We are still allowed to smile here.
Four states adopt 'no-smiles' policy for driver's licenses - USATODAY.com
Four states adopt 'no-smiles' policy for driver's licenses
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Enlarge By H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY
Diana Kim, of Fairfax, Va., is sure not to smile as she gets her driver's license photo taken. Virginia uses face-recognition software that won't allow for smiles on IDs.
By Thomas Frank, USA TODAY
Stopping driver's license fraud is no laughing matter: Four states are ordering people to wipe the grins off their faces in their license photos.
"Neutral facial expressions" are required at departments of motor vehicles (DMVs) in Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia. That means you can't smile, or smile very much. Other states may follow.
LICENSE FRAUD: States take steps to cut down fake IDs
The serious poses are urged by DMVs that have installed high-tech software that compares a new license photo with others that have already been shot. When a new photo seems to match an existing one, the software sends alarms that someone may be trying to assume another driver's identity.
But there's a wrinkle in the technology: a person's grin. Face-recognition software can fail to match two photos of the same person if facial expressions differ in each photo, says Carnegie Mellon University robotics professor Takeo Kanade.
FIND MORE STORIES IN: Carnegie Mellon University
Dull expressions "make the comparison process more accurate," says Karen Chappell, deputy commissioner of the Virginia DMV, whose no-smile policy took effect in March.
Elaine Mullen of Great Falls, Va., bristled at the policy while renewing her license until she heard the reasoning. "It's probably safer from a national-security point of view," she says.
Arkansas, Indiana and Nevada allow slight smiles. "You just can't grin really large," Arkansas driver services chief Tonie Shields says.
A total of 31 states do computerized matching of driver's license photos and three others are considering it, says the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Most say their software matches faces regardless of expressions. "People can smile here in Pennsylvania," state Transportation Department spokesman Craig Yetter says.
In Illinois, photo matching has stopped 6,000 people from getting fraudulent licenses since the technology was launched in 1999, says Beth Langen, the state head of Drivers Services.
Contributing: Drew FitzGerald, Marisol Bello
And what about multiples (twins and so on?) Are they not allowed to get licenses now either? I don't blame the DMV on that one -those twins always trying to pull a Parent Trap.
We are still allowed to smile here.
I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West
Does anyone really feel like smiling when they're at the DMV????
We can smile here, though there isn't much to smile about. Can't smile for passport photos though.
A government big enough to give you everything you want,
is strong enough to take everything you have. ~Thomas Jefferson
I worked at the Ohio BMV for 5 yrs.. I always told people to smile it made the pictures so much better.
Of course when we did our own, we would do about 10 pictures, I always had the best license pics when I worked there.
'High, High. Yaw Both High and Smokin' Weeeed in Front of My Howse"Bah-Brahhh-Teen Mom
I am pretty sure that DMV is hell on earth.
Can't ever go in there for less than an hour for something so small.
And I never smile in my license pic.
I grew up in Nevada and currently live in Virginia. None of the DMVs I've gone to in either state made me want to smile.
I always smile in my DL pics. I've only had one DL pic that sucked & it was b/c my hair was HORRIBLE. I *thought* I was having a good hair day, but when that thing came in the mail, I wondered what the hell I was thinking with that hair! It was sooo bad, I even had bouncers laugh at that pic. You know it's bad when even bouncers are laughing at it!
Then the software they have is stupid and useless, get better software that isn't compromised by a freakin' smile.
I always just do a sort of mona lisa smirk, not a full smile because I'd feel stupid doing that in a DMV picture. I have been blessed with the best license and passport photos over the last several years. My photos look better than I do irl. I'm far from photogenic too, I just lucked out.
If I promise to drive around consistently with the same buffoon grin on my face that I sport in my driver's license photo - can I still keep the one I have? (We can still smile here, but this is a rather grim trend.)
I wonder if it affects the mentality of a cop when they see a happy photo versus one that looks like a common mug shot. The "authorities" don't presume we are humans, they presume we are potential criminals.
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