Driver's License Pic? No smiling in four states..

Is this a joke? Have we come to the point in this country where honest-to-goodness smiling is illegal now?

Anyone feel safer because they are forced not to smile at the DMV?

WTF? “Honest-to-goodness smiling” is not illegal, has not been made illegal, and will never be illegal. No one is “forced not to smile at the DMV”. All this law is saying is that THE PICTURE ON YOUR DRIVERS LICENSE must have a neutral facial expression, for a very sensible reason.

The idea behind it, for those who don’t want to read the article, is that states want to adopt facial recognition technology to prevent somebody from getting multiple drivers licenses under different names. In order to use the facial recognition technology, the picture being scanned needs to have a “neutral expression”…the person can’t be smiling, for instance, because a non-neutral expression makes it harder for the facial recognition software to work.

But what if you were smiling in your previous DL photo?

Passport photos have had this requirement for quite awhile now for the same reason.

Considering that an ID is supposed to, you know, ID people, a smiling picture is kinda silly, unless you walk around smiling all day like a nutbag.

If you’re in Indiana or Arkansas, there is absolutely no reason to smile.

Pointless anecdote:

My brother once went to get his license photo taken on a day when he could only manage to open his eyes to half-mast. The lady taking the pictures asked him to open his eyes, please, so he squeezed his eyes tight shut a moment, then opened them as wide as they would go…click! Apparently this picture was acceptable, although it nearly made me piss myself laughing every time I looked at it. (Jim said that’s how he’d look if he actually got pulled over anyway).

Next time it was my turn to get my photo taken, I tried for the bulging eyeball look, but the lady made me retake the picture and quit fooling around.

My first day on the job at a Major Federal Agency, my paperwork had gotten screwed up somehow. So, they had me step out of line and sit down in the lobby while they processed all the other new hires. After a while, a woman was also kicked out of line and joined me. Her problem was that she was congenitally unable to keep her eyes open during a flash photograph, and they couldn’t get a good photo (ie: eyes open) for her ID badge. After a half dozen attempts they had her sit with me until everyone else was finished.

Eventually, my paperwork got straightened out, and, everyone having been processed, she went back to the camera. It took nearly twenty tries, but they finally got one with her eyes far enough open to qualify. What a charlie-fox!

About a month after we were hired, they moved to a different badge style, and we all had to have our pictures re-taken (this was long before digital cameras!). We were dating at that point (shared experiences and all!), so we went down together. Yep, another couple of dozen shots to get her done right!

I suppose next they’ll pass a law saying that we aren’t allowed to smile during prostate exams or root canal surgery either.

Am I the only one who sniggered at this?

No, I don’t have anything valuable to contribute to this discussion right now.

I had a good buddy back when I was in my early 20s who made a point of looking as drunk as possible in his Drivers License photo (slamming a beer and smoking a ‘J’ before going into the DMV helped get the proper expression).

His rationale was if you were ever pulled over for DWI/DUI the cop would think you always looked shitfaced.

I’ve got Delta Dental! :smiley:

I am sooooooooooooooooooooooo not going to go there. :smiley:

+1, funny

My current photo has me bearded, for the simple reason that I can’t wear a beard normally because my membership in the Army reserve. I didn’t have to show up between December 15th and January 14th (more or less) so I stopped shaving, got the license renewed on the 13th or so, shaved the next day and went back to work.

I wanted a permanent official record of how much facial hair I can grow in one month. Quite a bit, it turns out.

Yes, and it continued with “get her done right!”

I got my first Australian passport in 1972, and the rules required a neutral expression. When I renewed it smiling was allowed. Now we are back to neutral expression.

Even disregarding facial recognition software issues, neutral expression is probably a sensible requirement. How many of us are smiling when pulled over by the police or when presenting our passports to immigration officers? I know I’m not smiling in those situations.

I have my head shaved for my DL photo. I have a full head of hair and people always look at me like “Hmmm is that a toupee?” :slight_smile:

Yep, but you can still sing “Moon River”.