Hawaii Deed Requirements

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Each of our deeds is attorney-designed to meet the requirements of Hawaii law. Click the link below to create a deed online to transfer Hawaii real estate.

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Hawaii deeds must be formatted in compliance with Hawaii law and include all legally required information. A Hawaii deed must be signed in the required manner and accompanied by the necessary additional forms when submitted for recording.

Formatting Standards for Hawaii Deeds

Hawaii formatting standards deal with the arrangement and format of each of the elements of Hawaii deeds. Hawaii deeds must meet the following formatting requirements:

  • Paper. Paper on which a Hawaii deed is printed must not exceed 8½ by 11 inches (standard letter size).1 Written text should appear on only one side of a deed’s pages.2 Pages of a multi-page deed must be fastened with a single staple in the top left corner.3
  • Page numbers. If a deed is more than one page, each page must be numbered in order, starting with 1.4 A Land Court deed may instead give the total number of pages in a fly sheet affixed to the deed’s first page.5
  • Font size. Hawaii does not require a specific font size for deeds. Hawaii deeds typically use a 10- to 12-point font. Text in a deed must be large enough to produce clear scanned images and copies.
  • Margins. The top margin of a Hawaii deed’s first page must reserve a 3½-inch space for the registrar’s recording information.6 All other margins should be 1 inch.
  • Legibility. A deed must be legible enough to allow making copies using photographic, electronic, or electrostatic methods.7

Content Requirements for Hawaii Deeds

Hawaii content requirements govern the substantive provisions that must be included in each Hawaii deed form. Hawaii deeds must meet the following content requirements:

  • Title. A Hawaii deed’s first page must state the type of document being recorded.8
  • Grantor name and address. A Hawaii deed’s first page must name the current owner (the grantor) transferring real estate.9 Grantors should be identified by full name and address. A deed with multiple grantors should show all grantors on the first page, if possible.
  • Grantee name and address. A deed must state the full name and address of the new owner (the grantee).10 All grantees’ names and addresses should appear on the first page, if possible.11
  • Marital status. A deed transferring real estate to or from a natural person must state whether the person is married or unmarried. If a new owner is married, the deed must provide the spouse’s full name.12
  • Registration state of business entities. A deed transferring real estate to a business entity must identify the entity’s address and the state in which the entity is organized, incorporated, or registered.13
  • Return address. The name and address of the person who receives the deed after recording must appear on the deed’s first page, within the 1-inch space just below the top margin. The return address must begin 1½ inches from the left margin and not exceed 3½ inches per line.14
  • Tax map key number. The tax map key number assigned to the property must appear on the deed’s first page.15
  • Property description. A deed must include a legal description identifying the property it transfers. Legal descriptions in Hawaii deeds typically include the property’s lot number. Deeds recorded in the Land Court System must refer to the certificate of title number for the land affected.16 Land Court System deeds cannot use metes and bounds descriptions unless the certificate of title describes the real estate only by metes and bounds.17
  • Land court system encumbrances. A deed that transfers less than all the lots included in a Land Court System property’s certificate of title must contain a full statement of the easements, rights-of-way, and all other factors affecting the lot or lots being transferred. A deed that affects all of the land in a certificate of title can refer to these factors using the following statement: “subject to the encumbrances mentioned in Certificate of Title No. ________, to which reference is hereby made.”18
  • Condominium unit encumbrances. A deed that transfers one or more but not all units or apartments in a condominium project must show easements, rights-of-way, and all liens and other factors that affect the transferred property.19 A deed transferring all units may identify encumbrances by reference.
  • Granting clause. A deed must include a clause stating that the deed transfers the current owner’s property to the new owner. The wording of a deed’s granting clause depends on the type of deed.
  • Co-ownership form. A Hawaii deed that gives the property to more than one new owner should say the form of co-ownership the new owners will use. Co-owners in Hawaii can own real estate as tenants in common, joint tenants with right of survivorship, or (if they are married) tenants by the entirety.20
  • Consideration. Hawaii law does not require deeds to describe the payment, or consideration, provided in exchange for a deed. Hawaii deeds often state nominal consideration, meaning very little payment.

Singing Requirements for Hawaii Deeds

A Hawaii deed is not valid unless it is signed as required by law. Hawaii deeds must meet the following signature requirements:

  • Current owner’s signature. A Hawaii deed must include the original signature of the current owner or the owner’s legal agent.21 The name of a natural person signing a deed as an individual must be typewritten, stamped, or legibly printed beneath the signature.22
  • Notarization. A deed must include a notary’s certificate of acknowledgment confirming the current owner’s signature.23 Hawaii offers acknowledgment certificates for deeds in24
  • Power of attorney. A deed signed by an agent acting under power of attorney (POA) for the owner must be recorded with the signed POA form that lets the agent act for the property owner.25 Rules governing the format, name, signature, and acknowledgment requirements for recorded POA forms are like the rules for recorded deeds.26

Recording Fees for Hawaii Deeds

Hawaii keeps land records at the state level and has no county-level recording offices. Deeds that transfer Hawaii real estate are recorded with the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. The Bureau of Conveyances operates two separate recording systems—the Regular System and the Land Court System. We describe these in more detail in our article on Hawaii Deed Law and Information.

The fee to record a Hawaii deed depends on the system in which the deed is recorded. Land Court System deeds require a $36.00 recording fee—increased to $101.00 for deeds exceeding 50 pages. Regular System deeds require a $41.00 recording fee—increased to $106.00 for deeds exceeding 50 pages.

Hawaii Conveyance Tax

Hawaii’s conveyance tax is like transfer taxes in other states. The tax is due when a deed is recorded unless the deed is exempt.27

Hawaii’s conveyance tax is charged based on the actual payment for the transferred real estate.28 The tax rate rises with the amount the property is purchased for. The rate starts at $0.10 per $100.00 for consideration up to $600,000.00 and increases as high as $1.00 per $100.00 for consideration over $10 million.29 The conveyance tax rate is higher for deeds that transfer condos or single-family homes to buyers who don’t qualify for county homeowner’s property tax exemptions.30

Certain types of deeds are exempt from Hawaii’s conveyance tax.31 Common examples of exempt deeds include:

  • Deeds that correct a previously recorded deed;
  • Deeds that transfer real estate for $100.00 or less;
  • Deeds between spouses, parent and child, or reciprocal beneficiaries for very little payment;
  • Deeds between spouses or reciprocal beneficiaries in a divorce or when ending a reciprocal beneficiary relationship when the deed is signed due to a court order in the divorce or termination case;
  • Deeds that transfer real estate from a testamentary trust to a beneficiary;
  • Deeds that transfer real estate from a grantor to the grantor’s revocable trust or from the trust to the grantor as beneficiary;
  • Deeds that are transfer-on-death deeds under Hawaii law.

Additional Forms Required When Recording Hawaii Deeds

The following additional forms may be required when filing a Hawaii deed:

  • Conveyance tax certificate (Form P64-A). A deed that requires payment of conveyance tax must be filed with a completed Form P64-A.32 A party or the party’s agent must sign the completed Form P64-A and include it with the deed at the time of recording.
  • Conveyance tax exemption (Form P64-B). A deed that is exempt from conveyance tax must be filed with a completed Form P64-B.33 The signed form includes information about the deal and gives the basis for the exemption.
  • Business entity certificate of good standing. A business entity that receives title under a Land Court System deed must prove the entity exists and is in good standing when recording the deed. The entity typically does so by presenting a certificate of good standing or a certification letter from a licensed attorney.34

Each deed created by our deed preparation service is attorney-designed to meet Hawaii recording requirements and comes with step-by-step instructions for filing with the Bureau of Conveyance.

  1. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(c).
  2. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  3. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  4. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  5. Hawaii Land Court Rule 58.5(b).
  6. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  7. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  8. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  9. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  10. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-501-105.
  11. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  12. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-501-105.
  13. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-501-105.
  14. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  15. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  16. Hawaii Land Court Rule 58(3).
  17. Hawaii Land Court Rule 67.
  18. Hawaii Land Court Rule 67(2).
  19. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-501-105(b).
  20. Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 28-509-1; 28-509-2.
  21. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(e).
  22. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-31(b).
  23. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-41.
  24. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-502-41.
  25. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 28-501-174.
  26. Hawaii Land Court Rule 64.
  27. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 14-247-1.
  28. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 14-247-2.
  29. Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 14-247-2(1)(A)-(1)(G).
  30. Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 14-247-2(2)(A)-(2)(G).
  31. Hawaii Rev. Stat. §§ 247-3(1)-(17).
  32. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 14-247-6(a).
  33. Hawaii Rev. Stat. § 14-247-6(b).
  34. Hawaii Land Court Rule 58(2).