Who needs to register?

Under Hawaiian statute, a person engaged in providing money transmission must obtain a money transmitter license if providing services to persons in Hawaii, even if the business has no physical presence in Hawaii.

Hawaii defines money transmission as engaging in the business of selling or issuing payment instruments, or receiving money or monetary value for transmission to a location within or outside the US, by any means, including wire, facsimile, or electronic transfer.


Who is the regulator?

Hawaii Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs – Division of Financial Institutions


What are the money transmitter license requirements?

To apply as a general money transmitter in Hawaii requires the following fees and documents:

  • Identification information
  • History of material litigation or convictions for 5 years prior
  • Description of business activities and history of operations
  • Description of desired activities within the state
  • List of proposed authorized delegates in the state
  • Sample of an authorized delegate contract
  • Sample form of payment instrument
  • List of proposed in-state applicant and/or delegate locations
  • Name and address of banks or institutions where money will be drawn for MS
  • Disclosure of regulatory discipline
  • Website
  • Contact person
  • Complete schedule of range of costs and fees applicant charges borrowers for servicing-related activities
  • States in which applicant is currently engaging in money transmission
  • Fingerprint cards and consent form
  • Authorization to release information form
  • Net worth of no less than $1,000
  • $2,000 application fee + $300 for each location, not amounting to more than $15,000
  • $2,000 annual license fee + $300 for each location, not amounting to more than $15,000

Note: A possible examination fee may be assessed if an examination is deemed necessary. The fee is based on a rate of $40 per hour per person plus reasonable travel expenses. This fee must be paid within 30 days of the examination.

Corporate money transmitter

Applying as a corporation requires the following additional documentation:

  • Date and state of incorporation and a Certificate of Good Standing
  • Description of corporate structure
  • Identifying information, employment history, legal history of officers, managers, and key shareholders
  • Audited financials from most recent year, plus two previous years if available, statements of changes in shareholder equity and financial position, SEC filings, all documents for any parent companies
  • Information necessary to complete a criminal history record check for every key player involved

Non-corporate money transmitter

Applying as a non-corporate money transmitter requires the following additional documentation:

  • Identifying information of each principal applicant and persons in charge of applicant’s activities over last 5 years
  • Place and date of applicant’s registration and qualification to do business in state
  • History of material litigation or criminal convictions of each individual having ownership interest in applicant or those exercising supervisory responsibility
  • Audited financial statements


What are the general bonding requirements?

General bonding requirements for money transmitters in Hawaii include:

  • $10,000 surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit
  • Commissioner can increase bond to $500,000 at his discretion, based on impaired financial condition of licensee
  • Commissioner may approve cash, interest-bearing stocks and bonds, debentures, or other obligations: (1) Of the United States or any agency or instrumentality thereof; (2) Guaranteed by the United States; (3) Of the State, a county, or instrumentality of the State; or (4) Guaranteed by the State, in an aggregate amount based upon the principle amount or market value, whichever is lower, of not less than the amount of the security device or portion thereof.
  • After the initial year of licensure, a licensee shall obtain a bond or other security device of $5K if the licensee’s annualized money transmissions as calculated in section 489D-12(a) are less than $10 million. The bond or security device shall be $10K if the licensee’s annualized money transmissions as calculated in section 489D-12(a) are $10 million or more.


Additional resources:

Hawaii Money Transmitter Act



Disclaimer: Information provided by Shipkevich, PLLC and any of its affiliated web pages is for general educational purposes only, and should not be taken as legal advice.