Monday, May 18, 2009

Licensed Hijabi

Every now and then I hear a report about a Muslim woman who faced some discrimination at the DMV when she wanted to get or renew her driver's license.

I'm glad to say that I did not face anything of the sort. I had to renew my license just recently and the DMV clerk handed me a form to fill out, which I had to sign, indicating whether I was wearing a headscarf because it was either obligatory due to my religious beliefs, or for a medical reason on orders of a doctor.

So I did have to fill out that kind of a waiver--as in general, head covering of any sort are not permitted in driving license photographs--but after that I didn't face any problems. Alhamdulillah.

5 comments:

sami said...

Congratulation !!

Faith said...

For the most part, I think niqabis probably have more issues with getting licenses than hijabis. I've never had any issues. I didn't even have to sign a waiver and or anything of the sort. Same in Pennsylvania. I'm sure this issue also varies across states.

Taiyyaba said...

I didnt have any problem either, alhamdulillah. but the problem is that the DMV regulation does exist in NC (unlike other states) that if a person wears a religious headcover, they have to get a statement by a religious official certifying that it is for religious purposes. The enforcement is uneven and largely discretionary, which makes room for discrimination and prejudices of the individual DMV agent dealing with the Muslim woman. The regulation is kind of pointless anyway, because one lady who had this problem just went home, wrote a letter, got her husband (not a religious official) to sign it, and went back - how does the DMV know who is/not a Muslim religious official? Their own "security" purposes are not being fulfilled.

< / rant >

Anisah said...

I didn't have to do anything special when I wore hijab and got a driver's license in NJ.

mezba said...

It's good you got it without any problems. I think some people doth protest too much. Here in Canada I have had friends who are hijabis and no one had issues.

Sometimes officials (clerks) are not aware of their own laws and other times Muslims are afraid of standing up.