DMV Scarf Incident Called a ‘Misunderstanding’

Dina Rabie was told she could not wear her Muslim head scarf for her driver's license picture

Chris Nichols/North County Time

An Oceanside woman who said she was told in February to remove her Muslim head scarf for her driver's license photo will have her photo shot again, this time with the head scarf in place, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Motor Vehicles told the North County Times Thursday.

It is a violation of DMV policy to ask anyone to remove a head covering worn for religious purposes during a driver's license photo, said Jan Mendoza, a department spokeswoman.

The Oceanside woman, Dina Rabie, 29, said an employee at the DMV's Oceanside office would not take her photo until she removed her white scarf, which she said covered her hair and the tops of her ears but not her face, the paper reported.

The state's vehicle code, section 12800.5, requires only that a driver's license "bear a full face" of the licensee. Rabie said she told the employee her scarf was "a religious thing, not a fashion thing," but he did not consult with a supervisor. She said she complied with his instructions because she was afraid of making more of a scene at the DMV office, according to the paper.

Mendoza, a Sacramento-based DMV spokeswoman, said the matter was "a misunderstanding" between the employee and Rabie.
"She was told to move it (the scarf)," Mendoza said. "But she took it off on her own."

Read more: North County Times

Contact Us