The Honking Goose

something to honk about

I smiled at the DMV this morning (but can I look cool without a neck?)

Yesterday, I tried to buy beer at the grocery store. I was politely turned down by a cashier who noticed that my driver’s license was expired. Mad, you say? Of course I wasn’t. I can live without beer. This means that I’ve been buying liquor with that expired license for two months and no one told me. Which means I have also been driving around with an expired license for two months. Not that it has been a problem yet, but I don’t want it to be, so I was thankful for the heads-up.

DMV logo on side of building

I went to the DMV yesterday, too, to get it taken care of. But once I got the form, I realized I didn’t have enough cash to pay and they don’t take credit cards. So I filled out the form this morning at home and then went back to the DMV with it after dropping my husband off at work (we share a car).

While I was driving my husband to work, I asked him, “What kind of smile should I have in my picture?”

“Show me,” he said.

So, I gave him a couple smiles. My big funny one. Then my close lipped smile. And one half way in between.

“You should definitely show some teeth.”

“I’m self-conscious about my teeth,” I answered.

“Well you look better when you show a little teeth.” He always says that, any time I’m smiling for the camera. I don’t believe him. But at the same time, I trust him because he looks at me way more than I do.

The DMV clerk who filed the paperwork on my license renewal was super friendly and kind. It was early, so there wasn’t time yet for the kind of stress that builds up inside the DMV office by the end of the day. I got to have a new photo taken for my new license. This is a relief in the greatest way. The last time I had a license photo taken I wasn’t prepared at all, my half-dreaded hair was a total mess, I had no make-up on, and I was flustered because my two young children were running circles around me making way too much noise and being way too rowdy for the DMV office. That was five years ago. Absolutely anything would be an improvement.

At least, I hope that is the case. I smiled with a little teeth showing for the photo today. It felt awkward and I probably looked like a total dork. But a total dork with straight clean hair and make-up on. The DMV clerk showed me his own photo. It wasn’t good considering he is a person of average attractiveness, which didn’t come across in the picture. Apparently, because of facial recognition software, the photos nowadays are much closer cropped. They literally don’t even show a person’s neck. And it’s hard to look cool without a neck.

I can’t wait to get my new card in the mail!

How do you look in your driver’s license photo? Do you have a great DMV story? Tell me about it. Or blog about it and leave a link in the comments section.

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62 comments on “I smiled at the DMV this morning (but can I look cool without a neck?)

  1. vvuureoc
    November 24, 2014

    My ex box challenged the ID card we all had to carry at work. He took a a photo of a baboon and stuck it over the one on the card and it took ten month for security to notice it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. vvuureoc
    November 24, 2014

    iF YOU LOOK LIKE YOUR DRIVER LICENSE PHOTO YOU NEED A DOCTOR URGENTLY!

    Like

  3. CindyPRN
    November 14, 2014

    I loved this..but the comments are cracking me up even more. I once showed my DL at a gas station and the kid said my DL must be really old because I looked so much older in person. (it was a new card). Grrrrr.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      November 14, 2014

      The comments are (at least) half the fun here at the Honking Goose, I’m always glad to hear that people are reading them. πŸ˜€

      Like

  4. Pingback: I got my new license and I look okay with a little bit of neck | The Honking Goose

  5. christianliving2014
    October 29, 2014

    Great write! I think mine looks good.

    Like

  6. whenlifeisgood
    October 24, 2014

    Very funny story. Now I am reminded that I need to renew my passport. Am I unlawful now? Thanks for the follow btw.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 24, 2014

      And thank you for reading the Honking Goose, I’m happy to see you here. πŸ˜€

      Like

  7. Jaxxsj
    October 23, 2014

    I can remember three licenses of mine. One, I looked like an angry convict. My next, I actually looked nice. My third and most current, is the worst by far. I had been smiling and thought to myself, oh man what if I am smiling funny? So I started to not smile and what result was a half smile half frown. Made my face look super puffy, odd and like I have a weird smirk on my face haha it’s terrible!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 23, 2014

      It’s like there is a conspiracy to even the playing field and make us all look equally bad. Why, why? I think we should be allowed to keep the ones we like, even when we get older.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. joeyfullystated
    October 23, 2014

    I recently had mine renewed as well. Our state has a new “no smile” policy, which apparently helps cut down on identity theft (so they say) — So, I look extremely peachy, almost orange, unhappy, and like my head is swollen/inflated…My husband had his done the same day, and he looks like a peach, almost orange egghead. It’s amazing that we’ve made such beautiful children. The photos do not reflect two people anyone would bed.
    They are the worst photos ever.
    But hey, at least the Indiana ‘BMV’ takes credit and debit cards!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 23, 2014

      Which makes me wonder, if everyone’s picture makes them look like an unhappy peachy orange neck-less egghead, how does that help with identification of us as individuals?

