No smiling allowed on New Jersey drivers' licenses

Facial recognition software unable to verify photographs with large smiles

Author: Shawn Verbruggen, Associate Producer, sverbruggen@wdiv.com
Published On: Sep 21 2012 02:41:27 AM EDT
CHERRY HILL, N.J. -

On any given day, you typically won't find too many smiles at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

In New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission, it's actually against the law. At least it is if you're having your picture taken for your drivers' license.

The state has banned motorists from smiles deemed "too big" or "extreme" because such expressions don't work with facial recognition software. The policy took effect in January, and is intended to catch fraudulent licenses.

According to The Philadelphia Daily News, 38-year-old Velvet McNeill from Sicklerville, N.J. was so upset about being told not to smile while posing for her license picture, she stormed out of the Cherry Hill Motor Vehicle Commission office.

Since learning the purpose of the new policy, McNeill says she will return to have her photograph taken and her license renewed. However, she refuses to frown for the photo.