Attorney and international legal aid consultant Charles Greenfield joins producer/host Coralie Chun Matayoshi to discuss how wildfire victims can apply for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, landlord/tenant issues, whether you must still pay your mortgage if your home is severely damaged or destroyed, what to do if you can’t pay your bills, public benefits, and replacing documents.  

A few weeks ago, our island home suffered the worst U.S. wildfire in a century, devastating the town of Lahaina and destroying homes and lives.   In our last podcast, we talked about how to access FEMA benefits and Small Business Administration loans.  Now let’s discuss other issues and benefits available for disaster victims,

Q. Is Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) available to victims of the recent Maui wildfires?

Yes. Disaster Unemployment Assistance is available to workers, self-employed individuals, and business owners who were working or living in Maui County at the time of the fires and became unemployed or had their work hours reduced or interrupted because of the disaster and do not qualify for regular unemployment insurance. Governor Green and the Hawai’i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations just announced the availability of this program on August 24th. DUA benefits are federally funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  However, DUA Applications must be made to the Unemployment Insurance Division of the Hawai’i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations no later than September 25, 2023. Applications submitted after this deadline will be considered untimely and DUA benefits may be denied unless there is good cause for the late filing.

Applications for DUA can be made by going to or in person at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa Monarchy Ballroom at 200 Nohea Kai Drive in Lahaina. Applicants must supply required documents. Before applying, claimants can get help with the process at the Maui Claims Office in Wailuku or at the American Job Center in Kahului.

Required Documents for a Disaster Unemployment Assistance claim include:

1.       Government-issued identification (driver’s license, passport, alien verification card, etc.)

2.       Social Security number

3.       Copy of the most recent federal income tax form

4.       Check stubs or documentation to document history or self-employment when the disaster occurred. Documentation for the self-employed can be obtained from banks or government entities or affidavits from individuals having knowledge of their businesses. 

5.       Individuals should have bank information ready (such as routing number and account number) since benefit payments are made by direct deposit.

Identity Validation. Applicants will be required to verify their ID digitally through or through a U.S. Postal Service post office. 

Benefit Amounts.  Disaster Unemployment Assistance benefits range from $254 to $763 per week will be paid to eligible claimants for the weeks from Aug. 13 through Feb 10.  Individuals who receive this assistance must file Weekly Requests for Assistance within seven days from the week ending the date of claim.  Note that child support can be deducted from these benefits.  

Q. Are disaster victims eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits?

Possibly. A disaster victim’s application for benefits related to the disaster will first be evaluated for eligibility for regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits. Unemployment Insurance provides temporary financial assistance to qualified workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. Payments can be made for up to 26 weeks. The program is funded by employer contributions. If a disaster victim is not eligible for regular Unemployment Insurance Benefits, then the Hawai’i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations will evaluate a person’s eligibility for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, mentioned above. 

Q. Is homeowners, renters, and automobile insurance benefits available to the victims of the Maui fires?

Yes, if an insurance policy was paid for, in effect at the time of the fires, and covers fire damage.  FEMA requires that disaster victims first apply for any insurance to which they are entitled. Disaster victims need to immediately contact their insurance agent or company to make a claim. For more information on insurance that covers homeowners, renters, and hurricanes, see the recent podcast with the Insurance Commissioner. (

Q. Can I get out of my lease for a home or apartment if my home is damaged by the fire?

Yes, if your lease says that you can or if any part of the premises is rendered partially or wholly unusable by fire or other casualty that wasn’t your fault.  If you leave, you must notify the landlord within one week of leaving otherwise you will be liable for the rent up until the time that the landlord has knowledge that you have moved.  If only part of your home is unusable due to fire or other casualty, you may continue to use the undamaged portion of your home.  In this case, your liability for rent shall be no more than the fair rental value of that part of the home which you continue to use and occupy.   

Q.  What if I lost my job because of the disaster and can’t pay rent?  Will FEMA pay my rent?

Your landlord may notify you in writing that you must pay your rent within 5 days after you receive the notice or your rental agreement will be terminated.  If you don’t pay the past-due rent in full after receiving the landlord’s notice the landlord may start eviction proceedings. However, Governor Green issued and order on August 19, 2023, that states that a landlord may not “terminate any tenancy for a residential dwelling unit on the island of Maui, for failure to pay all or any portion of the rent, maintenance fees, utility charges, taxes or other fees required for the residential dwelling unit.” Sixth Proclamation Relating to Wildfires, pages 7-8. This provision continues until October 17, 2023, unless otherwise modified or repealed. 

