Virginia Code, Section 18.2-422: Prohibition of wearing of masks in certain places; exceptions.It shall be unlawful for any person over sixteen years of age while wearing any mask, hood or other device whereby a substantial portion of the face is hidden or covered so as to conceal the identity of the wearer, to be or appear in any public place, or upon any private property in this Commonwealth without first having obtained from the owner or tenant thereof consent to do so in writing. However, the provisions of this section shall not apply to persons (i) wearing traditional holiday costumes; (ii) engaged in professions, trades, employment or other activities and wearing protective masks which are deemed necessary for the physical safety of the wearer or other persons; (iii) engaged in any bona fide theatrical production or masquerade ball; or (iv) wearing a mask, hood or other device for bona fide medical reasons upon the advice of a licensed physician or osteopath and carrying on his person an affidavit from the physician or osteopath specifying the medical necessity for wearing the device and the date on which the wearing of the device will no longer be necessary and providing a brief description of the device. The violation of any provisions of this section shall constitute a Class 6 felony.
The law contains specific exemptions, but damn if they seem to fit in this case. Holiday costume? Protective mask for safety? Theatrical production or masquerade ball? Medical reason? The fact is, Virginia law does not exempt people for religious reasons. Nor does it exempt the man with his head wrapped in tin foil who sometimes rides my bus. Nor would it exempt me. I've always wanted to walk around a shopping mall wearing an expensive suit and a lucha libre mask.
Can this woman get a driver's license in your state, dressed in this fashion? From the Virginia Department of Moter Vehicles web site; "DMV may refuse to issue a driver's license or identification card to any applicant who appears for photographing in a disguise or intentionally distorts their face to alter their appearance." So, this chick is evidently riding the same Metro bus as myself, and "Tin Foil Guy".
Is it time for Virginia to ammend its Code? Probably. But if you do it for her, then do it for me. I want the right to wear live squirrels and a thong. In my lucha libre mask.