Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop’s vision was to help Hawaiians become good and industrious men and women through education.  In keeping with Pauahi’s wishes, Kamehameha Schools (KS) gives preference to applicants of Hawaiian ancestry to the extent permitted by law.

To be considered for this preference, you must verify your Hawaiian ancestry by registering with the Kamehameha Schools Ho‘oulu Verification Services.

Once your ancestry is verified, you will be considered for preference when applying for Kamehameha Schools programs without ever having to verify your ancestry again.*

KS programs awaiting you include:

Help Princess Pauahi’s vision become a reality by embracing these educational opportunities for you and your ‘ohana—verify your Hawaiian ancestry today!

*The Ho‘oulu Verification Services reserves the right to review ancestry status at any time if new information becomes available

Three Steps to Applying for Hawaiian Ancestry Verification

Step 1 Complete a Hawaiian Ancestry Registry (HAR) form for each person wishing to verify ancestry - instructions.
Click: here to Request a Hawaiian Ancestry Registry form
Step 2 Gather birth certificates and other required documents to support the information provided on each HAR form.
Step 3 Mail or bring the HAR form and required documents to the Data Center or one of our community drop–off locations. Once the information is received, we will begin the Hawaiian ancestry verification process.

You may be thinking, "It can’t be that easy." In many cases it is easy. In others—particularly when documents are not available or are inconclusive—it may take more time and effort. The information in this book should help you in this process. 

Some important things to remember:

Step 1: Completing the Hawaiian Ancestry Registry (HAR) Form

Front page information

Applicant information

The following instructions are written for an adult applicant. If you are a parent or legal guardian completing the form for a child, the words YOU and YOUR refer to the child applicant.

Enter your current legal name. If your name has been legally changed (e.g. by legal adoption or an administrative court order), enter your new name. If you are married, enter your declared married name. Do not use nicknames or names given upon baptism. We encourage you to use the same name when filling out forms for KS programs to expedite the application process. An applicant whose name is different from his or her birth name (due to a marriage or name change) must submit a marriage certificate or legal name change documentation so that we can confirm that the different names refer to the same person.

Social Security number
Providing your social security number is not required, but is highly recommended to minimize processing delays caused by applicants with similar names.

Names of KS or Ho‘oulu Hawaiian Data Center-registered relatives 
Please supply the names of relatives whose KS files may be a source of documents for shared ancestors. List those who are current or past KS students (include year of graduation and campus); those registered with the Data Center (include Data Center ID number if available); and those who are concurrently registering with the Data Center.

If your file requires documents from a relative’s HAR form, supply the aforementioned and we will do our best to locate documents submitted to us in the past.  Please be aware that if documents cannot be located or are of poor quality, you will be asked to provide the original documents again.

Contact information 

Attention line and address
Adult applicants should enter their name and address here. Otherwise, please provide the name and address of the parent or legal guardian with whom the minor applicant resides.

Contact numbers and e-mail address 
In addition to mailed notifications, we may call or e mail you to expedite processing if we have questions about information you provided. Your contact information will not be used for any other purpose and will not be shared with anyone outside of KS.

Please notify us if your contact information changes. Your verification cannot be completed if we cannot reach you to clear an outstanding issue.


The HAR form must be signed by the applicant if he or she is 18 years of age or older, or a parent or legal guardian if the applicant is under 18 years of age. In some cases, supporting documents may be required to confirm the relationship between the applicant and the person who signed the HAR form. 

Signatures accepted 
The table below offers further signature guidelines involving minor applicants.

Signature Accepted Additional documents required
Birth parent whose legal custody has not been surrendered (due to adoption) or revoked (via court action)  None
Parent via adoption Legal adoption document identifying adoptive parent(s) or post adoption birth certificate
Legal guardian Court order regarding legal guardianship or court letter of guardianship
Permanent custodian – DHS
social worker
Confirmation of name and signature via DHS letterhead or similar
Permanent custodian – private agency
social worker or officer
Court order awarding legal custody and confirmation of name and signature via agency letterhead
Permanent custodian – individual Court order awarding legal custody

Signatures NOT accepted

PRINT your legal name, your relationship to the applicant, and the primary contact number of the person who signed the HAR form in the appropriate area. Adult applicants should write “self” as the Relationship to Applicant. Please do not leave any of these areas blank. If we cannot determine who signed the HAR form after reviewing the information in this section, identification to confirm the signature will be requested.

Please submit the HAR form with the required signature or your verification will be delayed. Exceptions to the Data Center’s authorized signer policy are rarely granted.


Family ancestry information 

Your ‘ohana can be a valuable resource for ancestry information. We encourage you to ask someone familiar with your family’s genealogy to help you complete this section to ensure that the information is as accurate as possible. Please note that knowingly providing false or incomplete information which affects verification may result in (1) KS declaring you ineligible to apply for KS programs or scholarships, (2) disenrollment from KS programs, and/or (3) denial of further financial aid or scholarship funding.