FEMA is not authorized to pay your rent except to rent temporary housing while disaster-caused repairs are made to your primary residence, or while transitioning to permanent housing. However, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits through  FEMA’s Disaster Unemployment  Assistance (DUA) program, mentioned above.  

Q.  If the property is unfit for occupancy, can the tenant return?

If the property is unfit for occupancy due to a state of emergency or severe weather warning, and the landlord intends to repair the unit, the landlord must provide 45 days notice and must offer re-occupancy of the unit to the tenant first.  If the tenant returns, the lease will be extended for the period that it took to complete the repairs.  During the vacancy by the tenant, the tenant is responsible for paying for other accommodations.

Q.  Is there a grace period for paying rent?

Not in the Landlord/Tenant Code. Many landlords permit a certain number of days beyond the due date to pay rent without penalty and many rental agreements include such a provision. If not otherwise stated, rent is due on the due date.

Q.  Can a landlord terminate a lease during a state of emergency or severe warning?

A landlord cannot terminate a lease unless:

  1. The tenant breached a material term of the rental agreement;
  2. The unit is unfit for occupancy;
  3. The rental agreement is for a fixed-term lease, and that fixed term has expired; or
  4. The unit is sold to a bona fide purchaser for value, or the landlord or a member of the landlord’s immediate family will occupy the unit with 45 days notice to the tenant.

Q.  Are there any limits on how often a landlord can increase the rent or the amount by which a landlord can increase the rent?

During a state declared state of emergency or severe weather warning, a landlord cannot increase the rent. A landlord cannot increase the rent in Maui at least until October 17, 2023. See Governor Green’s Sixth Proclamation Relating to Wildfires, page 4.  In all other situations, the landlord must give “adequate” written notice of the intent to increase the rent according to the type of tenancy (see chart at end of handbook). There is no limit on the amount of the rent increase as there is no rent control in Hawaii.

Q.  How much notice does the landlord or tenant have to give in order to terminate a tenancy at the expiration of a lease, or to increase rent after the expiration of a lease?

No notice is required in either case. A lease is a contract for a set period of time at a set rate. In order to continue the tenancy beyond the expiration of the lease, new terms would have to be negotiated. It is recommended that either the landlord or tenant advise the other of their intention to continue or terminate the agreement after its expiration to avoid misunderstanding and unnecessary problems. This applies equally to changing the amount of rent to be paid. If the landlord wishes to terminate the tenancy, the tenant must vacate the unit or become a holdover tenant.

Q.  How may the landlord dispose of a tenant’s abandoned possessions?

The landlord may sell the abandoned possessions in a commercially responsible manner, or store the possessions at the tenant’s expense, or donate the possessions to a charitable organization. Before selling or donating the possessions, the landlord must mail a notice of his intent to sell or donate the possessions to the tenant at the tenant’s forwarding or last known address. In addition, after the 15-day notification before selling the possessions, the landlord must advertise the sale in a daily paper of general circulation for at least three consecutive days. The proceeds of the sale of possessions under subsection (a) shall, after deduction of accrued rent and costs of storage and sale, including the cost of advertising, be held in trust for the tenant for 30 days, after which time the proceeds shall be forfeited to the landlord.

Q. Do I still have to pay my mortgage if my house is destroyed or severely damaged?

If the borrower is unable to make mortgage payments, the disaster victim should contact the lender and discuss the situation. Most lenders will work with the borrower if the financial difficulties are due to a disaster. The following options should be explored with the lender:

     1. A moratorium on payments for a specific amount of time or an indefinite period;

     2. A reduction in monthly payments for a specific amount of time or an indefinite period; and

            3. Given the severity of damage, the possibility of abandoning the property to the lender.

Important: If you have an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be entitled to additional protections, including a moratorium on foreclosures. An FHA-insured mortgage is a government-backed mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). The quickest way to determine if your mortgage is FHA-insured is to contact your lender directly. You will need your account number and address in order for your lender to provide this information. If you still have your closing documents, you may also be able to determine whether your mortgage is FHA-insured by reviewing those documents.

The U.S. Housing & Urban Development (HUD) has instructed FHA lenders to use reasonable judgment in determining who is an “affected borrower.” Lenders are required to reevaluate each delinquent loan until reinstatement or foreclosure and to identify the cause of default. Contact your lender to let them know about your situation. Some of the actions that your lender may take are: 

· During the term of a moratorium, your loan may not be referred to foreclosure if you were affected by a disaster. 
· Your lender will evaluate you for any available loss mitigation assistance to help you retain your home. 