      Like

      • joeyfullystated
        October 23, 2014

        I don’t suppose it does.
        BUT! I’d rather the license pic be awful and someone say so rather than one of those, “Is this really you? This doesn’t look like you. You’re much prettier in this picture.” moments. Those are awful. Akin to those “When are you due?” questions no one should ask ever! LOL

        Like

  9. Bruce Thiesen
    October 23, 2014

    I’m sure your card will be much better with your smile. It’s funny that the clerk showed you his photo.

    The DMV is a unique place. I don’t want to spend a lot of time there, but every few years, it’s an interesting field trip. I wrote about my last visit here: http://brucekthiesen.wordpress.com/2014/06/29/youth-open-road/

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 23, 2014

      Hey – you are in Marin Co – I’ve lived there. I was at the San Rafael DMV (without an appt) the last time I got that really horrible photo while my kids were making a ruckus. πŸ™‚

      This time I went in, alone, with the attitude that it would be an interesting and potentially entertaining experience, so that helped a lot.

      Like

  10. Nicholas C. Rossis
    October 23, 2014

    You’re right, it *is* hard to look cool without a neck. Just ask poor Marie Antoinette…

    Like

  11. PsiFiGal
    October 23, 2014

    Great story! Since you asked, my new DL makes me look like a crazy ax murderer, a Lizzy Borden of the 21st century. I smiled without showing my teeth this time and that might be why. I’m self conscious about my smile because I’m a toothless old crone, no really, I’m missing lots of teeth, thankfully mostly in the back. It’s embarrassing but it is what it is, no dental insurance, no teeth…

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 23, 2014

      I guess the only saving grace for a bad photo is that you’re always there in person to show it, and to show that you look much better in person. πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Alanna
    October 22, 2014

    My driver’s licence actually expires today and I don’t have the money nor the motivation to go get it renewed. I’m mad at the DMV for not just being able to use my old picture and send me a new licence in the mail (which would be the nice thing to do), and I write about it a little in here: http://whitegirlsbelike.wordpress.com/2014/10/22/happy-birthday-to-me/

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 23, 2014

      I feel the same way, about the old picture. Mine from ten years ago is seriously fabulous. So young and adorable. If only I’d known how good I looked back then. I could have really taken advantage of it. Perspective is everything.

      You’ll be glad to have your 22 year old pic someday, if only they don’t crop off your neck.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alanna
        October 23, 2014

        Hahaha yeah, hopefully not! Now I’ll have to remember to stick my head out far enough that I still have a neck.

        Like

  13. mewhoami
    October 22, 2014

    Ha! Love your humor!

    Like

  14. jinx0923
    October 22, 2014

    So the “no neck” thing was done on purpose! I didn’t know that. UGH no wonder I’m all FACE in my pic πŸ˜› BLAH!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      Yep, it’s a thing now. I even picked out a nice shirt and everything – total waste. πŸ™‚

      Like

  15. butchcountry67
    October 22, 2014

    oy vey my DL photo looks like I’ve just spent a night in the drunk tank !! seriously! I always wear a hunting/baseball cap so I seldom bother to comb my hair, ehem yeah you have to remove your hat at the DMV while getting your photo taken.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      Well, I’ll find out when I get my new one if Making An Effort To Look Decent helps at all. One can hope.

      Like

  16. T Ibara Photo
    October 22, 2014

    My husband & I look angry in ours, because they say we shouldn’t smile. I look angry in my passport photo too… πŸ™‚

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      There doesn’t seem to be too many people out there who are really happy with pictures. Oh well. πŸ™‚

      Like

  17. Maisy Fernandez
    October 22, 2014

    I’m so glad I read this — you just reminded me that mine is going to expire in two weeks. (And I can’t WAIT for a new photo!)

