Hawaii Can’t Fit Woman’s Name On Driver’s License

Well, this is a problem you don’t run into very often:

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.

That’s one heck of a wedding present.

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Clearly, she needed the long form driver’s license.

  2. Neil Hudelson says:

    @James Joyner:

    Way to win a thread before it even starts.

  3. Tyrell says:

    Simple solution: create the necessary documents that have enough room for her name and charge her for the extra expense.
    I wonder how she has managed writing checks, signing other documents, writing her name on school assignments, signing credit card slips, and a number of other forms. It would be hard to believe that her full name is on debit, credit, and other kind of cards. Maybe so. Something makes me think that she probably shortens her name when she wants to.

  4. Electroman says:

    @Tyrell: Where I live, your drivers license is required to have your legal name on it. I don’t know if that’s the case in Hawaii, but I wouldn’t want to be an exception to a law like that. As they say in Japan, “The nail that sticks out gets hammered down”.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    That’s one heck of a wedding present.

    What do you get the person who has everything? In this case, about 7 more syllables.

  6. Anderson says:

    I wonder how Wales handles this problem.

  7. al-Ameda says:

    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.

    She could just stop complaining and get a bicycle.

  8. walt moffett says:

    If the name is Hawaiian, even more ammunition for the move to seek tribal status.

    Though the bureaucrat in me forsees lots of joy as her signature fails to match official records nor does it match with say Federal tax records, health insurance etc.

    I suspect banks etc happily accommodate her name, customer service means money after all.

    And on another issue seems there is support for one freely choosing gender but the choosing most intimate, a name, there is little support.

  9. Tyrell says:

    @walt moffett: The choice of a name is a person’s freedom and personal business. There are certain results that people just have to live with, such as length, pronunciation, strange looks, questions, and and even jokes. Mr name is often misspelled not even close and mispronounced. The motor vehicle department can probably figure out a solution, but she should also do some accomadating and understanding. I imagine her teachers just used a first name and last initial. I would be of the opinion that there are times that she uses a shorter form as a means of practicality and to save time. She should give others the same consideration.

  10. Franklin says:

    @James Joyner: One and done.

  11. Pinky says:

    “Hello, I’m calling with a special prize opportunity for you, Mrs. … …”