· Your lender may enter into a forbearance plan, or execute a loan modification or a partial claim, if these actions will help retain and pay for your home. 

· If saving your home is not feasible, lenders have some flexibility in using the pre-foreclosure sales program or may offer to accept a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.

FHA lenders will automatically stop all foreclosure actions against families with delinquent loans on homes within the boundaries of a Presidentially declared disaster area. It is very important that you notify your lender to be sure that they realize you are an affected borrower. Your lender may request supporting documentation and use it to determine if you meet the relief criteria. Once identified as an affected borrower, foreclosure action may be stopped for the duration of the moratorium period. If your home was damaged in the disaster or you will not be able to make your monthly loan payment(s) because your finances were adversely affected, contact your lender immediately to request assistance. Borrowers who were injured or whose income relied on individuals who were injured or died in the disaster will be asked for documentation such as medical records or death certificates, if available. Your lender will ask you for financial information to help evaluate what assistance can be provided to you to reinstate your loan.

Q. What about my bills, including credit cards and other payments?

Disasters can often trigger a financial crisis as victims fall behind on their bills. Bills can include rent; home mortgage; utilities such as electric, gas, telephone, and water; and personal loans such as car, credit cards and student loans.  Missed payments or a collection action can result in damage of their credit rating, repossession of a car or home, and garnishment of their wages and bank account. 

A disaster victim should be proactive and notify creditors of the situation as soon as possible prior to or while still in the very early stages of a payment default.  Creditors can respond individually with a variety of solutions. The earlier a victim notifies their creditor of a difficulty to pay, the more likely an alternative arrangement can be made.  Some creditors may agree to postpone payments for a period of time or agree to temporarily lower a payment.  Be sure that whatever arrangement is made is actually affordable before agreeing to it.  It is always a good idea to get the full name of each person with whom the problem is being discussed and their phone, email and address contact information.  It is also a good idea to memorialize the arrangement in writing by sending a letter that repeats the details of whatever arrangement is reached. The victim should keep a copy of the letter so, if there is a problem, it won’t be just his or her word that an arrangement was reached.


  1. Temporary Assistance To Needy Families (TANF}

Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (“TANF”) provides monthly payments to needy families with children. Eligible families may also receive Med-QUEST health insurance and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. 

Generally, TANF is available for low-income families whose income is below the Hawaii Standard of Need (185% of the 2006 Federal Poverty Level). Able-bodied adults must be participating in a work activity or enrolled in the First-to Work program. Usually, benefits are paid to households with children under age nineteen (19), but children ages seventeen (17) to nineteen (19) are eligible only if in high school, vocational school, or technical training. Starting in 1996, TANF became time limited to sixty (60) months in a lifetime, subject to some exceptions.

Emergencies:  In Hawaii, there are two (2) separate administrative rules regarding emergencies. One rule applies to people applying for TANF; the other applies to families who are already receiving TANF benefits. 

1.       For applicants:

Individuals or families who are applicants for TANF benefits might to eligible for expedited processing oftheir application. Section 17-647-16, Hawaii Administrative Rules (“HAR”) states that when applicants inform the department in writing that they are facing emergency situations, the department must determine if emergencies exist. If so, they will be seen by eligibility workers within two (2) working days to determine eligibility for financial assistance.Eligible applicants can receive immediate cash assistance up to the amount of regular TANF benefits.

Emergencies which trigger two (2) day eligibility determination include the:

1.       Applicants whose income and liquid assets are equal to or less than the following:

Family Size                                          Allowance Standard

1                                                          $196

2                                                          $245

3                                                          $284

4                                                          $325

5                                                          $360

6                                                          $403

1.       or more                                        $452


2.    Don’t have a place to live;

3.    Have been served with court paper for eviction, or

4.    Are living in temporary shelters and will be without shelters within five (5) days. OR

2.       Applicants have housing but do not have food or money to purchase food.

1.       For Recipients (Already Receiving TANF Benefits):

Natural Disaster Assistance may be available, meaning the TANF family can receive an extra or additional TANF payment. Under HAR §17-678-11, this assistance is NOT available to:

1.       Recipients who have not received their regular TANF benefits at the beginning of the month; or

2.       Recipients who receive their total monthly food and shelter requirements from the Red Cross or other sources.

Households already receiving TANF, who are not ineligible under one of these two (2) categories, can receive an additional payment equal to their regular monthly benefits if the loss occurs prior to the sixteenth of the month.  If the disaster occurs on or after the sixteenth of the month, households can receive 75% of the monthly assistance allowance.

  1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP”)

Supplemental nutrition assistance is available to households that satisfy income and resource requirements. Apply at the Department of Human Services. 

