Hawaii’s Regular System, Land Court and Double System to Record Deeds
Hawaii is the only state in the nation with a single statewide recording office. There are two systems of recording in the State of Hawaii. The Regular System basically serves to give “notice” that something is on record. The Regular System is similar to the recording by county found in the other states. The Land Court issues certificate of titles to owners of land. Ownership in Land Court is guaranteed by the State of Hawaii.
Because of confusion determining land ownership and similar names the Land Court was established in 1903 and functions as a registration system for land ownership. Those that place their property in Land Court have gone through a lengthy process of a judicial review of the survey of the parcel, title abstract and determination of ownership. With the ability to obtain title insurance on land ownership, the need for judicial determination of ownership has decreased tremendously.
Documents are recorded either in the Land Court system, Regular system or both, depending on which system the land was originally recorded. When recorded in both land systems, documents are said to be recorded in the “Double” system.
To determine if a transfer deed should be filed in the Land Court, the Regular System or the Double System (both) the easiest way is to look at the deed by which the property was acquired. Recording information would be shown on the first page of the document. If the recording information (label) is on the upper left, the document was recorded in Land Court. If the information is on the upper right, the instrument was recorded in our Regular system. If the document reflects two both set of numbers, it would be considered a double system recording.
Maintaining an accurate, timely and permanent record system for title to real property is the responsibility of the State of Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. Regular system documents are recorded with the Registrar of Conveyances in the Bureau of Conveyances. Land Court documents are recorded in the Office of the Assistant Registrar of the Land Court, located in the Bureau of Conveyances. Recording fees are based on $25 per document up to 20 pages for the Regular system and $30 per document up to 20 pages for the Land Court. Documents that exceed 20 pages would be charged an additional $1 per page after 20.
Unlike jurisdictions on the mainland, the Bureau of Conveyances does not provide pre-printed forms of deeds. The conveying documents needs to be accompanied by the proper conveyance tax form, P64-A or P64-B. (P64-B is for transfers without money exchanging hands. Examples are trust transfer deed, quit claim deeds, transfers between spouses.) A recording fee of $25 for the document is required and can be mailed to the Bureau of Conveyances, P. O. Box 2867, Honolulu, Hawaii 96803.
Deed and Record will prepare the following transfer documents for your Hawaiian real estate property; land deed, quit claim deed, real estate deed, warranty deed, trust deed, deed of trust, apartment deed, spousal transfer deed, affidavit death of joint tenant, and affidavit death of trustee.
To avoid a transfer tax your transfer or conveying document needs to be accompanied by the conveyance tax form P64-B. Deed and Record prepares this form saving you the trouble and saving you money by avoiding the transfer tax.