New regulations for the Owner-Builder Permit went into effect July 1, 2013. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (DCCA) and its Regulated Industries Complaints Office (RICO) have the brochure on the new regulations.

RICO is the enforcement arm of more than 45 professional boards, commissions and programs that are administratively attached to the DCCA. RICO receives complaints, conducts investigations and prosecutes licensing law violations. RICO also prosecutes unlicensed activity through the issuance of citations and by filing civil lawsuits in Circuit Courts. RICO works to resolve consumer complaints where appropriate and provides consumer education about various issues relating to licensing and consumer protection.



Contact the Regulated Industries Complaints Office by visiting 235 S. Beretania St. in Honolulu, calling the Consumer Resource Center at 587-4272 or going online at

The brochure answers the following questions:

• Who is an owner-builder?
• What does an owner-builder permit allow me to do?
• What are my responsibilities?
• Can I hire anybody to work on my project?
• Can I hire someone to manage my project?
• What kind of records am I required to keep?
• What are my risks?
• Am I subject to liens?
• Do I need insurance?
• Are there restrictions? When can I sell what I have built?
• What is the Contractors Recovery Fund?
• Am I subject to penalties?
• What is Chapter 444 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes? (

For more information, contact Karen Nakamura at


Karen Nakamura is CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.