It is rare that I have to visit the DMV (or is it BMV?). I had to go when I was sixteen to get my license. Then again when I was 21. (I actually was headed into a bar for some sports on the big screen and peanuts on the table when I was told that I was not allowed in as my ID was expired. Apparently even though they knew I was twenty-one years old, an invalid driver’s license makes me only eighteen.) So I went again, this time in Fishers, to get my ID switched yet again. Then I had to do it again last year when the state of Indiana decided to change its license. We went to a new look and a more identifiable design. This time if you are under twenty-one years old your license goes in a vertical format where as those old enough to consume alcohol legally have the regular old horizontal passes.
But apparently the state of Indiana joins three other states on a new fad. If you are due for that five year upgrade to your license do not plan on being in a good mood when you get your photo taken. Indiana is now requiring all new license photos to have plain, blank, and boring faces. You can not smile, grin, wear a hat, or make out with the lady standing next to you like you used to be able to do. But why? Apparently this is to help with fake IDs and to avoid having to look twice when carding someone.
But do you think that a blank stare really makes that big of a difference? I mean, when I smile I look the same as when I frown. Well, not the same, but you know it’s me. You do not have to stare at me with a blank stare to know that I am who I say I am. And especially if I am obviously over the age of twenty-one. (I was carded numerous times this past weekend in Ohio. By the way, you will be getting a blog post soon talking about all the fun and trouble that we got into.)
So why are there only four states that have pitched in for a frowning America? Why are more states not taking the bait? Why can I go to California and be happy but stop by Iowa and have to frown? Is it a Midwest thing? Is it because of the weather?
The only cool thing about this entire situation is that there have is technology involved. The DMV’s that have taken this approach are getting new high tech camera that can sense any motions in the face just in case you try to smile at the last second. These camera are also used for facial recognition in case of the case of the fake ID. This is just one more staple in the future of this country. I can just see it now. In our lifetime there will be the ability to install a chip somewhere in the human body that will allow daily functions. Say you want to change the channel to Fox News from CNN. All you will have to do it think where you want the TV to go and it will go there. (Who knows. Maybe we will think where we want to be and we will just appear there. The sky is the limit on this. And maybe even beyond the sky with these million mile satellites.)
What do your license photos look like? Are you happy? Are you sad? Is our license fake and you are lying to everyone that lets you into a bar?