Some States Telling Drivers Not To Smile For License

By: Shane McAuliffe Email
By: Shane McAuliffe Email

Whenever you get a new license, how much thought do you put into your picture?

Do you comb you hair, wear a nice outfit, or get dressed up? Or, is the biggest question whether or not to smile?

Some states aren't giving drivers the option, telling those applying for a license not to smile so their face can be checked against new I-D Theft software.

But is Texas going to implement the no smile clause?

When comes to taking that often awkward picture, the folks at the driver's license office have seen it all and heard it all.

"People will try to pose, like their at a professional photo shoot or something," said Cynthia Juarez with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"People do take their driver's license photo pretty seriously and everything," joked Jimmy Morgan with the Texas Highway Patrol.

But some don't realize that you can put on a happy face.

"A lot of people don't like to smile but a lot of people don't think they are allowed to smile and they are allowed to smile. We prefer that you smile," said Juarez.

From the warm smile, to the big smile, to the serious. Everyone has their reason for taking the picture they do.

"How's my day going," is what Harry Francis of Bryan depends on.
"Cause it gives me wrinkles," joked E.L. Payne.
"Why not smile, it's free," said Tina Jeffery of Navasota.

The good news is Texas is not one of those states banning the showing of emotion. In fact the DPS office in Bryan would like to take it a step further.

"I actually wish they would drive more with smiles on their faces." said Morgan.

And according to the folks who work at the DPS, it might just help you out in the long run.

"It's better if you smile that way it'll help you out if you get pulled over. Maybe! " joked Juarez.

The four states that are requiring people not to smile in their driver's license photo are Arkansas, Indiana, Nevada and Virginia. Texas DPS says they have no plans on following suite.

KBTX-TV Channel 3 4141 E. 29th Street Bryan, TX 77802 Phone: (979) 846-7777 Fax: (979) 846-1490 News Fax: (979) 846-1888
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