Civil Union website:
To view the application instructions and screen shots for the electronic
civil union license system, click on the links below:
Application Screen Shots
The civil union license application form is available in PDF format:
Download civil union license application
For a list of civil union/marriage license agents (who agreed to have their information posted online):
List of License Agents
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
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.
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
available at http://hawaii.gov/doh/CUtaskforce.
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 02/21/2013)
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 required.
- Age: The legal age to enter a civil union will be 18 years or older for both
males and females.
- 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 degree
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 their union.
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 ceremony.
- 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 opportunity?
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
Last Updated February 3, 2012