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A Guy in Portland Just Won the Right to Wear a Fox Hat in His ID Photo

The man, Jay Bishop, argued that he should be allowed to wear the hat because he practices the Native American Waashat religion and the fox is his totem animal.
Thumbnail image via KATU

Read: The Uptight Traveler's Guide to Portland, Oregon

The state of Oregon has granted Portland resident Jay Bishop the right to wear a white and red fox cap in his state ID photo following a fight that lasted over nine months, KATU reports.

Oregon, like most states, doesn't allow folks to wear hats or sunglasses in their driver's license photos, but grant a few exceptions—usually for religious reasons.


Bishop, who is reportedly never without his fox hat, argued that he should be allowed to be photographed wearing it because he practices the Native American Waashat religion, also referred to as Drummer-Dreamer or Seven Drums faith. The religion's traditions include "drum ceremonies, vision quests, and a fundamental belief in the connection between man and nature," according to Willamette Week.

Practicing Waashat also means you can claim a spirit animal as a totem. Bishop's totem animal, apparently, is the fox.

Portland's DMV initially allowed Bishop to wear the hat in his photo, but it caught the eye of some officials when the application went through processing with the state.

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles rejected Bishop's request to wear the cap, claiming it hadn't heard of the religion. Bishop wasn't having any of that, so he lawyered up and dove into a nearly year-long battle with the state—a fight he has finally won.

In the wake of his success, Bishop is urging people to stick up for their right to rep their religion on their head. "It shouldn't matter if it's a yarmulke, or a hijab, or, quote, 'a silly fox hat,'" he told KATU.