Background Check: Hawaii Official Search Guide (Criminal, Free, & More)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | June 11, 2024

Background check, Hawaii document on the left while a man searching for employment in Hawaii scratches his chin and wonders how do I get a Hawaii background check and the state of Hawaii and all islands is seen to the right in yellow.

Hawaii Background Check
Hawaii background check to look for criminal records, background history, court documents, and search all public records in Hawaii.

When performing a background check, Hawaii has specific laws and regulations about how criminal information can be accessed in a Hawaii background check.

Getting a background check in Hawaii is fairly similar to the background check process in most states, but it’s made even easier through the state’s use of various online platforms to streamline the process.

In fact, free records checks and other public records searches can be done for very nominal rates, using the agencies that house and collect the records…as long as someone knows where to look.

The official search guide provides all the links, locations, and access instructions required to conduct a Hawaii background check.

Free Background Check: Hawaii Info and Public Records

Unfortunately, there are no free background check options offered by the state of Hawaii, individuals who are seeking a totally free background check will have the best luck by using a reputable online background search agency that offers a trial records check for 7 days without cost.

Although the state government doesn’t offer free background checks, Hawaii records for some things can be accessed for free. For example, the state’s sex offender registry is free to search, and that’s an important part of any Hawaii background check.

Close-up view of a stack of public records books neatly arranged on a bookshelf.

In general, Hawaii background check information can be found in several different agencies. Although some of this information will overlap slightly, each agency is in charge of keeping certain kinds of records, so be sure to know exactly what records are needed before contacting the agency.

The main agencies that hold public records that are available upon request are:

  • Hawaii County Clerks’ Offices
  • Hawaii State Judiciary Department
  • Local Law Enforcement Agencies
  • State Law Enforcement

Hawaii county clerks will have access to all non-criminal Hawaii public records. This includes land and property records, vital records, maps, property ownership (for finding someone’s middle name), tax liabilities (to perform address lookups), licenses and permits (for marriage records check), and professional license authentication.

The Hawaii judiciary contains all court documents for the state of Hawaii. This is where individuals will need to go to obtain criminal history information for cases that took place in the state of Hawaii.

Local and state law enforcement will also have certain criminal history information, but only those that pertain to law enforcement. This can be a little confusing since users who need to find all the related reports and documents of a specific case need search both court records and police records (like previous arrest records).

The court records will have conviction and pending charges information, as well as information pertaining to any possible criminal trials or pleas. Whereas law enforcement will have arrest records and other information pertaining to crimes, even those that did not result in a conviction.

It’s important to keep in mind that all of the above resources will only have information for the state of Hawaii. If the individual in question has resided in a state other than Hawaii, any criminal history information outside of the state will be absent from any records lookup with the above agencies.

Find Hawaii Public Records Through County Clerks

Individuals who are looking for non-criminal-related records will likely find what they are looking for through the county clerks. Each county clerk will only have access to records and information that pertain to that specific county, so knowing which county holds the records is essential.

There are two different ways to obtain records from the county clerk in Hawaii, which method is used will depend on the county that holds the records. Detailed steps to obtain records from each county are outlined below.

For the County of Hawaii

Obtaining records from the county of Hawaii is the easiest of all the counties in the state. This is because Hawaii County offers an online record-keeping service that allows individuals to search for the exact records that they need.

To search for records, simply access the website for the County of Hawaii, and select the “public documents,” link from the “Our County,” drop-down menu. This will take users to a search function where they can search for any kind of public document using keywords.

Close-up view of the exterior sign of a county building.

The website also offers far more detailed instructions on how to use the public document search function. With specific steps on obtaining more difficult-to-find documents.

For All Other Counties

For individuals looking for public documents that are not held by the county of Hawaii, the process will be slightly different and will vary slightly depending on the kinds of records that are benignly requested.

The first step is to access the website of the county clerk for the county in question. Such as the Maui County Clerk. The county clerk will have information on what records they have access to and how the public can access these records.

In many cases, the county clerk will direct individuals to the state agency in charge of the records.

Bureau of Conveyances: Hawaii Background Checks

For example, individuals seeking land documents (tax liens and other public records) will be directed to the Bureau of Conveyances. Each state agency will have specific steps on how to request documents. Generally, they will either have an online search database or will ask individuals to contact them by phone or email to request the documents directly.

If the documents being searched for still can not be found, the best approach is to contact the county clerk directly and ask where the documents can be found.

Slightly more obscure public documents may be harder to find and will require the specific documents to be requested from the county clerk who will obtain them on behalf of the individual.

