SPRINGFIELD - While France has successfully banned fully covering one's face in public, and England requires faces be shown while taking on driver's license tests, Illinois appears to be moving in the opposite direction.
In an effort the department says is to confirm Illinois' tolerance for religious practices, Secretary of State Jesse White's office distributed a new guide to employees that confirms accepting religious head coverings in driver's license or state ID photographs. Illinois also allows non-U.S. citizens to acquire drivers licenses.
"Members of many religions, such as Islam and Sikhism, wear religious head coverings, also known as articles of faith," the flyer says.
Which religious head coverings are acceptable?
UPDATE x1 3:37 PM 8/18/2015: While the SOS office's new flyer description "full-head coverings" could be interpreted to allow faces could be completely obscured, the Secretary of State's spokesman Dave Drucker told Illinois Review Tuesday that "heads may be covered according to religious beliefs, but drivers' faces must be exposed on photo IDs in order for facial recognition software to work effectively."
"Full-head coverings" are defined in some Muslim sects as having veils, but state law would not allow such veils to be used in state IDs or driver IDs. Scarves or hijabs that simply cover hair, as well as other religious head coverings are acceptable.
The new flyer, posted in July 2015, is found on the state's CyberDrive website HERE.