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Hawaiian woman fights for her super long surname

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Hawaiian woman fights for her super long surname


A Hawaiian woman has complained to her local council after her state ID and driving licence were printed with the last letter of her surname missing.

Janice Lokelani Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele’s surname is so long that the systems for printing the documents could not fit it all in.

The computers allow for a maximum of 35 characters for a surname, but Janice’s has 36.

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.

Her problems got publicity 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 to a Honolulu television station, KHON, for help, which brough the matter to public attention.

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, saidf 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 allow 40 characters for first and last names and 35 characters for middle names, she said.

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