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PUBLIC WORKS - BUILDING DIVISION
PERMIT INFORMATION

Issued Permit Info  |  Request Forms

Building Permit Process  |  Process FAQ’s

Papa Aukahi Information

Building Permits  |  Plumbing Permits |   Electrical Permits  |  Sign Permits

Permit Expiration Info | Permit Transfer Info

BulletinsInspection Information | Papa Aukahi


Issued Permits Information

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Request Forms

Permit Information for Permits issued prior to 1980
Copies of Permit Applications
Public Works Information & Complaint Form

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Building Permit Process


TRANSCRIPT FOR VIDEO

Diagram of the Permit to Build Process

  • The Planning Department will examine all Applications for compliance to Land Use and Building Permit requirements.
  • Incomplete Applications that do not meet land use or building permit submittals will be returned to the applicant with instructions on how to resolve outstanding issues.
  • Once an Application is accepted and created into the “Magnet” software system, a building permit should be issued to the builder within a prescribed time period.
  • After an Application is created, Planning Department staff will segregate applications according to complexity.
    • “Easy” applications will not need additional review and will be routed to the Department of Public Works (DPW) for issuance of a permit.
    • All other applications will be sorted by Building Division as either “Intermediate” or “Complex” and forwarded to a ”Team Plan Review.”
  • After review of an application is complete, the Building Division will contact the applicant for signature, collect permit fees and print permit placards for posting at the job site.

Process FAQ’s

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Papa Aukahi Information

PAPA AUKAHI - Building Division’s Online Application, Payment & Tracking System
Training Information for Papa Aukahi Website:

Introduction
Covers:

  • Website Address
  • Creating an account
  • Logging in
  • Checking Plan Review Status
  • Accessing Your Permits
  • Changing Password and Logging Out

Web Application Process/Step by step tutorials

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Building Permits

When a Residential Building Permit is required:

  1. To erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, convert, move, or demolish any building or structure.
  2. To install or entirely replace energy saving devices such as a solar water heater and photovoltaic (PV) system or relocate panels from the roofto the ground or vice versa.
  3. For Water tanks or catchment systems for potable household use regardless of height or size.
  4. For Retaining wall (concrete, CMU, rock, or other) 4 -feet or higher.
  5. For “As -Built” structures, constructed without permits, will require companion applications from Hawaii state licensed electrical and plumbing contractors. Note that where electrical wiring is over 200 amps or concealed an electrical engineered drawing may also be required.
  6. To change the use and occupancy classification of a structure i.e., from Group R-3 Residential Single Family Dwelling to Group ” B” Real Estate Sales and Management.

Refer to page 7 of Residential Building Permit Guidelines for more details as to when a Residential Building Permit is NOT required and other related information.

New Chapter 5 Building Code (March 28, 2012) - contains links to Building Valuation data, State Approved Building Code & IBC, and Hawaii Wind Map
Old Building Code (Chapter 5)

HCC § 5-19(18) Exception from Building Permit Requirements Further Explained | Hawaii County Code § 5-19(18)

Res/Non-Res Building Permit Application Forms and Worksheets

Building Permit Worksheet
State Historic Property Certification: (SUBMIT WITH BUILDING PERMIT APPLICATION FOR PROPERTIES OVER 50 YEARS OLD)
Temporary Structure Permit

Residential Building Permit Information

Brochure: Risk Responsibilities of Being an Owner-Builder - State of Hawaii - Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA)
The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Contractor, Owner Builder Permit (includes link to video)
State of Hawaii’s Professional & Vocational Licensing Search
Residential Permit Guidelines
Checklist
Plan Review Guidelines

New Building Division Procedure: R-3 (One & Two-family home) minimum footing depth.
Continuous Footing Detail at solid rock

Solar Water Heater Exemption Information

Photovoltaic Roof Mounted System Guidelines - UPDATED June 9, 2017
Structural Evaluation Worksheet
Installation in High Risk Flood Zones
Sample: 2006 Residential Energy Code Certificate
Residential Roof-Mounted Panel Installation Acknowledgment - v.3.4 8.28.15

Non-Residential Building Permit Information

2006 IBC Code Worksheet
Sample: 2006 Nonresidential IECC Certification
ADA Certification (SUBMIT WITH BUILDING NON-RES PERMIT APPLICATION)

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Plumbing Permits

When a Residential Plumbing Permit is required:

  1. For any installation, removal, alteration, repair or replacement any plumbing, gas or drainage piping work or any fixture or water heating or treating equipment with following exceptions:
    1. Any repair work involving stopping of leaks in drain, soil, waste or vent piping provided that said piping be or become defective and necessary to replace the same with new in any part where a permit and inspection are required.
    2. Clearing stoppages or, repairing leaks in pipes, valves, or fixtures when such repairs do not involve replacement, rearrangement of pipes, valves, or fixtures.
    3. Replacing or repairing disposals, faucets and fixtures, including sinks and water closets when replacement or repair does not involve the replacement or rearrangement of pipes or valves.
  2. For single-family and two-family dwellings, plans and specifications prepared by a professional architect or mechanical engineer registered in the State of Hawaii is not typically required.

