For the past 20 years, Janice “Lokelani” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele has had to carry two identification cards.
“The county has never accommodated my name on my driver’s license,” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said.
Instead, it drops the 36th letter of her last name and doesn’t print her first or middle name. So she also carries a state ID, which in the past, included her full name.
“The governor’s office went back into the computer department and they found a way to put our name on our state ID,” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said.
But when her state ID expired in May, her new ID came back just like her driver’s license. She says it’s created a number of problems from not being able to travel to being questioned by police during a traffic stop.
“He looked at it and he goes, ‘Well, where is your first name?’” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said. “And I said, ‘Don’t blame me. This is your department, this is the county.’”
Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele says she’s been told by the county to take her maiden name or even shorten her last name. But that would mean taking away the one thing she still has from her husband, who passed away.
“And I went, ‘How disrespectful of the Hawaiian people,’” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said.
She reached out to KHON2′s Action Line to find out if anything can be done. KHON2 pressed the Department of Transportation for answers.
“We have been made aware of that issue and I know right now they are working to extend that limit to, I believe, 40 characters so that issue can be resolved,” DOT spokesperson Caroline Sluyter said.
It comes as a relief to Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele.
“I really, really appreciate any attention to this issue because it’s not only for me, it’s also for those who come after me who also are going to be dealing with this in the future,” Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele said.