A driver has launched an appeal against the DVLA after the agency rejected his driving licence photo because he was wearing a colander on his head.
East Sussex resident Ian Harris is a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, a satirical religion also known as Pastafarianism, which regards colanders and pasta strainers as sacred headwear.
Having accused the DVLA of discrimination after his photo was rejected, Mr Harris has launched a new appeal – his third to date – in a bid to get the DVLA to accept the picture for use on his licence.
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster was formed in 2005 to protest the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow teaching intelligent design as an alternative to evolution.
Its members claim that the idea of a supernatural creator composed of spaghetti and meatballs is just as rational as traditional Christian creationism or any other mainstream faith.
However, Mr Harris has said that he feels “insulted” by the DVLA after it sent a response to his application, which apparently implied that it would damage their credibility.
He said: “Who are they to decide which religions are true or valid? Our religion is a minority, but the DVLA is discriminating because it allows people who practice major religions to wear headgear in pictures.
“The letters implied the picture would damage the DVLA’s credibility because the religion has a comic element to it, which I found insulting.”
He added: “Other church members have been very supportive of my complaint, and have said the headgear is allowed in photos in other countries.”
DVLA deemed it ‘not approppriate’
However, a letter from the DVLA simply stated: “Unfortunately the decision remains the same and you will be required to make a new application for a driving licence with an appropriate photograph.
“You will appreciate that we must work within a framework set by law and the decisions we make have to be in line with the relevant legislation, therefore, we may not always be able to meet your expectations.”
Regardless, according to Mr Harris, who plays banjo for busking band The Iron Boot Scrapers, he has no intention of submitting a new picture despite the DVLA’s resistance.
Instead, he finished by saying: “I have checked, and their guidelines do not say I cannot wear my colander. I will continue to fight the good fight for our savoury Lord.”
Should he be allowed to wear his colander in his driving licence photo? Why not let us know what you think by commenting on our Facebook or Twitter pages?