Connecticut Sikhs Protest DMV Policy on Removing Head-Coverings

August 29, 2002

Source: The Hartford Courant

On August 29, 2002, The Hartford Courant reported that Connecticut "Department of Motor Vehicle workers will no longer ask for written documentation when motorists want to keep their turbans and other religious headgear on while their driver's license photos are taken... The department previously required a letter from a religious organization to verify an individual has religious beliefs that require them to wear a turban... Amarjit Singh Buttar of Vernon, chairman of the World Sikh Council-America Region, said he recently complained about the policy after several Sikhs who tried to renew their licenses at the DMV office in Norwalk were asked to remove their turbans. Sikhs consider removing turbans in public to be sacrilegious, Buttar said... DMV employees will now take people at their word when they say their religion prohibits them from removing their headgear in public."