Refer to Residential Building Permit Guidelines for more details.

County Code (Chapter 17) - Plumbing
Plumbing Permit Application (print on buff paper)

Application for solar water heater

Installation of solar water heater tank on the roof of structure
Solar Water Heater drawing requirements are as follows:

  1. Solar water heater should be identified on the floor plan.
  2. Panels on the roof should be shown on the elevation drawings.
  3. Panels on the ground should be located on the site plan and complete drawings would be required for a structure.
  4. If both water tank and panels are to be placed on the roof, elevation drawings shall show location. Structural support details are required. Plans for tank on the roof require an Architect or Structural Engineer’s approval.

If a variance from the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) requirements has been obtained, please remit a copy of the approval with your submittal. If a variance request is pending approval from the DBEDT office, note next to the proposed water heater, “Pending approval of solar water heater variance from DBEDT.

Solar Water Heater Exemption Information

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Electrical Permits

When a Residential Electrical Permit is required:

  1. For any electrical work with the following exceptions:
    1. Installation of any portable motor or appliance energized by means of a cord or cable having an attachment plug, provided the cord or cable is permitted by Chapter 5 - Electricity.
    2. Repair of any fixed motor, water heater, air conditioning controls or other appliance, or replacement with another having the same horsepower rating and situated at the same location.
    3. Replacing receptacles and switches.
    4. Maintenance work by a licensed electrician per Chapter 448E, Hawaii Revised Statues.
    5. Emergency electrical work performed by an individual to whom a permit will be issued for the work completed and/or is ongoing.
    6. Provision of the foregoing exceptions shall not apply to any repairs or replacement of electrical devices, apparatus, or appliances originally installed without a permit or when energized by or a part of any hazardous or illegal wiring system.
  2. For single-family dwellings, plans and specifications prepared by a professional electrical engineer registered in the State of Hawaii is not typically required provided:
    1. The installation must not be located in a rain water, sea water or a flood zone; and
    2. Service size disconnect does not exceed 200 amperes. Exception, as-built electrical work concealed without an inspection may require drawings prepared, stamped and signed by an electrical engineer licensed in the State of Hawaii.

Refer to Residential Building Permit Guidelines for more details.

County Code (Chapter 9) - Electricity
Electrical Permit Application (print on green paper)

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Sign Permits

“What’s your Sign? ” A brochure on legal and illegal signage
County Code (Chapter 3) - Signs
Sign Permit Application (print on blue paper)

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Permit Expiration

  1. Building permits under construction by general contractors expire after:
    1. three years from date of issuance, or
    2. 180 days from date of issuance if construction is not commenced by such date, or
    3. if construction is abandoned or suspended for a period of 180 days after the work has commenced.
    Building permit extension beyond the 3 year or 180 day period must be requested in writing and is subject to review/approval.
  2. Building permits under construction by owner-builders expire after five years after date of issuance. If construction is abandoned or suspended for a period of 180 days after work has commenced, the owner-builder upon written request and approval may have the building permit suspended until ready to re-commence.
  3. Electrical permits expire if construction is abandoned or suspended for a period of 120 days. However an electrical permit issued for work on construction having a valid building permit will only expire when such building permit expires.
  4. Plumbing permits expire if construction has not commenced within 120 days from the date of issuance, or if construction is abandoned or suspended for a period of 120 days after the work has commenced. However a plumbing permit issued for work on construction having a valid building permit will only expire when such building permit expires.
  5. Sign permits expire if the work authorized under a sign permit is not started within twelve months after the date of issuance, or if work is suspended for more than ninety calendar days. Any sign installed, constructed, erected, relocated, or altered under that permit is in violation.

Upon expiration of a permit, all construction work must cease and must not recommence until a new permit is obtained.

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Permit Transfers

For building permits, if there is a change in the designation of any contractor for any phase of work subsequent to the issuance of a permit, the permit holder must submit a letter addressed to the Building Division requesting approval to transfer permit from contractor to another contractor, from contractor to owner as the owner-builder or, for owner to owner as the owner-builder and include a non-refundable payment of $25 addressed to the County Director of Finance. Building permit transfers are allowed from owner to owner as the owner-builder and from owner-builder to the contractor only if the transfers are requested prior to framing inspection.

Building permit transfer requests must include tax map key for the property, proof of ownership, building permit number(s), contact information, license numbers of the current and new contractor, and signature of the new contractor in the letter addressed to the Building Division. By signing the letter, the individual accepts responsibility in the Hawaii Revised Statues Chapter 444. Electronic mail or copies are unacceptable.