Just as with TANF benefits, there are some emergency provisions. Some rules apply to applicants, others to food stamp recipients. 

1.       For Applicants:

Emergency benefits are provided under HAR §17-647 within seven (7) days of application to the eligible individual and/or families who are “in need” meaning they:

1.       Have less than $100.00 on hand and income of less than $150.00in the calendar month; or

2.       Don’t have enough money to pay rent/mortgage and utilities; or

3.       Migrant and seasonal farm workers who have less than $100.00 in liquid resources.

If the household meets one of these qualifications, the only thing they must give the food stamp office is a piece of identification (such as driver’s license, work or school ID, voter registration card, or birth certificate). Other necessary verification must be provided within 30 days to get continued benefits.

2.       For Recipients Whose Food Was Destroyed

The DHS processing unit should replace (in SNAP benefits) the actualvalue of food destroyed in a disaster up to a maximum of one month’s allotment. The recipient must report the destruction of the food to the processing unit within ten (10) days. 

3.       For Recipients Whose EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) Card Was Lost Or Destroyed:

If the household’s EBT card was lost, stolen, or destroyed in a household disaster, such as flooding from a hurricane, you should report it right away. Please call 1-888-328-4292. When you report the loss, the processing unit will cancel the card so that no one else can use your benefits. They must give you a new EBT card within five to seven (5-7) days after you report this loss. 

4.       Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP):

As a result of a natural disaster, some special food stamp rules may apply so that people who do not qualify under normal rules may still get food stamps. When in doubt, people should apply.  DHS uses a simplified application and issues D-SNAP within 72 hours.  Households can receive one month of benefits at the maximum level for their respective household size.  In addition, current SNAP participants who do not receive the maximum SNAP benefits can receive D-SNAP to increase their benefits to the maximum benefit level.

State agencies must request the federal Food and Nutrition Service (“FNS”) to approve D-SNAP operation.  FNS will permit the state to operate the program for a limited period of time (usually seven days).

  1. Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”)

Social Security provides SSI to disabled or aged individuals (65 and older) with limited income and assets. A single person cannot have more than $2000 in assets.  A couple cannot have more than $3000 in assets. The rules governing SSI are phenomenally complex, and the process is slow.

SSI applicants may be entitled to an immediate one-time emergency advance payment up to the full grant amount if they: 

1.       Are presumptively eligible for SSI (have a condition on Social Security’s presumptive eligibility list — usually very, very serious medical conditions); and

2.       Have a financial emergency — lack of food, shelter or medical care. Recipients or applicants found to be disabled by SSA may be eligible for an immediate payment based on their circumstances in emergency situations. A payment is due because of delayed or interrupted payment, non-receipt, or a newly processed claim.  Development of the case must be complete.  SSA must establish eligibility for payment.  The person must have immediate financial emergency that cannot reasonably be met through other resources available in the community.  The immediate payment must be the lesser of $999, the amount due to the beneficiary, or the amount requested by the recipient.  A recipient who needs an immediate payment must go to the SSA office.

  1. Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”)

Social Security Disability is available to individuals with insured status who are unable to work as a result of a medically determinable condition, expected to last for at least twelve (12) months or result in death. Like SSI, the SSDI process is complex and slow. Unlike SSI, SSDI does not have income and asset thresholds.  Claims can take eight to nine months to process.  Many claims are denied at the initial level, so claimants must appeal their denials.  

This program is only for the most seriously ill individuals. If the applicants’ injuries prevent them from working for at least twelve (12) months or result in death, they may file applications with the local Social Security District Office.

Note: Social Security applies a more stringent standard for individuals under age 50 with high school education and prior sedentary work. Also, eligible recipients receive Medicare benefits two years after they are eligible for SSDI. 

Emergencies:  Recipients or applicants may be eligible for an immediate payment (IP) in emergency situations. A recipient who needs an IP must contact the SSA office.  Please see the SSI section on Immediate Payments for more information.

  1. General Assistance (GA)

General Assistance is a monthly financial benefit for aged or disabled individuals.  DHS defines “disabled” as the inability to engage in any work due to a physical and/or psychological condition expected to last 60 or more days.  DHS defines ‘aged” as 65 or older.  Recipients must have limited income and assets below $2000 (single) or $3000 (couple).  The maximum GA is $417 (individual) and $562 (couple) in 2023. Apply at the Department of Human Services Processing Units.

Processing GA applications takes substantially less time than processing SSDI and SSI applications. Rules for emergency G.A. benefits and emergency TANF are the same.

