Pastafarian Rights in Austria
Via the BBC: Austrian driver allowed ‘pastafarian’ headgear photo
An Austrian atheist has won the right to be shown on his driving-licence photo wearing a pasta strainer as "religious headgear".
Niko Alm first applied for the licence three years ago after reading that headgear was allowed in official pictures only for confessional reasons.
Mr Alm said the sieve was a requirement of his religion, pastafarianism.
Later a police spokesman explained that the licence was issued because Mr Alm’s face was fully visible in the photo.
"The photo was not approved on religious grounds. The only criterion for photos in driving licence applications is that the whole face must be visible," said Manfred Reinthaler, a police spokesman in Vienna.
Mr Alm’s pastafarian-style application for a driving licence was a response to the Austrian recognition of confessional headgear in official photographs.
The downside to the headgear?
The licence took three years to come through and, according to Mr Alm, he was asked to submit to a medical interview to check on his mental fitness to drive but – straining credulity – his efforts have finally paid off.
The police claim, however, that it was ready for pick-up two years ago.