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Why you can't smile in your driver's license photo, according to the DMV

No, it's not just because they WANT you to look bad in your photo.
<p>Colorado driver’s license fees are increasing by $1. </p>

Driver's license photos are notoriously unflattering, but if you've been to the Colorado DMV to renew yours in the past year or so, you may have noticed it's even harder to look cute.

If you plan to slap on a big ol' grin for your photo... well, you can't.

And it's not because the DMV employee snapping your photo is having a bad day.

Keeping a straight face for your official photo is actually a part of what makes your Colorado driver's license valid federally (like, to board planes and stuff).

Here's the answer from Sarah Werner, a communications manager with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

"Colorado is a REAL ID compliant state which ensures documents issued to U.S. citizens and individuals who are permanently lawfully present in the U.S. are fully compliant with federal ​​guidelines and can be used for federal identification purposes.

As part of this, the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles asks customers to maintain a neutral (or natural) facial expression when their photographs are taken in order to maximize the effectiveness of identity verification tools."

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