Emergencies:  GA emergency standards are similar to TANF benefits above.

  1. Med-QUEST Insurance

The Department of Human Services Med-QUEST Division administers medical insurance programs for indigent individuals.  These programs include Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program).  Income and asset limits vary depending on the family size and other factors.  For example, a pregnant woman may have income up to 196% of the federal poverty level, while a child may have income up to 308% of the federal poverty level.  Individuals with income exceeding the maximum limits may spend down their income on medical care to qualify for coverage.  Note that the spend-down threshold is low ($469 per month for a single person).

After Med-QUEST qualifies individuals for insurance, participants must choose insurance carriers. Currently, AlohaCare, Hawaii Medical Service Association (HMSA), Kaiser Foundation Health Plan (Oahu & Maui only), Ohana Health Plan and UnitedHealthcare Community Plan provide coverage. Recipients choose primary care providers participating with the respective insurers. If needed, these primary care providers refer recipients to specialists within their networks.

Emergencies:  If individuals need medical care right away, they should go to the hospital even if they do not have insurance cards. If possible, they should try to make sure that the providers will accept their insurance. At some hospitals, social workers or hospital staff help individuals apply for QUEST insurance.

Once applications are submitted, Med-QUEST takes up to 45 days to decide eligibility (90 days if based on a disability). Med-QUEST can cover expenses for up to three (3) months before the application date. Applicants must request on their applications their need for retroactive coverage.  

Expedited Application Processing:means a determination will be made within two (2) days and applies to applicants facing medical emergencies.  Applicants must have emergencies which can be covered by available medical services.  The applicants must also have conditions that cause serious risk of disease, threat to life or vital function, serious health complication, or serious irreparable harm should they fail to obtain treatment.

Applicants must submit applications for medical assistance and DHS 1149s signed by physicians, advance practice registered nurses, or dentists certifying the need for immediate medical treatment.  The medical practitioners must also state that they will not treat the applicants unless Med-QUEST determines eligibility for medical assistance.  


Vital Records (Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce Certificates)

*Due to the new REAL ID law, a copy of a current government picture ID may be required to obtain a birth certificate. If no picture ID is available, please contact the vital records office for possible alternate forms of identification.

Outside the State of Hawaii
If a vital record is about an event that happened outside of Hawaii, the applicant must contact the vital records office of the state where the event occurred. Some birth certificate requests by mail may require notarization.

State of Hawaii Records
Vital records are kept by the Vital Statistics Section, Office of Health Status Monitoring, State Department of Health.

  1. Event must have occurred in the State of Hawaii.
  2. No requests are taken by telephone, facsimile, or e-mail except through their on-line portal.
  3. Requests must be in writing, in-person, or through the Office of Health Status Monitoring website:

For events that occurred 75 years ago or earlier, an applicant must establish a “direct and tangible” interest to certificate registrant. See Section 338-18(b), Hawaii Revised Statutes. The following persons have an “interest”:

  1. The registrant (the person whom the record is about); 
  2. The registrant’s spouse;
  3. The registrant’s parents;
  4. A descendant of the registrant;
  5. A person having a common ancestor with the registrant (e.g. a sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle or cousin);
  6. A legal guardian of the registrant;
  7. A person or agency acting on behalf of the registrant
  8. A personal representative of the registrant’s estate;
  9. A person whose right to obtain a copy of the record is established by an order of a court of competent jurisdiction;
  10. 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 legal or natural parents;
  1. A person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
  2. A person who needs to determine the death of a non-related co-owner of property; and
  3. A person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
  4. An applicant without a “direct and tangible” link will not be issued a certified copy of a record.

A.  Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate

Information an applicant will need to provide:

1.       Applicant’s name, address and telephone number.

2.       Applicant’s relationship to the person named on certificate.

3.       Reason why the applicant is requesting the document.

4.       Full name(s) listed on certificate.

5.       The certificate’s file number (if known).

6.       Month, day, and year of the event: and

7.       City or town and the island the event occurred.

1.       For birth certificates, also provide the full name of the father and full maiden name of the mother.

2.       If the applicant is applying for a certificate on behalf of someone else, you must provide an original letter signed by that person authorizing the release of the certificate to the applicant.

Applying Online

Birth certificates and marriage/civil union certificates can be requested on-line at Applicants will need to provide a credit card which matches the name of an eligible individual to request the certificate to pay for the certificate. You can get your order status info at (808) 586-4539 or by emailing or  

Certificates ordered online can be mailed or picked up at the office, but a valid current government picture ID will be needed in order to do so.

