Death certificates are normally ordered through the mortuary handling funeral arrangements. We are currently in the process of developing an online ordering system for the public to use. Until then, we anticipate that applicants may encounter delays since the process of ordering certified records by mail requires a longer processing time.
How to Apply
All applications requesting certified copies of death certificates must be made in writing.
If you are not eligible to receive the certified copy that you requested, your order will not be fulfilled. Check eligibility requirements below.
Apply in Person for Death Certificates
Walk-in service is available on Oahu:
- Days: Monday through Friday (excluding holidays)
- Hours: 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
- Location: 1250 Punchbowl Street, Room 103 (1st floor) at the main Hawaii Department of Health building (corner of Beretania and Punchbowl Streets)
- Parking: Metered parking is available for $1/hour in a lot in front of the building with entry from Punchbowl Street.
When applying in person, the applicant must show a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a State ID, driver’s license, etc.
On the neighbor islands, you may contact the local District Health Office location in your area for assistance:
- Hawaii Island: http://health.hawaii.gov/big-island/home/vital-statistics/
- Maui County (Maui, Lanai, Molokai): http://health.hawaii.gov/maui/vital-statistics/
- Kauai: (808) 241-3498
Apply by Mail for Death Certificates
Send mail-in applications to the following address:
State Department of Health
Office of Health Status Monitoring
Issuance/Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, HI 96801
When applying by mail, the applicant must include a photocopy of his/her government-issued photo ID, such as a State ID, driver’s license, etc.
Costs & Payment
Fees for certified copies of death certificates are as follows:
- $10.00 for the first copy of each certificate, and
- $4.00 for each additional copy of the same certificate ordered at the same time.
- For orders completed by mail, you may pay with a cashier’s check, certified check or money order payable to the State Department of Health. Cash and personal checks will not be accepted for mail orders.
- For orders completed in person, you may pay with cash, credit card, cashier’s check, certified check or money order payable to the State Department of Health.
A certified copy of a vital record (birth certificate, death certificate or marriage 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 non-related 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.
A search of the records on file with the Department of Health will only be conducted to process an application requesting either a certified copy or a letter of verification. If the search establishes that the requested record is not on file, you will be notified that no record has been found. No searches of the records on file with the Department of Health will be conducted prior to or outside of the receipt of an application and payment of fees.
Letters of Verification
Letters of verification may be issued in lieu of certified copies (HRS §338-14.3). This document verifies the existence of a birth/death/civil union/marriage certificate on file with the Department of Health and any other information that the applicant provides to be verified relating to the vital event. (For example, that a certain named individual was born on a certain date at a certain place.) The verification process will not, however, disclose information about the vital event contained within the certificate that is unknown to and not provided by the applicant in the request.
Letters of verification are requested in a similar fashion and using the same request forms as for certified copies.
The fee for a letter of verification is $5 per letter.
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. The same eligibility requirements apply for both certified copies and verification letters.