Niko Alm  /  AP
Niko Alm's driving license photo. It has to be strangest piece of identification in Austria — if not the world. Alm's new drivers license shows him wearing a pasta strainer as headgear. 
msnbc.com news services
updated 7/14/2011 3:40:38 PM ET 2011-07-14T19:40:38

Niko Alm wanted to test an Austrian law saying that head coverings would only be allowed in official documents for religious reasons.

So the tongue-in-cheek atheist applied for a new driver's license in his country with a photo of himself wearing a pasta strainer as headgear. Alm said he was a "pastafarian" and that the headpiece was required by his religion. He is affiliated to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

The application process took three years, but Alm said Thursday that he's now got his new license, with pasta strainer and all.

Police officials in the mostly Catholic country did not sound amused.

They said religion was never an issue in Alm's case, and that he succeeded because he fulfilled the only criterion required: leaving his face fully visible in the photo.

The group's website states that "the only dogma allowed in the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the rejection of dogma".

Next on Alm's agenda: Fight for his church to be an officially recognized faith in Austria.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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