Civil Union website:
To view the application instructions and screen shots for
the electronic civil union license system, click on the
Application Screen Shots
The civil union license application form is available in
Download civil union license application
The Civil Union Law
The State Legislature approved Senate Bill 232 in
February 2011 to recognize and establish the status of civil
unions in Hawaii. Senate Bill 232 was signed into law by
Governor Neil Abercrombie on February 23, 2011 and became
Act 1. The Act makes same-sex and opposite-sex
couples eligible for civil union recognition beginning
January 1, 2012, and grants civil union couples many of the
same rights as married couples in Hawaii.
The new law establishes all unions entered into in other
jurisdictions between two individuals not recognized under
Hawaii’s marriage law shall be recognized as civil unions
beginning January 1, 2012, provided that the relationship
meets the eligibility requirement of Hawaii’s civil unions
chapter, has been entered into in accordance with the laws
of that jurisdiction, and can be documented.
House Concurrent Resolution 205 requested the Department
of Health to establish a task force for the implementation
of Act 1. The first meeting of the task force was held on
August 16, 2011. Task force meeting agendas and notes are
The information provided below is based on available
information as of the date of update. The Department of
Health is developing the official process for the public to
submit applications, pay fees, register events, and receive
certificates and certified copies. All information posted
and dates provided are subject to change.
Recently Asked Questions
(Last updated 02/03/2012)
Who will be eligible to apply for a civil union?
- Residency: There will be no state residence
or U.S. citizenship requirements.
- Blood Tests: Blood tests will not be
- Age: The legal age to enter a civil union
will be 18 years or older for both males and females.
- Reciprocal Beneficiary Relationship: If
previously registered in a reciprocal beneficiary
relationship, proof of termination must be provided to
the civil union agent prior to the issuance of a civil
union license if the termination occurred within 30 days
of applying for the civil union license.
- Civil Union/Domestic Partnership: The new law
establishes all unions entered into in other
jurisdictions between two individuals not recognized
under Hawaii’s marriage law shall be recognized as civil
unions beginning January 1, 2012, provided that the
relationship meets the eligibility requirement of
Hawaii’s civil unions chapter, has been entered into in
accordance with the laws of that jurisdiction, and can
be documented. Those already in a domestic partnership
or civil union in other jurisdictions who want to enter
a civil union (either with another person than they are
united to in the other jurisdiction or in a ceremony
conducted by a Hawaii civil union performer) must first
terminate the domestic partnership or civil union.
- Marital Status: If previously married, proof
of termination of that marriage must be presented to the
civil union agent by the applicant if the divorce or
death was final within 30 days of applying for a civil
union license. Proof consists of a certified original
divorce decree or a certified death certificate. Other
credible proof of termination may be accepted at the
discretion of the DOH. NO FAXES ARE ACCEPTED.
- Blood Relationship: A civil union shall not
be entered into and shall be void between the following
persons: parent and child, grandparent and grandchild,
two siblings, aunt and nephew, aunt and niece, uncle and
nephew, uncle and niece, and persons who stand in
relation to each other as ancestor and descendant of any
Where can I obtain my civil union license and where
can I have my ceremony performed?
You may only obtain a civil union license from an agent
in the State of Hawaii county (a) in which the civil union
is to be solemnized or (b) in which either prospective
partner resides. For example:
You and your prospective partner lives in Kona but the
civil union ceremony will be held on Kauai. You can
obtain a license from an agent on the Big Island (Hawaii
County) or Kauai, but a license from an agent on Oahu
will not be valid for your civil union.
If neither you or your prospective partner live in the
State of Hawaii, you must obtain a license from the agent in
the county where the civil union ceremony will be performed.
Who will be eligible to perform or officiate a legal
civil union ceremony?
A civil union shall become valid ONLY UPON COMPLETION of
a solemnization by a person LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH IN ACCORDANCE WITH ACT 1. Couples are advised to
verify that the person who will be performing their civil
union ceremony is licensed. Couples are advised to ask to
see the solemnizer's license before attempting to solemnize
What are the steps for getting a civil union?
There is a three-step process:
- First, you must apply for a civil union license. The
license permits a civil union to take place.
- Second, you and your partner must appear in-person
before a civil union agent to receive your license.
- Third, once you receive your civil union license,
your legal civil union must be performed by a licensed
civil union performer or officiant.
More information on each step of the process is below.
How do I receive a civil union license?
After receiving my civil union license what will be
the next step for registering my civil union with the
Department of Health (DOH)?
- The Civil Union Law becomes effective January 1,
2012. Civil union ceremonies performed by a licensed
officiant on or after January 1, 2012 will be registered
by the DOH.
- When you submit your application for your civil
union license, your civil union agent will provide all
the information you may need to complete the process for
legally recognizing your civil union in Hawaii.
- Once your civil union license has been issued, your
ceremony may take place within 30 days of your license
issuance or before the expiration date. You must have a
civil union officiant licensed by the DOH perform your
- After completing the ceremony on or after January 1,
2012, the civil union officiant will record the event
online with the DOH and, after DOH reviews and approves
the information, your civil union will be registered.
- Once the officiant enters the ceremony information
into the system and it has been reviewed and accepted by
DOH, a temporary on-line certificate of civil union will
be available to you for a limited time period.
- When your on-line certificate is no longer
available, you may request and obtain a certified copy
of your certificate from the DOH by paying applicable
Who can answer my questions regarding benefits,
entitlements, accommodations, civil rights, and/or equal
The Department of Health does not provide legal advice on
benefits or entitlements. For information regarding benefits
or entitlements, consult with your legal counsel, employer,
provider, or related government or private agencies that
address these issues.
The Department of Health can provide certified copies of
legal records to verify civil union status in Hawaii to
those who are entitled to receive copies pursuant to state
law. Certified copies of vital records are acceptable for
legal and government transactions.