    Like

  18. Sarah
    October 22, 2014

    I work in a labor and delivery department and see LOTS of licences. Believe me, women look MUCH different in one picture than another!
    Thanks for sharing,
    Savannah Smiles

    Like

  19. Supriya
    October 22, 2014

    I look horrible on my drivers license AND on my passport. I am round with chubby cheeks and small eyes. In these photos, all of those features seemed to be scaled up times 10. And we are asked NOT to smile so I also look angry. My husband waits to see my renewed documents just so that he can see my new photos and have a good laugh. *sighhh*

    Like

  20. Laina Earl
    October 22, 2014

    Very true about the neck thing! My sister just picked up my license on the weekend and laughed her little head off. It’s a few years and haircuts ago, Christian Slater in pump up the volume hair apparently. Hoping the renewal comes around quick.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      Gah! I hope it’s an improvement. I’ll just be embarrassing myself if it is as bad as the old one.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. grannyK
    October 22, 2014

    I look like a chubby, jolly old lady on mine. Which is mostly true, without the jolly part. *snarls*

    Like

  22. John
    October 22, 2014

    I look old and chubby. I hope your new pic will shine! The DMV in Las Vegas is almost always a super long wait and it seems worse now that they started using the last four digits of your phone number to call your turn instead of the ticket thingy.

    If a system works, and works well then why change it? I was told the state will not revert to the old system. Hope you had better, faster service.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      That doesn’t sound like much of an improvement at all. This morning I got out in under an hour, which I considered to be pretty fortunate. I got dirty looks from people waiting when I was leaving though. I was thinking, “you should be happy I’m leaving, now you can get helped quicker.” People!

      Like

  23. annj49
    October 22, 2014

    Your title piqued my interest, so I read on, trying to find out if you expected to be beheaded or something. Glad it was just a matter of losing your neck to the DMV.

    Funny story! I usually hate my DL pic, but mine isn’t too bad this time. I just look so OLD! My hair looks so much greyer than it is…..

    I was driving around for a while without my insurance being renewed. Someone finally pointed it out to me (not a policeman, fortunately). Haha!

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      I was mad at the DMV because I never get renewal notices for anything, but then I remembered I never changed my address when I moved, so it is my fault after all.

      Like

  24. valleygrail
    October 22, 2014

    In a word; scary. Yes, that’s the reaction I get when my photo is seen. And that is the reason I tuck my tiny kindergarten class picture from 1952 over the official photo. If someone really wants to see my license photo, by the time they stop laughing at my
    Kindergarten pic, they are really in for a laugh when they see the scary one.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      I still get carded at the store buying liquor. Not every time, but a lot of the time. So I wouldn’t want to try and pass myself off as a kindergartener. πŸ˜€

      Like

  25. Anna
    October 22, 2014

    Great post! I always smile when taking my license pic. We can see it before it’s made, and we get them immediately. I like being able to see the photo before printing. I always hate getting renewal licenses every four years. Hate taking photos of myself. I am not of the selfie generation! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      I tried to look at mine on the computer screen, but the clerk said he couldn’t move the screen. So I could see it from around the corner of the counter, but it was so far away and small I don’t know if it is decent or not. Oh well.

      Like

  26. Yoshiko
    October 22, 2014

    Sorry, I don’t drive so no driving license.

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      Do you smile with teeth showing when someone takes your picture?

      Like

      • Yoshiko
        October 22, 2014

        I don’t. The funny part is the photographers always squeeze a toy and I laugh then they captured my photos. Weird

        Like

  27. ljaylj
    October 22, 2014

    Great story. I got my new card a few months ago. After waiting for an hour, I took the exam and then proceeded to the photo chair. I gave them the biggest grin smile I could and it actually came out fairly well. The DMV guy said that no one smiles like that, especially after waiting so long. I told him that I didn’t want any officer that pulled me over to not think it was me because I will give them a big grin smile if I get pulled over…it keeps them on edge wondering what you’re up to. πŸ˜‰

    Like

    • thehonkinggoose
      October 22, 2014

      I would totally have a huge smile if I got pulled over, because I would want to seem friendly so the officer would go easy on me. I’m glad you have a picture that turned out well, maybe I will too!

      Like

      • ljaylj
        October 22, 2014

        Our own opinion of our own picture is usually a lot worse than others see us. It will more than likely, be great!

        Like

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This entry was posted on October 22, 2014 by in Culture, Marriage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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