Grade A Certified

A "STOP SMILING" Campaign

Posted by T. Adeyemi on May 28, 2009

It seems the “Stop Snitching” campaign may soon have a rapidly growing rival, and this source is much more legal in its approach to creating a movement. With many states facing crackdowns from the federal government over identity theft and fraud; several states have decided to start by making a change to their state issued driver’s licenses. However, instead of reformatting the design, or requiring a thumbprint, state officials have said that having people stop smiling in their pictures will help eliminate license fraud.

Four states including, Nevada, Indiana, Arkansas, and Virginia have already taken action towards erasing smiles from newly issued license photos. The reason for eliminating smiles, or for having “neutral facial expressions” is because of state of the art software that is designed to recognize when someone’s face shares a distinct likeness to that of someone else’s. DMV officials believe that this software helps to decrease the amount of people who are able to obtain legal identification by assuming another person’s identity.

However, even though the software is top of the line; the slightest smile or grin could throw the computer’s recognition off and eliminate a possible match. Since the software’s induction in 1999 to Indiana DMV’s it is said to have stopped close to 6,000 fake ID’s from being issued. In Virginia, they have taken the driver’s license process even a step further.

Due to major corruption within Virginia’s 74 DMV offices, the state has decided to cease all license manufacturing in those locations and move licence distribution to one remote facility. Virginia hopes to not only cut down on identity theft, but also to combat minors from buying alcohol and out-of-state residents from getting state services.

All in all, most people have always hated their license photo. And it doesn’t seem that the DMV’s of America have any problem with that. So when its time to renew your license don’t be surprised to notice new holograms,  or images that can be seen only under ultraviolet light.

Apparently, Frank Abagnale wasn’t the only guy who knew how to counterfeit a complete existence. Ironically, Abagnale who is the real life criminal that the movie “Catch Me if You Can” is based on is a major consultant for the FBI in the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators crackdown on driver’s license fraud.

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4 Responses to “A "STOP SMILING" Campaign”

  1. This is excellent news for people like myself who don’t like to smile for pictures anyway. For those love showing their pearly whites…tough break, I guess.

  2. This is excellent news for people like myself who don’t like to smile for pictures anyway. For those love showing their pearly whites…tough break, I guess.

  3. Taboo said

    Yikes!!! This is really bad news for me seeing as though I’m always cheesing like a clown and I have a big koolaid grin in my license picture. I def feel that there are other, more effective ways of cutting down on license fraud then erasing smiles. Also do you know if these are the only states that will making this change or is this a nationwide effort?

  4. Taboo said

    Yikes!!! This is really bad news for me seeing as though I’m always cheesing like a clown and I have a big koolaid grin in my license picture. I def feel that there are other, more effective ways of cutting down on license fraud then erasing smiles. Also do you know if these are the only states that will making this change or is this a nationwide effort?

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