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The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Kokua Line column
[February 28, 2013]

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Kokua Line column

Feb 28, 2013 (The Honolulu Star-Advertiser - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Question: In reference to Wednesday's Kokua Line: How can one order birth certificates online if one does not have a credit card I would like to order birth certificates for me, my wife, two sons and my mother, who is 89. We have one copy each but it might be a good idea to get a second copy. Only my wife and I have credit cards. We live on the neighbor islands.

Answer: You cannot order birth, death or marriage certificate copies online unless you pay by credit card.

In your case, you may order certified copies of your birth certificate as well as those of your children using the online system.

The name on the credit card must match the name on the vital record being requested. But if a parent's name is on a child's birth certificate, parents also may order copies for the child no matter how old the child, said Health Department spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

"Those are the only requests the birth certificate e-service can handle at this time," she said. "When you enter the online system, those are the only options you are offered." Get more details at

For married women and others whose names may no longer match the names on their birth certificates, the options are to get copies in person or by mail.

In the case of mail applications, you must pay by money order, certified check or cashier's check. No personal checks are accepted because of the possibility they may bounce. If you apply in person, you may pay in cash.

Okubo explained that the only practical way for the department to verify identity is to match the names on original record to identification such as a credit card.

"At the office window you must present a photo ID to verify your identity," she said. "For mail-in requests, you must provide copies of documents that verify your name change and identity." If the names were not checked, "potentially anyone could order and receive your confidential records," she said.

Electronic systems that can cross-check names, addresses, credit and other records, would require extra costs and fees, she said.

Auwe To the Department of Health's policy regarding who can use a credit card to order records online. This policy prevents any married woman the equal opportunity to use the online service because we do not have credit cards with our birth names. I provided all the personal info that only I would know, but I have to waste hours waiting in line to obtain my own birth certificate while it is a snap for my husband. -- Frustrated "Unfortunately, at this time, the online system cannot accommodate people who have changed their name after birth," Okubo said.

The credit card name match is a security feature to prevent unlawful access to the records and fraud, she said.

The department and webmasters have searched for a solution, "but so far none has been found," she said.

"We were hoping to have additional resources to upgrade the computer system, but with no increase in fees, that is another challenge." Question: How does a citizen report potholes on roads Is there a different place to report city roads, state roads and federal highways Answer: For state roadways, call the state Department of Transportation at either 831-6714 or 536-7852.

The department oversees Ala Moana Boulevard, most of Farrington Highway, Kahekili Highway, Kalanianaole Highway, Kamehameha Highway, Likelike Highway, most of Nimitz Highway, Pali Highway, Vineyard Boulevard and the H-1, H-2 and H-3 freeways (including on- and offramps).

For city roads, call 768-7777 or go online at

The federal government maintains roads on federal properties.

---- Write to "Kokua Line" at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or email

___ (c)2013 The Honolulu Star-Advertiser Visit The Honolulu Star-Advertiser at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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