by EMILY FODOR Editor
The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission has banned smiling in driver’s license pictures due to new facial recognition software that launched in January.
Wide smiles and other facial expressions can confuse the software and render it useless. Who knew being happy could hurt society so much?
The intention of the software is to prevent fraud, including identity theft and false licensing. This ban essentially lowers the chances of someone who has gotten a DUI from obtaining a license under a different name, for example. No matter the circumstance, the software is built to make it a bit easier to point out illegal activity involving driver’s licenses.
Despite its benefits to society, drivers continue to oppose it, stressing the importance of their license picture. As most drivers know, their pictures are bad enough without the ban on smiling. From now on, the driver’s license picture and their next mug shot might as well be interchangeable.
Junior Jillian Cawley says, “I’ve had braces for too many years to not be able to smile for my license.”
What this really comes down to is New Jersey’s need to specifically make it easier on themselves. Pennsylvania and Delaware use the same software; however, they do not ban the very expression of happiness on their drivers’ faces.
Bottom line, the Motor Vehicle Commission adds onto their list of reasons to frown: long lines, rude employees, and no smiling allowed. No worries, there are not any reasons left to smile in this dim state.
This may be a ban with a hidden message: forget about your vanity, we have a job to do. Well, when you put it that way, New Jersey…