Widow told to change husband's 36-character surname

ninemsn staff
4:41pm September 12, 2013
September 12, 2013: Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has encountered numerous problems with the law due to the fact that her name doesn’t fit on her drivers licence.

A Hawaiian widow whose last name is 36 characters long claims Hawaiian officials are bullying her and disrespecting her husband's heritage by shortening the surname on state identification cards.

Janice "Lokelani" Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said Department of Transport officials even suggested she change it to make life easier for her and them.

Mrs Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said the issue had been ongoing for 20 years, after her driver's licence was printed with an abbreviated version of her family name and her first and middle names cut off.

To compensate for this, she was issued a special dispensation by the Hawaiian governor's office to allow her name to be printed in full on her state ID.

However, when this card expired in May, Mrs Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele was disappointed to find its replacement had reverted back to same format as her driver's licence.

She contacted the local county, but officials said there was little they could do to help.

Janice 'Lokelani' Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele's name has been trimmed in her latest ID card. (Supplied)
Janice 'Lokelani' Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele's name has been trimmed in her latest ID card. (Supplied)

"And I went, how disrespectful of the Hawaiian people," she told KHON2.

She said the abbreviated name had caused her problems while travelling and even saw her questioned by police.

"He looked at it and goes, 'Well, where's your first name?'" she said.

"And I said don't blame me, this is your department, this is the county."

Mrs Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said it was important she kept the family name as it linked her to her late husband and his culture.

The Department of Transport said in a statement it was working to extend its character limit to 40 "so that the issue can be resolved".

Her driver's license was also printed with just an abbreviated version of her family name, and without her first and middle name altogether. (Supplied)
Her driver's license was also printed with just an abbreviated version of her family name, and without her first and middle name altogether. (Supplied)

Source: KHON2
Author: Chloe Ross, Approving editor: Matthew Henry

Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele
Mrs Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele wants to keep her deceased husband's surname. (Supplied)
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