Connecticut Sikhs Protest DMV Policy on Removing Head-Coverings

August 24, 2002

Source: The Associated Press

On August 24, 2002 The Associated Press reported that Amarjit Singh Buttar, of Vernon, Connecticut and the chairman of the World Sikh Council-America Region, is protesting the "state motor vehicles' policy requiring motorists to remove turbans and other head coverings for driver's license photographs... [He said] Sikhs consider removing their turbans in public to be sacrilegious, and the requirement to do so for a driver's license is harassment... Buttar said he complained recently about the Department of Motor Vehicle policy after several Sikhs who tried to renew their licenses at the DMV office in Norwalk were asked to remove their turbans. Buttar says he has never been asked to remove his head covering since 1970, when he moved to Connecticut and received a driver's license... About 500 Sikhs live in Connecticut, according to Buttar, with many living in the southwestern part of the state."