Hawaii State Background Check

Information on criminal history may come from a variety of sources, from federal law enforcement records to charges levied at the state or county level. Hawaii, like many other states, maintains a record of all the criminal actions within its borders in a central state repository: the Hawaii Criminal Justice Data Center. Counties within this database include Honolulu (city & county), Hawaii, Maui, and Kaua'i.

Contained within this database is information on such events as arrests, convictions, and incarcerations. backgroundchecks.com provides a convenient Hawaii state background check and offers checks for 29 additional states. As employers seek the applicants best suited for a job, a criminal background check can provide helpful information.

Data Coverage Map

What may be reported on a state criminal history search?

  • Jurisdiction where record is recorded
  • Case number
  • Defendant
  • Charge
  • Filing date
  • Degree of offense, like misdemeanor
  • Disposition
  • Disposition date
  • Sentence

Criminal Record Restrictions

As the first state in the union to implement any type of ban the box law, Hawaii has been a leader in implementing restrictions on how employers can use these records. Hawaii enforces several other restrictions on employers to foster a level playing field for all applicants, including those with criminal records. To help employers understand the boundary lines they must obey, we've created this summary. Consider these factors before you order a Hawaii state background check.

Arrest Records

Arrest records are not permissible in employment decisions unless a business can demonstrate a clear and direct reason an arrest would negatively impact an individual's ability to perform the job.

Conviction Records

You may only order a background check or ask an applicant if they have been convicted after extending a conditional job offer to the individual. Even then, the state allows inquiries into only convictions within a 10-year period and which constitute a clear and negative impact on the applicant's ability to perform. This is a consequence of the state's expansive ban the box law.

Ban the Box

Hawaii implemented its ban the box legislation in 1998 and has not made considerable modifications to the statute since then. An employer can only rescind a job offer if an applicant’s criminal history is “rationally” linked to the job – for example, a DUI conviction for a job offer to be a city bus driver. This law applies to both public and private employers, meaning no business in Hawaii is exempted from these requirements.

Expunged Records

Employers may never ask about expunged or sealed arrest records or convictions, and applicants have no legal duty to disclose their criminal history if it has been expunged. 

Additional Restrictions on Credit Checks

In addition to these restrictions on criminal background checks, Hawaii limits an employer’s ability to consider an applicant’s credit history during the hiring process. You may not use credit history to decide on employment unless it is possible to demonstrate it would have an adverse impact on a mandatory qualification for the job. Due to Hawaii’s rules on inquiries and checks, employers are reminded to familiarize themselves with their obligations and avoid ordering such a check until the appropriate stage in the hiring process. 


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