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New Jersey Bans Smiling In Driver's License Photos

09/24/2012 02:28 pm ET | Updated Sep 24, 2012

Even if there was something to smile about while living in New Jersey, the residents better not do it while they're having their driver’s license photo taken.

The state banned smiling in driver’s license photos because facial recognition software launched in January works better when subjects have a neutral expression, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Other states have their own unique laws when it comes to drivers, especially for teens and the elderly. In Nevada, for example, officials proposed a bill to suspend the licenses of students who are underachieving academically.

A spokesman for the DMV said they'll allow small smiles but “I-won-the-lottery-type” grins aren’t acceptable (as such, these characters certainly won’t want to move to New Jersey any time soon). He also highlighted the software’s usefulness in reducing fraud. Indeed, most states use the same technology without enforcing a ban on smiling.

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