In Virginia, don't smile for the camera

WASHINGTON, May 26 (UPI) -- Arkansas, Nevada, Indiana and Virginia say their 'no-smiles' policy on photos prevents fraudulent driver's licenses from being approved.

The four states have high-tech software that compares a new license photo with photos previously taken, USA Today reported Tuesday. When an old photo and a new photo appear not to match, it means someone may be trying to assume another driver's identity.


The software works best with neutral, or dull, expressions, said Karen Chappell, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

When it comes to smiles, or big grins, face-recognition software can fail to match two photos of the same person if the expression differs in each photo, said Takedo Kanade, a robotics professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

In all, 31 states now do computerized matching of driver's license photos and most said their software matches regardless of expression, USA Today reported.

"People can smile here in Pennsylvania," state Transportation Department spokesman Craig Yetter said.

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