SAY WHAT?: Hawaii Can’t Fit Woman’s Last Name on License

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  • HONOLULU (AP) — A Hawaii woman’s last name is a real mouthful, containing 36 characters 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. Her name has 35 letters plus a mark used in the Hawaiian alphabet, called an okina.

    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.

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