Hawaii Real Estate Deeds

An owner who wants to convey registered land, or any portion thereof, in fee should execute a deed of conveyance, which the grantor or grantee can present to the bureau of conveyances, located in Honolulu (501-108). Warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds are common forms of conveyance in this state. There are no statutory forms for deeds in Hawaii, but Rule 67 of the Rules of the Land Court provides a form for a conveyance of any interest in registered land. The conveyance may be in substantially the form offered in Rule 67.

In Hawaii, the power to hold and convey property is extended to citizens of lawful age, aliens, and corporations. There are no restrictions on a conveyance of real property or its ownership on alien individuals or business entities. All conveyances, grants, and devises of land or of any interest therein that are made to two or more persons will create an estate in common (509-1). The conveyance form used will depend on the type of property being conveyed, if it is to be conveyed in the Land Court or the Regular System, and how the property is owned. There are three main types of property ownership in Hawaii: fee simple, leasehold interest, or as a timeshare.

The grantor's original signature should be included in a real estate deed, and should be acknowledged by the grantor. Witnesses are not required for real estate deeds executed in Hawaii. In order for an instrument to be recorded, it must have a certificate of acknowledgment endorsed on it, in a form authorized by Hawaii Statute (502-41). Acknowledgments may be made before an officer of the state who is authorized by the laws of that state to take proof and acknowledgments of deeds (502-45). Every officer who takes the acknowledgment of an instrument should endorse or attach a signed certificate of acknowledgement on the deed (502-49). If a real estate deed is acknowledged in a state other than Hawaii, it will be accepted as valid in Hawaii, as long as it is done in accordance with the laws of the other state. A real estate deed should contain the grantee's full name and address, as well as the grantee's marital status. If the grantee is married, include the full name of the husband or wife (501-105). No deed, mortgage, lease, or other voluntary instrument will be accepted for registration unless a reference to the number of the certificate of title of the land affected by the instrument is incorporated into the body of the instrument presented for registration. A state conveyance tax document must accompany all non-exempt instruments when submitted for recording. Formatting requirements are listed in sections 502-31 and 501-18 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes and can also be viewed in the Hawaii Recorder Section.

The recording statute in Hawaii is a race-notice act. All deeds, leases for a term of more than one year, mortgages of any interest in real estate, or other real estate conveyances in Hawaii should be recorded in the bureau of conveyances, which is a central agency responsible for examining, recording, indexing and microfilming real estate documents. If an instrument is not recorded, it will be void against any subsequent purchaser, lessee, or mortgagee in good faith and for a valuable consideration, not having actual notice of the conveyance of the same real estate, or any portion thereof or interest therein, whose conveyance is first duly recorded (502-83). Hawaii has the only statewide recording office in the country. Documents should be recorded in the Land Court, in the Regular System, or in both depending on which system the land was originally recorded.