Applying in WritingBirth certificate applications may be retrieved with Adobe Acrobat from the website at:

Marriage certificate applications can be found at:

Or, you may write a letter requesting a certificate with all the necessary information (see paragraph above) and payment of fees.

Send application or letter to:

State Department of Health
Office of Health Status Monitoring
Issuance/Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801

You will need to enclose a copy of a government issued ID.  Certified copies of certificates will usually be sent out in 6-8 weeks after receipt and approval of the application.  Certificates older than 75 years may take longer than 6-8 weeks.

Fees for certified copies of all certificates: $10.00 for first copy of each certificate, $2.50 portal fee (for up to five copies at a time), and $4.00 for each additional copy of the same certificates ordered at the same time. 2

All fees are payable in advance and are non-refundable:

1.       If no record is found after a search is conducted, then the fees are retained by the Department to cover the cost of the search.

2.       In person request: Fees may be paid in cash, money order, or cashier’s check.

3.       Mail-In request: Fees must be paid by money order or cashier’s check made payable to the State Department of Health.

4.       Online request: Fees may be paid by credit card; however a copy of a valid current government picture ID will be required.

5.       Once an order has been received and processed, a $10.00 fee will be charged for any request to make changes to the order.

B.  Death Certificate

Information an applicant will need to provide:

  1. Name of deceased
  2. Date of death
  3. Place of death
  4. Social security number
  5. Relationship of requestor to person named on the certificate
  6. Reason for the request

Applying in WritingYou can only apply for death certificates in writing.  Applications may be retrieved with Adobe Acrobat from the website at:

Or, you may write a letter requesting a certificate with all the necessary information (see paragraph above) and payment of fees.

Send application or letter to:

State Department of Health
Office of Health Status Monitoring
Issuance/Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801

You will need to enclose a copy of a government issued ID.

Certified copies of certificates will usually be sent out in 6-8 weeks after 
receipt and approval of the application.Certificates older than 75 years may take longer than 6-8 weeks.

Fees for certified copies of all certificates: $10.00 for first copy of each certificate, and $4.00 for each additional copy of the same certificates ordered at the same time. 
All fees are payable in advance and are non-refundable:

6.       If no record is found after a search is conducted, then the fees are retained by the Department to cover the cost of the search.

7.       In person request: Fees may be paid in cash, credit card, certified check, money order, or cashier’s check.

8.       Mail-In request: Fees must be paid by money order, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to the State Department of Health.

C.  Divorce Certificate – Information an applicant will need to provide:

  1. Husband’s name
  2. Wife’s name
  3. Date of divorce
  4. Place of divorce
  5. Relationship of requestor to person named on certificate
  6. Reason for the request

Important note:  Department of Health has limited divorce records between January 1951 and December 2002.  For certificates before 1951 and after 2002, please contact the court where the divorce was granted.

Applying in WritingYou can only apply for divorce certificates in writing.  Applications may be retrieved with Adobe Acrobat from the website at:

Or you may write a letter requesting a certificate with all the necessary information (see paragraph above) and payment of fees.

Send application or letter to:

State Department of Health
Office of Health Status Monitoring
Issuance/Vital Statistics Section
P.O. Box 3378
Honolulu, Hawaii 96801

You will need to provide a copy of a government-issued ID.

Certified copies of certificates will usually be sent out in 6-8 weeks after 
receipt and approval of the application.  Certificates older than 75 years may take longer than 6-8 weeks.

Fees for certified copies of all certificates: $10.00 for first copy of each certificate, and $4.00 for each additional copy of the same certificates ordered at the same time. 
All fees are payable in advance and are non-refundable.

9.       If no record is found after a search is conducted, then the fees are retained by the Department to cover the cost of the search.

10.   In person request: Fees may be paid in cash, credit card, certified check, money order, or cashier’s check.

11.   Mail-In request: Fees must be paid by money order, certified check or cashier’s check made payable to the State Department of Health.

Further Information
For further information, call State Department of Health at (808) 586-4533 (recorded information) or (808) 586-4539 or (808) 586-4542 during normal business hours for a live person. Or go to the Department of Health’s website at

Court Records (Divorce Decrees, Judgments & Court Orders)

For copies (certified and non-certified) of divorce decrees, judgments or
other court orders entered in a Hawaii Court, please contact the Legal Documents Clerk of the Circuit Court on your island. The respective addresses and phone numbers of the clerk are as follows:

OAHU (1st Circuit)
Legal Documents Clerk
Circuit Court of the First Court
777 Punchbowl Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone: 808-539-4300

