• 475
New Jersey MVC
New Jerseyans have a lot to smile about. The Giants, who play in Secaucus, are Super Bowl champs. Governor Chris Christie is a national political star, and has a 51% approval rating.

But the Garden State doesn't want you to smile--at least not on your driver's license.

According to NJ.com, New Jersey recently instituted a policy that prohibits residents from smiling in their driver's license pics. That's not because the state wants drivers to look mean or sad, as if they had the disappointment of the NBA Nets moving to Brooklyn on their minds.

No, it's because smiles that are too broad and toothy can upset facial recognition software.

Of course, we are wondering why people at the Department of Motor Vehicles in any state would want to sport a big grin after waiting in the typical line to get a new license or registration.

In any case, DMVs have begun using such facial recognition software to catch driver's license applicants trying to assume someone's identity to create a fake ID: If a new photo matches an old one that carries a different name, a red flag goes up, and investigators step in.

The idea is that over time DMVs will create a database of faces, just like the existing fingerprint database. The idea is for law enforcement to use that database to pick out perpetrators from security camera footage after a crime has been committed.

Everyone knows New Jersey and New York are competitive with one another over sports, bridge and tunnel revenue, the size of summer tomatoes, etc. So, New York officials have been making it known that New York drivers can smile all they like at their DMV offices.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles determined that its facial recognition software uses points on a grid of a person's face unrelated to expressions.

Say New Jerseyans to New Yorkers, "I got your smile...right here."

AOL Autos Editor-in-Chief David Kiley is a New Jersey native, born in Jersey City, and now resides in Michigan.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 475 Comments
      paddleman1928
      • 2 Years Ago
      big brother
      • 2 Years Ago
      And as the Police State continues to grow worse these stone-faced expression ID's will put a pre determined badass profile into the minds of all Cops. One will be considered guilty before proven innocent.
      jml1018
      • 2 Years Ago
      I never show my teeth when I smile when I get my picture taken for my license
      • 2 Years Ago
      i thought this was a story about what stars are doing now featuring urkel from family matters jaleel white i just realize hes not that old
      JOHN
      • 2 Years Ago
      thanks 4 the info , i will smile everywhere especiall in banks , lol ( they have these systems everywhere.).walmart gets your pic on way in , runs it through , if it flags you , you are their target til you leave..my next door neighbor works in security for walmart .. they also have floating guards , travel to different stores so they don`t get recognized in same store all the time ..HOPE YOU FOUND THIS INFO USEFUL
      Hi Kathy & Dean
      • 2 Years Ago
      As Charles (Charlie Brown) would say: "Good Grief"! What an asine & self-serving burecratic ruling. Still, they ARE Easteners.
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is not new news..... here in Indiana, you can't smile either, and it's for what will be a nationwide system, not state to state, just fyi
      ladams2187
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don;t know if this is a problem in other states as MA. How about passing a law that prohibits our law enforcement officrers from wearing their uniforms for their license picture.
      Kenny
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's suprising is that anyone in Jersey would be smiling in the first place
      Thamra
      • 2 Years Ago
      Let me guess because Chris Christy can't smile.
      • 2 Years Ago
      LOL Beware... the land of freedom and opportunity becomes a dictatorship at so many levels!!!! And we keep becoming slaves to technology!
      dotlhs56
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have never seen a drivers license picture look as good as this one. We all try to make it look the best it can and it never turns out real well. There's not much to smile about anywhere; however, we want this one picture to be good. Depending on your age, it lasts for five to ten years years at least in Georgia.
    • Load More Comments