N.J. bans 'big smiles' in driver's license photos
New Jersey drivers may soon be sporting a frown, because the New Jersey Motor Vehicle commission has issued a ban on motorists smiling in their driver’s license photos.
According to USA Today, the Garden State has banned drivers from making big smiles because they may interfere with the state’s new facial recognition software.
Despite going to effect in January, the restriction was mostly overlooked until earlier this week when 38-year-old Velvet McNeill made headlines contesting the new law. According to Philly.com, the Sicklerville resident stormed out of the Cherry Hill Motor Vehicle Commission office after she was told not to smile in her driver's license photo.
“Why should we all look like androids, looking mopey?” said McNeill to Philly.com. I know there are some people who don’t have good driver’s licenses, but I actually keep all mine.”
In fact, McNeill is the proud owner of six driver’s licenses, which represent the different states she has lived in. For McNeill, her license photo is all about self-expression. “Your picture means a lot; it’s who you are,” McNeill added.
Although she upset, McNeill gave the office’s staff a chance to explain the ban. McNeill decided to leave the Cherry Hill Motor Vehicle Commission office, because no staff members could sufficiently explain the new law.