MAUI (2nd Circuit)
Legal Documents Clerk
Circuit Court of the Second Circuit
Hoapili Hale
2145 Main Street, Suite 106
Wailuku, HI 96793-1679
Telephone: 808-244-2969

BIG ISLAND (3rd Circuit)
Legal Documents Clerk (Hilo Division)
Circuit Court of the Third Court
777Hale Kaulike
777 Kilauea Avenue

Hilo, HI 96720-4212
Telephone: 808-961-7400

Legal Documents Clerk (Kona Division)
Circuit Court of the Third Circuit
Keahuolū Courthouse

7474-5451 Kamakaeha Avenue

KailuaKailua-Kona, HI 96740

Telephone: 808-322-8750

KAUAI (5th Circuit)
Legal Documents Clerk
Circuit Court of the Fifth Circuit
3970 Kaana3970 Ka’ana Street
Lihu’e, HI 96766

Telephone:  808-482-2330

Insurance Documents

If someone has lost his or her insurance documents or records, have them contact their insurance agent directly to obtain copies.  Also, they should contact their insurance company directly about making a claim.

Professional & Vocational Licenses

General Information: Telephone Licensing Requirements at 808-586-3000

King Kalakaua Building

335 Merchant, Rm. 301

Hawaii 96813

Visit to request online.

Mailing Address:


P.O. Box 3469

Honolulu, HI 96801

Veteran’s Affairs

If a veteran has lost his discharge papers or has questions about benefits, call the VA representative.  1-800-827-1000

Office of Veterans’ Services
1304 Kekuanaoa St. #L-102
Hilo, HI 96720-4568
PH: (808) 369-35383538
FAX: (808) 933-0317
Monday – Friday  7:45am – 4:30pm.  Closed for lunch from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

*Walk-Ins are not available at this location.


Office of Veterans’ Services

3215 Kauai Veterans Memorial Hwy., Suite #2

Lihue, HI 96766

PH: (808) 369-3535

FAX: (808) 241-3818


Monday – Friday 7:45am – 4:30pm.  Closed for lunch from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

Kelle Raitz, Veterans’ Services Counselor

*Walk-Ins are not available at this location.


Office of Veterans’ Services

333 Dairy Rd., Suite 203

Kahului, HI 96732

PH: (808) 369-3541

FAX: (808) 873-3147


Monday – Friday 7:45am – 4:30pm.  Closed for lunch from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

Darren Eugenio, Veterans’ Services Counselor

Cheryl Guzikowski, Veterans’ Services Counselor

*Walk-Ins are not available at this location.

OAHU (Tripler Army Medical Center)

Office of Veterans’ Services

459 Patterson Road

E-Wing, Room 1-A103

Honolulu, HI 96819-1522

PH: (808) 433-0420

FAX: (808) 433-0385

TTD/Relay Service: 1-711


Monday – Friday 7:45am – 4:00pm.  Closed for lunch from 12:00pm – 1:00pm.

Ronald Han Jr., Director

Jon Kimura, Veterans’ Services Coordinator

Melegalenuu Sene-Whitehead, Veterans’ Services Counselor

*Walk-Ins are not available at this location.

(808) 844-6664

Immigration Documents  

(Green cards or citizenship papers)


  1. To replace green card – Application Form I-90 plus $455.00
  2. To replace citizenship papers – Application form N-565 plus $555.00
  3. To replace Arrival/Departure record -Application form I-102 plus $445.00
    Fee waivers are available for qualified applicants.

You may pay the fee with a money order, personal check, cashier’s check, or credit card.

To Request Forms: Dial 1-800-375-5283and leave name, address, and form number and it will be mailed to you OR log on to website and download forms.

500 Ala Moana Blvd. Suite 2-403             

Honolulu, HI  96813

Phone:  1-800-375-5283                             

Deeds (And Other Recorded Instruments)

In Person:  Anyone may order a certified copy of a document.  Go to Public Reference Bureau.

Honolulu Office:       Bureau of Conveyances
                                    1151 Punchbowl Street
                                    Honolulu, HI 96813

By Mail:                      Bureau of Conveyances
                                    P.O. Box 2867

                                    Honolulu, HI 96803

Telephone:                587-0147


Telephone: (808) 587-0147

Documents/Items From Financial Institutions

To replace checkbooks, passbooks, safe deposit box keys, or other bank documents, the bank should be contacted directly.  Procedures will vary from bank to bank.  The caller may call the general customer service number or his or her respective branch. 

If a person has lost his or her original will (or other testamentary or trust instrument), a new one should be executed.  The person should check with the drafting attorney to be sure that the attorney’s office does not have the original or the attorney may have a copy of the will on file.  The person should also check all safety deposit boxes and safes or safe-keeping places to look for the original will.

