Final grade: D

Exclusion Grade


Relevance Grade


Due Process Grade



  • Blocks boards from considering expunged records.

Areas of Improvement

  • Strengthen safeguards for due process by requiring a petition process and placing the burden of proof on the state.
  • Require boards to consider evidence of rehabilitation and to use a directly related standard for all crimes, not just those older than 10 years.
  • Extend protections to health care and welfare facilities and their employees.

With weak laws across the board, Hawaii earns a D as its final grade. The state does have stronger protections for applicants who have not been convicted of a crime in the past 10 years. In those cases, the state can only deny a license if the ex-offender “has not been sufficiently rehabilitated” and only if their crime “directly relates” to the license—a higher standard than the “rational relationship” used for more recent convictions.

Meanwhile, the state’s otherwise middling protections are completely absent for facilities licensed by the Department of Human Services or the Health Department. Under state law, employees at these facilities, which include assisted living centers, community care foster homes, and child care facilities, can be denied licenses based on any conviction other than a minor traffic ticket.

Statute: Haw. Rev. Stat. § 831-3.1 (2018)

Overarching ban on blanket bans Yes, but excludes health care facilities
Ban on considering arrest records No
Ban on considering post-conviction relief records Yes, expunged records
Time limit No limit
Ban on vague, discretionary character standards No
Relationship between the crime and the license sought “Bears a rational relationship to the duties and responsibilities of a job” if the crime were committed within past 10 years. “Directly relates” for older offenses
Required factors for consideration
Rehabilitation No (only for crimes older than 10 years)
Time elapsed since crime was committed No
Age when crime was committed No
Employment History No
Testimonials No
Due Process
Petition Process No
Burden of Proof Both unspecified
Right to appeal Yes
Written notice requirement Yes