Once you have determined your family’s genealogy, you’ll need to gather the necessary supporting documents (birth certificates, etc.). Having the necessary information and documents in hand will help you complete this section. (See Step 2: Gathering Documents for information on how to obtain the required documents.)

Please keep the following in mind while completing this section:

Names to provide for the applicant and ancestors
Provide the legal name given at birth, which can be verified with a birth certificate. However, if the person underwent a legal name change (not including a name change due to marriage), use the person’s current legal name, and submit legal name change documents. If you wish, initials may be used in place of long middle names.

Other names, including current or previous married names and names given after birth (such as baptismal names) should be listed under Married Names/Other Names for the applicant, parents, and grandparents. Names may spill outside of the boxes if more space is required.

Hawaiian ancestry?
Mark Yes if the person is of Hawaiian or part Hawaiian ancestry via blood ancestors or No if the person is NOT of Hawaiian ancestry.

If you would like to self declare that the applicant is NOT of Hawaiian ancestry, complete page 1 of the HAR form (be sure to include the signature of a legal parent/guardian/custodian of minor applicants), and fill in Box 1 only of the Family Ancestry Information section on page 2. Birth certificates are not required for applicants who wish to declare non Hawaiian status.

Mark Yes if the person was legally adopted. Support documents must be submitted for adopted people within the Hawaiian line to show that Hawaiian ancestry was derived from biological parents. See Addendums for adoption document requirements.

Hānai relationships are NOT considered adoptions for verification purposes and cannot be used to claim Hawaiian ancestry. Mark No if the person was raised by a hānai family, and list only biological parents on the HAR form.

Date of birth
Indicate the month, day, and year of birth. For ancestors not in the Hawaiian line or whose birth certificates are not required, reasonable estimates of the birth dates including at least the year of birth may be indicated in place of the actual date of birth.

Deceased? (optional)
Please provide this information to help us determine appropriate documents or information to request if needed.

If KS graduate, year of graduation (optional)
This information may help us in searching for documents or information previously submitted to Kamehameha Schools.

Place of birth (optional)
If known, indicate the city and island for Hawai‘i births. For births outside Hawai‘i, indicate the state or country instead.

Step 2: Gathering Documents

All documents submitted to the Data Center for verification, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, and court documents, must be certified copies issued by a duly authorized state or government agency. A certified copy is one that is guaranteed by the issuing authority to be a true and exact copy of the original. A photocopy of the certified copy cannot be used for verification. All documents will be returned to you after they have been inspected for authenticity and photocopied by Data Center representatives.

Birth certificates

Birth certificates must be submitted to support information provided on the Hawaiian Ancestry Registry (HAR) form. Original birth certificates are the primary documents used to verify ancestry because they generally reflect information based on first hand knowledge of the circumstances at the time of birth.

Required birth certificates

Birth certificates must be submitted which allow us to trace Hawaiian ancestry from the applicant to an ancestor born in Hawai‘i in 1959 or earlier via a series of uninterrupted biological child-parent relationships. In general, this means that you will need birth certificates for the applicant, the Hawaiian parent, and the corresponding Hawaiian grandparent. If the Hawaiian grandparent was born after 1959 and/or was born outside of Hawai‘i, the corresponding Hawaiian great grandparent’s birth certificate is also required, and so on. This also means that only the birth certificate of the applicant and the Hawaiian parent would be required if the Hawaiian parent was born in Hawai‘i in 1959 or earlier.

If both sides of your family are Hawaiian, birth certificates for only one side are required. However, submitting documents for both sides of your family may expedite the verification process. If there is a question about documents on one side, we will automatically try to verify ancestry via documents submitted for the other line.

Where to get birth certificates

Certificates for births in Hawai‘i may be obtained from the Vital Records section of the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH). See page Where to Get Your Documents for information about obtaining Hawai‘i birth documents.

Certificates for births outside of Hawai‘i may be obtained from the Vital Records office in the state in which the birth occurred. For a list of all U.S. Vital Records offices, visit the National Center for Health Statistics Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

What to do if a birth certificate is not available

If a required birth certificate cannot be found in the Vital Records office archives, the department will issue you a “No–Record Certification” document. This document must be submitted to the Data Center before alternative documents can be accepted in place of the non–existent birth certificate. At least two alternative documents are required, one of which must have been issued in 1959 or earlier. Some acceptable alternative documents are listed below:

The admissibility of alternate documents will be determined by the Data Center. It may also take longer to complete the verification process when these types of documents are submitted. See page Where to Get Your Documents for information about obtaining vital documents.

Certificates of delayed birth and Hawaiian birth

Some types of birth certificates, including certificates of delayed birth and certificates of Hawaiian birth are issued more than a year after a child is born. These types of certificates are accepted for the verification process, but may require additional documentation:

Name discrepancies

One of the ways that parent-child relationships are verified is by comparing the parent name on the child’s birth certificate to the name on the birth certificate provided for the parent. If there is a significant difference between the names on the two documents—for instance if the mother’s birth name was Mary Aloha but the mother’s name listed on her child’s birth certificate is Julie Aloha—additional documents are required.