Find Hawaii Court Records

Compared to most states, finding court records as part of a Hawaii background check is extremely easy. Rather than having to contact the clerk of each individual’s court to obtain the proper documents, individuals can simply use the online court records system that is maintained by the Hawaii State Judiciary Department.

Detailed steps to use the Hawaii eCourt Kōkua system are outlined below.

Step 1: Access the Hawaii Courts website

The first step is to access the website of the Hawaii State Judiciary. On the far left side of the screen is a link that will take users to the eCourt system.

Step 2: Access the Judiciary Information Management System

The eCourt system page will have more detailed information on what records and what courts house their records in the electronic portal. There are also more detailed guides on how to view documents and purchase documents. The page also discusses how to use the public access computers available at each courthouse to view documents for free. Keep in mind that although public access computers allow individuals to view documents for free, obtaining certified copies will still have an associated fee, just as it does in the online system.

Once all the information has been viewed, select “Click here to enter eCourt* Kokua

Step 3: Perform Search

Once at this stage simply follow the onscreen prompts to conduct the search. Searches can be performed using a variety of information such as name, case number, license plate number, VIN, etc.

There is also an option to purchase a document subscription. Since obtaining a copy of a document requires a small fee, individuals who are looking to obtain multiple documents may consider purchasing a document subscription that will help to lower the cost of each individual’s documents.

Step 4: Pay fees

Once the documents in question have been found, individuals can pay the fee to obtain a certified copy of the documents.

There are options to buy a subscription to purchase multiple documents as mentioned, or there is an option to purchase a single document.

County Public RecordsCourt Clerk WebsiteSheriff’s Office
Hawaii County Public RecordsHawaii County ClerkHawaii County Sheriff’s Office*
Honolulu County Public RecordsHonolulu County ClerkHonolulu County Sheriff’s Office
Kauai County Public RecordsKauai County ClerkKauai County Sheriff’s Office
Maui County Public RecordsMaui County ClerkMaui County Sheriff’s Office

*The Sheriff’s Department in Hawaii works as a state-wide entity. Contact information for offices in each county is in the link provided

ECrim: Hawaii’s Adult Criminal Information System

Besides making court records more accessible than most states, Hawaii has an additional online service that allows individuals to perform a name-based search of an individual’s criminal convictions.

Graphic showing steps on how to perform a search using the Hawaii eCrim services, including: accessing the eCrim website, creating an account, and performing a search.

In most states, individuals seeking criminal history information will have to search through court records, state police records, and local police records to find all the applicable information. In Hawaii, all this can be done by using the Ecrim service which requires only a $5 fee per individual search and is maintained by the office of the Attorney General. Information includes:

Detailed steps on how to perform a search of the Hawaii Ecrim service are outlined below.

Step 1: Access the eCrim website. 

The online criminal database can be accessed through the official website of the state of Hawaii. Simply use the search function to access the proper page, or access the website here.

Step 2: Create an account

An account is required to perform a search of the Adult Criminal information site. To create an account, simply click “Sign up,” and follow the onscreen prompts to enter the proper information.

Basic contact information will be required as well as a payment method to pay for the fee associated with each search.

Step 3: Perform a search

Once the account has been created, simply enter the search criteria into the provided search bar. An onscreen prompt will ask users to double-check the search criteria as the fee for each search is charged immediately, regardless of the results. With that being said, be sure to double-check for spelling mistakes in order to avoid getting incorrect results.

The results of the search will be available immediately.

Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center Fingerprinting (HCJDC)

The Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center is a great resource of information regarding a Hawaii background check.

The HCJDC is also the agency in charge of official Hawaii background checks, which are completed using an individual’s fingerprints. More information on the services offered by the HCJDC is provided below.

Every state in the county, including Hawaii, will have specific background checks that are required by law for certain industries. In some cases, these will be federal laws that the state must enforce, such as with childcare background checks in Hawaii.

In other instances, the background checks required to work in certain industries are only required at the state level, such as with background screenings for those in the healthcare industry required for the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii Fingerprint Background Check: Education and Teachers

The Hawaii Board of Education mandates a fingerprint-based criminal history check for all teachers and educators in the state. The check is conducted through the HCJDC and includes both a state-level criminal history check as well as a national criminal history check.

Close-up view of a fingerprint card with a magnifying glass on top.

Although this is the only check that applies specifically to educators and teachers in the state of Hawaii, there are other checks that are required to become a teacher in Hawaii, due to the fact that a teacher who is with children unsupervised will automatically fall under the title of “child care.”

Those who work in child care have separate laws and background check requirements that are mandated by federal law.

