Don’t Smile in New Jersey

When I recently read that New Jersey Bans Smiling Drivers License Photos, I had the response that I am sure most people have: You have to be kidding. After all, the U.S. is not the happiest place in the world, coming in at number 11 in the World Happiness Report  (Denmark, Finland, and Norway are at the top).

Why would we want to discourage happiness? Well, it turns out New Jersey has their reasons. Apparently, they are comparing your face to the other 19 million faces in their files to ensure that you are not applying for multiple licenses.

Here is where I have trouble. How can they possibly think that you don’t look like anyone else in the state? We have all seen people who have an uncanny resemblance to each other. Random chance says that if you take 19 million people some of them are going to look alike, particularly when your comparison is two driver’s license photos.

On another note, I am sure that twins will have their own particular problems in the state. Perhaps, New Jersey will need to restrict residence to only one twin!



About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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1 Response to Don’t Smile in New Jersey

  1. Pingback: The DMV and Pasta Preparation | All About Images Blog

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