Lifestyle & Belief

New Jersey bans smiling in driver's license photos


A sample New Jersey driver's license.

People in New Jersey have even less to smile about these days.

The state has banned smiling in driver's license photos, saying the expressions don't register with facial recognition software, Newsday reported.

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The policy took effect in January, but Sicklerville resident Velvet McNeill is trying to bring it to light.

She told the Philadelphia Daily News she was outraged when Motor Vehicle Commission employees told her not to smile during a recent visit to get her license.

"Your picture means a lot; it's who you are," McNeill told the newspaper.

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Elyse Coffey, a spokeswoman for the Motor Vehicle Commission, told ABC News they're not banning all smiles.

Just "don't smile “as if you’ve just won $5 million in the lottery," she told ABC.

Such facial expressions confuse the recognition software, which is designed to prevent anyone who already has a license from getting a second document under a different name, according to UPI.