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The Latest: License officials lacked updated headscarf rules

HONOLULU (AP) — The Latest on a complaint that a Muslim woman renewing her Hawaii driver’s license was discriminated against (all times local):

4 p.m.

Hawaii County officials say they were following U.S. requirements when they issued a temporary driver’s license to a Muslim woman who wears a hijab.

The county issued a statement Tuesday after the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii sent a letter complaining that unconstitutional policies made it difficult for Laycie Tobosa to renew her license.

The letter says Tobosa received a provisional license because her headscarf covered her ears in her photograph. The statement says the county initially followed federal requirements that veils, scarves or headdresses must not obscure an applicant’s facial features.

The statement says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security updated its interpretation of requirements regarding head coverings but didn’t immediately notify state or county officials.

The ACLU says it took Tobosa 18 weeks to get a full license, and she was required to submit a letter confirming her religious beliefs.

County Vehicle and Licensing Division Administrator Naomi O’Dell says there was a lot of discussion with Tobosa and state transportation officials as they tried to clarify the rules.

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2 p.m.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii says Big Island driver’s licensing officials discriminated against a Muslim woman who wears a hijab.

The group sent a letter to county officials Tuesday saying unconstitutional policies made it difficult for Laycie Tobosa to renew her license.

The letter says Tobosa received a provisional license because her headscarf covered her ears in her photograph.

The letter says it took 18 weeks for Tobosa to get a full license and she was required to submit a letter confirming her religious beliefs.

Hawaii County officials couldn’t be reached for comment.

The ACLU says if they don’t respond with a corrective plan by Nov. 1, the group will consider options, including a lawsuit.

They’re asking Hawaii’s other counties to confirm they don’t impose similar policies.

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