Drivers Licenses & Vehicle Registration

  Apply at any Satellite City Hall or Department of Motor Vehicle, Licensing, and Permits.  May need to present documentation, such as birth certificate and Social Security card.  Please check with your DMV.




Kapalama:  925 Dillingham Blvd., #101, Honolulu, HI 96817.  PH: 808-768-9100 (8:00-4:00 P.M.) 

Kapolei:  1000 Uluohia St., #101, Kapolei, HI 96707.  PH: 808-768-3100 (7:45-4:00 P.M.) 

Koolau:  47-388 Hui Iwa St., Suite 19, Kaneohe, HI  96744.  PH: 808-239-6301 (7:45-4:00 P.M.) 

Wahiawa:  330 N Cane St., DLC, Wahiawa, HI  96786. PH: 808-768-4054 (7:45-4:00 P.M.) 

Waianae:  85-670 Farrington Hwy., #3, Waianae, HI  96792. PH: 808-768-4222(Tuesday and Thursday, 7:45-4:00 P.M., closed 11:30-12:30 P.M.) 

Hawai‘i Island



East Hawaii:  349 Kapiolani St., Hilo, HI  96720.  Ph. 961-2222

West Hawaii:  West Hawaii Civic Center, 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Kailua-Kona, HI  96740.  Ph. 323-4818

Ka‘ū:  Na‘alehu Police Station, 95-5355 Mamalahoa Highway, Na‘alehu, HI  96772.  Ph. 854-7214  (Tuesday and Wednesday by appointment) 



Location:  70 E. Kaahumanu Ave., Maui Mall, Suite A-17, Kahului, HI 96732.  Ph. 270-7363(8:00-4:00 P.M.) 



Location:  4444 Rice St., Ste. A480, Lihue, HI 96766.  Ph. 241-4242 (7:45-4:00 P.M.)

Social Security Cards 
General Information, Services and to Schedule an Appointment:

Website: or Call 1-800-772-1213(7:00am-5:00pm)

Local Offices: 


111 E. Puainako St., Ste. #710

Hilo, HI  96720

Monday-Friday:  8:30-3:30 P.M.                


300 Ala Moana, Room 1-114                     
Honolulu, HI 96813  

Monday-Friday:  8:30-3:30 P.M.                


970 Manawai St.

Kapolei, HI  96707

Monday-Friday:  8:30-3:30 P.M.                


4334 Rice St.

Lihue, HI  96766

Monday-Friday:  8:30-3:30 P.M.                

Maui County

2200 Main St., Ste. #125

Wailuku, HI  96793
Monday-Friday:  8:30-3:30 P.M.                

Procedure: The Social Security Administration will re-issue a new Social Security Card.  All applications (whether a person applied in person or by mail) must go to Baltimore, Maryland.  Allow three (3) to four (4) weeks to get a replacement card.  There is no charge.

In-Person (U.S. Citizen Born in the U.S.)
A U.S. citizen can go in person to the Social Security Office or temporary site and must show proof of identity (i.e. U.S. driver’s license, state ID, U.S. passport).

In-Person (Non U.S. Citizen or U.S. Citizen Born Outside the U.S.)

These individuals will need to show (1) proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful immigrant status AND (2) proof of identity (i.e. U.S. driver’s license, state ID, U.S. passport).

Examples of proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status include:

1.       U.S. birth certificate or passport

2.       Consular report of birth abroad

3.       Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization

4.       Form I-551

5.       Form I-94 

6.       Form I-766

If these forms are lost or destroyed, get them replaced first.  See replacing immigration documents Section. 

By Mail:  Call general information and get an application. The application must be submitted with original supporting documents.

OnlinePeople can also visit to replace their Social Security cards.

Medicare and Medicaid Insurance Cards:  

People can log into or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to obtain a replacement Medicare card.  If people have other Medicare plans (such as Medicare Advantage or Medigap), please also contact the insurance company directly.


People receiving Medicaid usually have two cards: (1) state Medicaid card and (2) specific insurance card.  Please call 

  1. Med-QUEST at (808) 524 – 3370 to replace the state Medicaid card
  2. Your insurer (e.g. AlohaCare, UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser, HMSA, ‘Ohana) to replace the specific insurance card.

To learn more about this subject, tune into this video podcast.

Disclaimer:  this material is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  The law varies by jurisdiction and is constantly changing.  For legal advice, you should consult a lawyer that can apply the appropriate law to the facts in your case.