US woman with 35-letter name wins battle against government licence office

Official computer systems across the state of Hawaii are to be upgraded in order to accommodate Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele

A woman in the US has finally achieved success in her battle to have her full name printed on official documentation.

Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele – who sometimes also goes by the name “Lokelani” – said she had to fight every time a bank or government official tried to cut short or break up her name, which she adopted after marrying a Hawaiian man in 1992.

The vast majority of forms have some sort of character limitation, meaning her 35-letter, 19-syllable name often does not fit.

Ms Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said she had been able to work through the problem for every piece of documentation except for her state ID and drivers’ licence, and it was the final straw when a police officer asked why she didn’t just use her maiden name – Worth.

“This hurt my heart,” she told the BBC. “Over the last 22 years I have seen... the culture of Hawaii being trampled upon and this policeman treated my name as if it was mumbo-jumbo.”

A name is of great cultural importance in Hawaii, and to someone with knowledge of their heritage it reveals both a person’s ancestral background and a poetic characteristic. Ms Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele says one of its meanings is “one who would stand up and get people to focus in one direction when there was chaos and confusion, and help them emerge from disorder” – though she says there are few Hawaiian elders left now who would be able to appreciate its full significance.

The Hawaii Department of Transport is currently only able to print names up to 34 characters long, meaning it cut off the final letter in Ms Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele’s name.

But after pressure from the Honolulu television station KHON2 – which first reported the woman’s grievance – the local Department of Transport has said it will be upgrading its computer systems to be able to accommodate names of up to 40 characters by the end of 2013.

Ms Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele celebrated the decision, and said she and her late husband had always fought against anyone who tried to curtail their name.

Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele in 1992, on the day of her wedding to late husband Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele in 1992, on the day of her wedding to late husband Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Extras
indybest
Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Manager is required to join the m...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Mobile - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Recruitment Genius: New Business Sales Consultant - Unified - OTE £35,000

£14000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This independent telecoms compa...

Recruitment Genius: Trade Sales Consultant - Furniture

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a besp...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum