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Photographs for Driver Licenses, Permits and ID Cards
General Information

When you go to a DMV office to apply for an original or to renew a driver license, permit, or ID card, your photograph will be taken after you meet the requirements for issuance. Standards are in place to ensure that a quality photo is taken of each applicant for the purpose of identification and photo comparison.

Requirements for Photograph

Before you are photographed, you must remove any:

  • Hat or other head covering, unless worn as a result of medical treatment or for religious reasons. Head coverings worn for medical or religious reasons must not cover or distort the face.
  • Eyeglasses (including prescription glasses).
  • Face paint, stickers or other temporary substances or materials that cover or distort all or part of the face.
  • Novelty contact lenses that significantly change the appearance of an eye or hide the pupil.

DMV determines if your photo is acceptable for facial recognition purposes. If your eyes are closed or the quality of the photo is poor, a new photo is taken.

Photo Comparison

When your photograph is taken for a license, permit or ID card, your photo is automatically compared with the previous photo on file to make sure you are the same person who previously applied. Once your identity is verified you are given an interim driver license, permit or ID card to use until you receive your permanent card in the mail.

To prevent fraud, facial recognition software is used to prevent someone from obtaining identification in another persons name or under more than one name. Overnight, your photo is compared with all photos on DMV files to make sure that you do not have any other records. If no other records are found, your card is produced and mailed to the address you provide on the application. If DMV determines that you previously applied for an issuance in another name, your new card is not produced and your driving privilege and/or ID card or right to apply for a driving privilege and/or ID card may be suspended for one-year.

Related Information

Additional information that may be relevant includes: