State works to address long delays in issuing birth certificates, other vital records

It's taking nearly two months for the office of vital records to process birth, death, divorce and marriage certificates.
Published: Mar. 10, 2023 at 8:28 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 10, 2023 at 10:14 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state’s Health Department says a labor shortage and technical issues are leading to the months-long backlog of nearly 1,800 vital records.

Shawn Hamamoto, DOH spokesperson, acknowledged the agency failed to inform the public.

In addition to filling vacancies, Hamamoto said they hope to ask lawmakers for additional positions to handle the workload.

As far as the computer system, they plan to upgrade it in phases by April 1.

“This system unfortunately, crashes a lot so that caused that causes a lot of the delays,” said Hamamoto.

Right now, it’s taking nearly two months for the Office of Vital Records to process birth, death, divorce and marriage certificates.

The delayed cases are mostly from January, but officials hope to have them all processed within the next three to four weeks.

“So we ask people to please be patient with us,” said Hamamoto.

The Deverell Family welcomed Baby Brooks into the world on Dec. 28.

With tax season and travel plans, they were hoping to receive his birth certificate.

After two months of hounding the state, they finally got it.

“The whole thing was just frustrating because you’re trying to get things done for your family and for your kids,” said Anna Deverell, of Ewa Beach.

“It just kind of ties your hands behind your back when the government’s not helping you out.”

Paulina Kanagaraj and her husband have gone to DOH at least three times since their baby girl was born in December.

They finally got her birth certificate on Friday.

“We’re at the three-month mark at this point and going in multiple times, which is very difficult with the baby,” said Kanagaraj.

If you’re experiencing a delay, contact the Vital Records Office at (808) 586-4539.

In addition, staff office lines have been made available to take public calls: (808) 586-4542 and (808) 586-4538. If no one answers, DOH said leave a message and staff will return the call.