Healthcare Background Check HI: Background Check System

Although most healthcare background checks are determined by the healthcare facility that the individual is being applied to, the state of Hawaii is an exception to this. The Hawaii Office of Health Care Assurance has specific and fairly strict requirements regarding background checks for those in the healthcare industry.

The checks apply to virtually anyone who would be a healthcare practitioner of any kind who would have access to patients. This includes those applying for jobs such as nurses and doctors but also includes non-medical staff that would have direct access to patients as well as adult volunteers in any healthcare facility. This also means that individuals who have access to patients that receive at-home care would be subject to additional checks.

Specific checks for how to obtain a background check using the Hawaii Background Check System (HI-BCS) can be found on the Office of Health Assurances website.

The check will normally be carried out by the employer for the applicant.

Hawaii Child Care Background Check

There are currently no additional laws regarding a childcare background check for Hawaii residents besides those that are mandated by federal law.

Federal law requires specific background checks to be done on any individual that will have unsupervised access to children at any time. This includes teachers, daycare employees, school administrators as well as those living in foster care homes. The check must be completed every 5 years on any individual who meets the above requirements and is over the age of 16. The following checks are required.

  • FBI fingerprint check
  • National Crime Information Center’s National Sex Offender Registry Check
  • State criminal registry or repository
  • State sex offender registry or repository
  • State-based child abuse and neglect registry and database

Get Hawaii DOT Record

Certain jobs in Hawaii may require applicants to meet specific driving history requirements. This is mostly required for jobs that involve driving a car while working or the operation of heavy machinery.

A copy of an individual’s driving record in the state of Hawaii can be obtained through the Hawaii Department of Transportation. Simply call the number for the applicable district court and request a copy of your driving record.


Some of the HCJDC services require individuals to fill out specific forms and mail or email them to the agency. This is required for individuals to request a criminal history record check as well as to request the expungement of certain records.

Volunteer & Employee Criminal History Service (VECHS)

The Hawaii VECHS allows qualified entities to perform criminal history record checks on any individual who has access or works with a vulnerable group, such as children or the elderly. What is unique about this law is that it applies to volunteers as well as employees rather than only those that are being paid for their services.

Hawaii Inmate Lookup and Sex Offender Registry Screening

The Hawaii Department of Corrections uses a third-party service known as VINE to house inmate information and allow individuals to search for inmates in Hawaii state prisons.

To perform a search simply access the Vine website and select “Hawaii,” as the state. From there, simply enter the name or inmate number for the individual to find information on where they are as well as information on charges and sentencing.

Sex offender registry checks in Hawaii are totally free and can be completed in a matter of seconds. Simply access the Hawaii Sex offender registry website and perform a search using the name of the individual. Searches can also be completed using a geographical area.

Background Check for Gun Purchase in Hawaii

To obtain a firearm in Hawaii, individuals must first obtain a firearms permit from the local police department in person. An FBI criminal history background check is conducted to obtain the permit, and the permit must be used to purchase a firearm within 10 days of issuing it.

Hawaii Criminal Background Check Law

The most notable background check law in the state is the ban-the-box law, which applies to all employers in the state. The law states that employers can only inquire about an applicant’s criminal history information later on in the hiring process, rather than on the initial application.

HB1782 outlines Hawaii background check laws for all employment types.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Hawaii?

A background check in Hawaii shouldn’t take any longer than a normal background check: Less than two weeks for a fingerprint-based check and less than a week for a name-based check.

With a background check, Hawaii offers applicable tools that make searching public records both easy and fast, and by simply understanding the laws and regulations when getting a Hawaii background check, anyone can remain legally compliant.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hawaii Background Check

How Do I Get a Background Check in Hawaii?

Background checks are obtained through a background check company or through the HCJDC.

What Shows Up on a Hawaii Background Check?

Hawaii does not have any specific laws regarding what can and can not be revealed on a records check. Expect any and all criminal history information to show up on a background check.

How Long Does a Background Check Take in Hawaii?

A background investigation can take less than two weeks for all background checks. Name-based checks can take as little as 48 hours.

Is Hawaii an Open Carry State?

Individuals 21 years and older can open and conceal carry a firearm with the proper permit. Permits are only valid in the county where they were issued.

How Many Years Can an Employer Go Back on a Background Check in Hawaii?

There are no laws regarding how far back an employer can go on a background screening in Hawaii. However, employers may only inquire about convictions, rather than all charges. Furthermore, employers can only inquire about felony convictions that occurred less than 7 years ago and misdemeanors that occurred less than 5 years ago.

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