Linguae Viventes

Linguist. Optimist. Exhibitionist. This is my story.

99 problems but a “II” shouldn’t be one.



I’ll be the first to say that I take pride in being the second “II”. It is my personal label, my trademark, and my social identifier. I never thought that one day I would ever have a problem with my name…until yesterday. I had just finished a very successful first day of teaching. I am about to arrive home when my mother calls me saying that there has been a problem with my “Carnet de Identidad”. When she arrives, she recounts her day of waiting in the Civil Registry office. After waiting in the office for quite a while, she tells me that they have rejected my application for the I.D. card because of my name. Granted, names from the English-speaking world usually come with one last name that passed down from the paternal side. In Latin America, people are generally given the paternal and maternal last names together. The problem was not my last name, rather my Roman numeral suffix “II” which was given to me at birth to distinguish my name from my father’s name. What my mother was told is that there is an antiquated law that basically states, “Chile does not give out legal documents or federally granted forms that contain Roman numerals, because they denote a conferral of nobility status or of a royal title.” Chile has not been part of the Spanish crown for roughly 195 years and the United States has been a kingless land of liberty for over 236 years. The bureau charged with processing and approving the Chilean I.D. card that I need to have in order to receive my volunteer stipend and to stay in the country until December is citing this law as the reason for the rejection as well as implying that I am using a fraudulent name. I got my parents to scan and send me a copy of my birth certificate in order to prove that I am and have always been Daniel Leslie Little II. The next day with documents in hand, my mom and I venture together to the Civil Registry in order to resolve the matter. My regional representative (Who is wonderful) also came down to assist with the matter. After a lengthy discussion and a couple of phone calls to Santiago I am told the best course of action is to wait. My visa is good for ninety days so I am not in any imminent threat of deportation. Also the English Opens Doors people are trying to settle the matter because there is another case of a suffix that has become a royal pain. If the fine folks from EOD cannot resolve this doing some fancy legal two stepping, I will have to return to Santiago for a second time with my passport, visa, birth certificate, and drivers license to prove my identity and to be issued a new visa sans my suffix. The curious thing is that I was issued a visa with my “II” in Washington D.C. at the Chilean Embassy. I entered the country, went through the Investigative Police of Chile, and went through the Civil Registry of Chile with no one doing a double take over my suffix. This is occurring because of an archaic law and an inflexible office in the government that processes and approves the mandatory Chilean I.D. card. So it looks like I shall have to exercise some patience and flexibility as well as profound gratitude for my mother and regional representative who both have my back. I am not in any deep number two at the moment so we shall see what happens…


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3 thoughts on “99 problems but a “II” shouldn’t be one.

  1. This is an absolutely amazing story. Not like amazing good, haha. WOW.

  2. Pingback: SUCCESS THWARTED. | Red Hot Chile Peppers

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