are not available at the State office, they should be available from the Circuit Court in the county where the divorce was granted. Fees vary.