Cancer patient sues over license photo, cites distress

This July 25, 2017 photo shows Jennifer Giordano in her home in Brick, N.J. Giordano, a cancer patient is suing the state Motor Vehicle Commission for compelling her to remove her headscarf to take a license photo. Giordano says she was still uncomfortable without wearing a wrap to cover her balding caused by chemotherapy. The lawsuit alleges an employee at the Eatontown office said she had to remove her headscarf for a new license photo, refusing to use an old photograph Giordano brought with her. (Doug Hood/The Asbury Park Press via AP)

EATONTOWN, N.J. (AP) — A cancer patient is suing the New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission for compelling her to remove her headscarf to take a driver’s license photo.
Forty-year-old Jennifer Giordano said she was still uncomfortable without wearing a wrap to cover her balding head caused by chemotherapy.
The Asbury Park Press reports (http://on.app.com/2uGbUnw ) the lawsuit alleged an employee at the Eatontown office said she had to remove her headscarf for a new license photo and refused an old photograph Giordano brought with her.
Giordano said it felt like being told to take her shirt off. “It’s like exposing yourself in a very raw way that’s not necessary,” she said.
State law dictates that motorists whose physical appearances may change during medical treatment can renew their license using an old photo. The extension of the old photo requires documentation from a doctor and can’t exceed a year from the license’s expiration date.
Giordano says another employee intervened and produced a new license with the old photo.
She is suing for emotional distress, and says she wants to see the agency review its policies and train employees on how to treat patrons with medical or religious exemptions.
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission declined to comment, citing pending litigation.