License applicants would have to show faces under Missouri proposal

| Tuesday, December 16, 2003

Women whose religion requires them to wear a veil would have to take the covering off for their driver’s license photo under a bill proposed by a Missouri state representative recently. Sen. Harold Caskey, D-Butler, introduced the bill for the upcoming session that will start in January.

The bill, SB874, does not specify Muslim or any other type of veil – it does contain a blanket prohibition against “wearing anything which cloaks the facial features of the individual”when taking a driver’s license photo.

It also removes an exemption that would have allowed members of certain religious groups from avoiding having a photo taken altogether because their religion prohibits photographs.

Caskey told The Associated Press he introduced the bill in response to a request from state homeland security officials and the Missouri Highway Patrol.

SB874 was filed Dec. 1. If passed, it would become effective Aug. 28, 2004.