Posted on Jun 28, 1990 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 90-23
June 28, 1990
Vital Statistic Records

[NOTE:  The statute at issue in this opinion was amended by Act 190, Session Laws of Hawaii 1991 (see HRS § 338-13), which may materially affect the conclusion reached in similar future opinions.]

Section 338-18, Hawaii Revised Statutes, specifically restricts access to vital statistic records maintained by the Department of Health. This statute restricts access to vital statistic records to the registrant, the spouse of a registrant, parent of the registrant, a descendant of a registrant, and a person having a common ancestor with the registrant who can demonstrate that the information is necessary for the determination of personal or property rights. We conclude that this section was intended to permit individuals to obtain copies of vital records irrespective of whether they are related to the registrant, as long as the information is necessary for the determination of personal or property rights.

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