§338-18 Disclosure of records. (a) To protect the integrity of vital statistics records, to ensure their proper use, and to ensure the efficient and proper administration of the vital statistics system, it shall be unlawful for any person to permit inspection of, or to disclose information contained in vital statistics records, or to copy or issue a copy of all or part of any such record, except as authorized by this part or by rules adopted by the department of health.
(b) The department shall not permit inspection of public health statistics records, or issue a certified copy of any such record or part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant has a direct and tangible interest in the record. The following persons shall be considered to have a direct and tangible interest in a public health statistics record:
(1) The registrant;
(2) The spouse of the registrant;
(3) A parent of the registrant;
(4) A descendant of the registrant;
(5) A person having a common ancestor with the registrant;
(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 inspect or obtain a certified 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 who need to determine the death of one or more of the prospective adopted child’s natural or legal parents;
(11) A person who needs to determine the marital status of a former spouse in order to determine the payment of alimony;
(12) A person who needs to determine the death of a nonrelated co-owner of property purchased under a joint tenancy agreement; and
(13) A person who needs a death certificate for the determination of payments under a credit insurance policy.
(c) The department may permit the use [of] the data contained in public health statistical records for research purposes only, but no identifying use thereof shall be made.
(d) Index data consisting of name and sex of the registrant, type of vital event, and such other data as the director may authorize shall be made available to the public.
(e) The department may permit persons working on genealogy projects access to microfilm or other copies of vital records of events that occurred more than seventy-five years prior to the current year.
(f) Subject to this section, the department may direct its local agents to make a return upon filing of birth, death, and fetal death certificates with them, of certain data shown to federal, state, territorial, county, or municipal agencies. Payment by these agencies for these services may be made as the department shall direct.
(g) The department shall not issue a verification in lieu of a certified copy of any such record, or any part thereof, unless it is satisfied that the applicant requesting a verification is:
(1) A person who has a direct and tangible interest in the record but requests a verification in lieu of a certified copy;
(2) A governmental agency or organization who for a legitimate government purpose maintains and needs to update official lists of persons in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities;
(3) A governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks confirmation of a certified copy of any such record submitted in support of or information provided about a vital event relating to any such record and contained in an official application made in the ordinary course of the agency’s or organization’s activities by an individual seeking employment with, entrance to, or the services or products of the agency or organization;
(4) A private or government attorney who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record which was acquired during the course of or for purposes of legal proceedings; or
(5) An individual employed, endorsed, or sponsored by a governmental, private, social, or educational agency or organization who seeks to confirm information about a vital event relating to any such record in preparation of reports or publications by the agency or organization for research or educational purposes. [L 1949, c 327, §22; RL 1955, §57-21; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §19; am L 1967, c 30, §2; HRS §338-18; am L 1977, c 118, §1; am L 1991, c 190, §1; am L 1997, c 305, §5; am L 2001, c 246, §2]
Rulemaking, see chapter 91.