Hawaii Chops Woman's Super-Long Last Name

It's 'Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2013 12:41 PM CDT

(Newser) – Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele was used to her last name not fitting on her Hawaii driver's license, which drops the last letter (and must also exclude her first or middle name). But now her state ID—which she's always carried because it included her full name—also includes the shortened version of her name. She received the new ID card when her old one expired in May, and she says it's already kept her from traveling and led police to be suspicious during a traffic stop.

The county's solution was that Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele either take her maiden name or officially shorten her last name, so she went to KHON 2 with the problem and now the Department of Transportation says it is working to extend its limit to 40 characters. Why is it so important to her? Gawker finds the answer in an email she sent to a tool supplier a few years ago, which was posted online:

  • "If I say my name to an elder Hawaiian (kupuna), they know everything about my husband's family going back many generations ... just from the name. When the name is sliced up, changed or altered it distorts the intention and meaning that the name represents."
Her husband has passed away, KHON 2 notes, making her name even more meaningful to Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele.

  (YouTube)
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