TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Hawaii can't fit woman's last name on license

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Editors Picks Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
 

HONOLULU — A Hawaii woman's last name is a real mouthful, containing 36 letters and 19 syllables in all. And it's so long that she couldn't get a driver's license with her correct name.

Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele is in the midst of a fight with state and local officials to ensure that her full name gets listed on a license or ID card. Her name is pronounced: KAY'-ee-hah-nah-EE'-coo-COW'-ah-KAH'-hee-HOO'-lee-heh-eh-KAH'-how-NAH-eh-leh.

The documents only have room for 35 characters, so Hawaii County instead issued her driver's license and her state ID with the last letter of her name chopped off. And it omitted her first name.

The 54-year-old Big Island resident wrote her mayor and city councilwoman for help, but the county said the state of Hawaii computer system they used wouldn't allow names longer than 35 characters.

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele got the name when she married her Hawaiian husband in 1992.

He used only the one name, which his grandfather gave him. The name came to his grandfather in a dream that also told him he would have a grandson.

Her husband died in 2008, but he had similar problems when he was alive, she told The Associated Press.

The name has layers of meanings. One, she said, is “When there is chaos and confusion, you are one that will stand up and get people to focus in one direction and come out of the chaos.” It also references the origins of her and her husband's family.

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele was compelled to bring attention to the issue after a policeman last month gave her a hard time about her driver's license when he pulled her over for a traffic stop. She wrote Honolulu television station KHON for help, and her story started getting more attention.

“I said wait a minute, this is not my fault. This is the county's fault that I don't have an ID that has my name correctly,” she said.

The police officer suggested she could use her maiden name.

“I said, how disrespectful to the Hawaiian people because there's a lot of meaning behind this name. I've had this name for over 20 years. I had to grow into this name. It's very deep spiritual path,” she said.

Caroline Sluyter, state Department of Transportation spokeswoman, said Thursday the state is working to increase space for names on driver's licenses and ID cards.

By the end of the year, the cards will 40 characters for first and last names and 35 characters for middle names, she said.

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele, who practices shoreline fishing in the Hawaiian tradition as a profession, said she's happy the publicity about her situation has prompted many people to have badly needed discussions.

“If you're going to require people to have picture IDs to identify them, they have to be correct,” she said.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
  2. Rossi: Looking at the next great Steeler
  3. After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
  4. GOP convention host Cleveland shaking off Rust Belt image
  5. Missing deaf, autistic teen last seen on North Side
  6. Reds solve Cole, stave off Pirates’ 9th-inning rally
  7. Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
  8. Penguins not alone in top-heavy approach to salary cap
  9. Implant gives epileptics chance at ‘new life’
  10. Shell shovels $30M into proposed Beaver County plant site
  11. Roman Catholic Church in midst of culture clash over gays