If you are contacted by the Data Center because of a name discrepancy, you will need to submit additional supporting documents. The documents you submit must provide enough information to link the parent’s AND the child’s birth certificates.


Birth certificate amendments

Occasionally, the Data Center will examine the documents submitted by an applicant and find evidence that it was amended or changed some time after the original birth certificate was issued.

Amendments to birth certificates are made under the following circumstances:

Determine which amendment applies to you

The best way to determine which of the above circumstances applies to you, is to ask the biological parents of the person whose birth certificate was amended. If the parents are deceased or unavailable, it may help to talk to other members of your ‘ohana. If information is still not available, try to establish if the parents of the person whose birth certificate was amended were married to each other at the time of birth. If they were married, it is possible that an adoption occurred. If the parents were not married at the time of birth, a legitimation amendment may have taken place.

Amendments caused by adoption

If you discover that the birth certificate amendment was caused by adoption, please refer to our adoption document requirements.

Amendments caused by legitimation

Legitimation is the act of providing legitimacy to a child born out of wedlock by adding a father’s name to the birth certificate and/or by the subsequent marriage of the parents. If you find that the amendment to the birth certificate was caused by legitimation, please refer to our paternity document requirements.

Submitting amendment documents to the Data Center

Once you determine what caused the amendment to the birth certificate, you must submit a sworn statement to the Data Center along with supporting documents. The written statement need not be notarized, but should include the following information:

This statement should be signed by a person with first hand knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the amendment. For example, if the amendment was to the applicant’s father’s birth certificate, do not submit a statement signed by his wife because it is highly unlikely that she would have first hand knowledge of the events surrounding his birth. The signed statement in this case would ideally come from the father’s parents.

If the cause of the amendment is unknown

If you’ve confirmed that none of the situations above apply, the Department of Health may supply information about administrative irregularities or errors that might have occurred to cause the amendment. These errors occur very infrequently, so the DOH should be contacted only as a last resort.

Amendments to mainland birth certificates

Similar document requirements apply to mainland birth certificate amendments. Because laws differ by state, information should be obtained from the state in which the birth occurred. Helpful information can be found on most states’ Vital Records office Web sites. For a list of offices nationwide, visit the National Center for Health Statistics Web site at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm.

Step 3: Submitting Documents

HAR forms and supporting documents may be submitted to the Ho‘oulu Verification Services in several ways:

In person

Documents can be dropped off from 7:30 a.m.– 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the O‘ahu Resource Center in Honolulu at 567 South King Street, Suite 102. Validated parking is available in our parking garage located on Kawaiaha‘o Street. Metered street parking is also available until 3 p.m. Suite 102 is located on the ground floor of the building mauka of the parking garage, to the left of the sliding glass doors. Documents walked in will be returned to you immediately.

By mail

Documents can be mailed to us at: Ho‘oulu Verification Services, 567 S. King Street, Suite 102, Honolulu, HI 96813. All documents mailed to the Verification Services will be mailed back to the address on file. Written requests to return documents to a different address will be honored if included with the documents submitted. Be sure to reference the applicant’s name and Data Center ID number when turning in documents separate from the HAR form or Ho‘oulu Verification Services request letter so that they can be matched with the correct file.

Community drop–off points

Documents can be dropped off at the following Kamehameha Schools locations. Documents walked in will be returned to you immediately.

Please do not mail documents to the community drop-off sites. Mail-in documents are only accepted by the Hoʻoulu Verification Services in Honolulu.


O‘ahu Resource Center
Kawaiaha‘o Plaza
567 South King Street, Suite 102, Honolulu
Phone: (808) 541–5300
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Windward Mall - Satellite Office, Kane‘ohe
Phone: (808) 235-2329
M-F, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

KS Community Learning Center at Mā‘ili
87-790 Kulauku Street, Wai‘anae
Phone: (808) 843-9650
M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


Kamehameha Schools Maui
Admissions & Educational Support Services
275 ‘A‘apueo Parkway, Pukalani
Phone: (808) 572–3133
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

KS Resource Center - Maui
175 N. Market Street, Wailuku
Phone: (808) 242-1891
M-F, 7:30 am - 4:15 p.m.


KS Resource Center - Moloka‘i
Kūlana ‘Oiwi Complex, Kalama‘ula
612 Maunaloa Highway, Bldg A
Phone: (808) 553–3673
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m

Hawaiʻi Island

Kamehameha Schools Hawai‘i
Admissions & Educational Support Services
16-714 Volcano Road, Kea‘au
Phone: (808) 982–0100
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

KS Resource Center - East Hawai‘i
16-545 Old Volcano Road, Kea‘au
Phone: (808) 982-0851
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

KS Resource Center - West Hawai‘i
78-6831 Ali‘i Drive, Suite 429, Kailua Kona
Phone: (808) 322–5400
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.


KS Resource Center - Kaua‘i  
3201 Akahi Street, Līhu‘e
Phone: (808) 245–8070
M-F, 7:30 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.