Electrical and plumbing permits are not transferable to another licensed contractor by the Hawaii County Code. (Chapter 9) - Electricity and (Chapter 17) - Plumbing.

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Process Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

1. What is the new Building Permit process?
The Planning Department will examine all Applications for compliance to Land Use and Building Permit requirements. Incomplete Applications that do not meet land use or building permit submittals will be returned to the applicant with instructions on how to resolve outstanding issues. Once an Application is accepted and created into the “Magnet” software system, a building permit should be issued to the builder within a prescribed time period. After an Application is created, Planning Department staff will segregate applications according to complexity. “Easy” applications will not need additional review and will be routed to the Department of Public Works (DPW) for issuance of a permit. All other applications will be sorted by Building Division as either “Intermediate” or “Complex” and forwarded to a ”Team Plan Review.” After review of an application is complete, the Building Division will contact the applicant for signature, collect permit fees and print permit placards for posting at the job site.
2. What permits are involved?
The Planning Department will intake all building, electrical, plumbing, photovoltaic, solar water heater or sign permits. These include new dwellings, commercial and business structures, changes of use, additions and alterations, plumbing, electrical, photovoltaic systems, solar hot water, signs, air conditioning, retaining walls, fences, re-roofing, etc.
3. What is an Easy, Intermediate, or Complex application?
Easy applications include residential photovoltaic or solar plans with an architect or engineer (A/E) stamp and a new residential installation acknowledgement form.
Intermediate applications are generally all new one and two-family dwellings, alterations or additions, or accessory structures.
Complex applications are normally for new multi-family homes, apartments, condominiums, hotels, mercantile, factories, hospitals, office or business or alterations, additions, or changes of use of structures or tenant spaces. This includes commercial agricultural structures or large accessory structures.
During the initial trial period, all staff will be working towards a streamlined review process, which will result in a significantly reduced processing time. In general, permits will be issued sooner.
4. What will Planning Department staff be doing?
Land Use Plan Checkers (LUPCs) will review and precheck all hand-delivered and Web-created submittals for compliance with State and County land use building permit submittal requirements. LUPCs will create the permit application into the “Magnet” software system, which will then processed as either “Easy” or determined to be “Intermediate” or “Complex” applications. Applications will then be delivered to the Department of Public Works Building Division for either issuance or further review.
5. What will DPW-Building Division staff be doing?
Land Use Plan Checkers at Planning Department will initially segregate all applications by complexity. “Easy” applications will not need additional review and will be routed to the DPW-Building Division as “Ready to Issue.” Building Division clerks who will further sort “Intermediate” and “Complex” applications and route these to appropriate plan checkers. They will notify applicants when permits are ready for signature, payment of fees, or returned when corrections are required prior to approval. Any requests for revisions to issued permits will be handled by Building Division staff to determine permit and review requirements.
6. Where do you pick up and pay for Issued permits?
The Building Division will continue to collect fees and issue Building Permits. After July 1, no pre-payments will be accepted. Permit fees may be paid online by checking debit or credit card. Any form of payment will not be accepted during the pre-check and intake process.
7. Can I still submit my permit online through Papa Aukahi? What about dropping off plans? Will Planning have a drop box?
Use of our online Public Web Application called Papa Aukahi (http://papaaukahi.hawaiicounty.gov/) is available 24 hours a day. Applications may also still be left in the drop box, but it is recommended that applicants meet with a LUPC to review proposals for completeness. Builders are still required to hand deliver building plans if necessary, and all proposals will be reviewed before an application is created.
8. Will Planning still help me with zoning, subdivision, and other planning-related questions?
Yes. The Planning Department will continue to provide information and assistance regarding planning, zoning and subdivision inquiries.
9. Who do I ask about building permit status, plan review, inspections, or complaints regarding Building Permits?
The DPW-Building Division staff will continue to answer calls for permit status, plan review questions, inspections or complaints. Call DPW-Hilo at (808) 961-8331 or DPW Kona at (808) 323-4720.
10. When will the Planning Department accept building permit applications?
New permit applications will be accepted at the Planning Department in both Hilo (Aupuni Center) and Kona (West Hawaii Civic Center) from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily. Exceptions: On Wednesdays, in Hilo, applications will be accepted from 7:45 to 12:00 noon. On Thursdays, in Kona, applications will be accepted from 7:45 to 12:00 noon.
 

PLANNING DEPARTMENT
East Hawai‘i: Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, HI 96720 (808) 961-8288 | Fax: (808) 961-8742

West Hawai‘i: 74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway, Bldg E, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740 (808) 323-4770 | Fax: (808) 327-3563
Email: planning@co.hawaii.hi.us

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Aupuni Center, 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 7, Hilo, HI 96720 (808) 961-8321 | Fax: (808) 961-8630
Email: public_works@hawaiicounty.gov

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