Tuesday, March 15, 2016

"Seven Drums" Believer Wins Right To Wear Fox Hat In License Photo

Willamatte Week and KTAU report on an Oregon man who recently won his administrative appeal to allow him to wear unusual head gear in his driver's license photo. The man, Jay Bishop, is a practitioner of the Washat religion, generally known as the Drummer-Dreamer or Seven Drums faith.  It is rooted in a Native American belief system held by Nez Perce tribes. Bishop wears a cable knit hat that looks like an orange and cream fox head-- the fox is his religious totem. While the local DMV office last summer allowed him to wear the hat in his license renewal photo, when the license got to the state level for review it was rejected because it was not compatible with the state's facial recognition software. Bishop was without a license for 9 months while his appeal was ongoing.  The DMV said it attempts to accommodate religious beliefs, but had never heard of this religion.