Who likes their DMV photo? No one. However, the federal government, fulfilling it’s primary goal to be ever more annoying, has recently changed passport photo requirement to insure you will hate your photo. In the age of selfies, they have guaranteed your worst selfie ever.
Surprisingly, it didn’t require much. Two of these requirements guarantee you’ll be unhappy. First, no glasses. Second, no smile. (Actually the rule says “neutral facial expression” which I assume means halfway between your “Hi, mother in law” and “I’m so glad to see you snoopy after my weeks vacay” look. Here’s the government’s exciting web page, US Department of State How to Take and Awful Photo Page. Do NOT miss the exciting video available there.
Anyway, my GF and I recently took a cruise and realized our passports expired just past the 6 month deadline. Many carriers will not let you travel with a passport that expires in 6 months or less, so at 10 months, we realized when we got back, a renewal was due. I did mine online, went to a local drugstore for my passport photo and found out about these new rules. Now, I’m a 60 year old, overweight man of Italian Descent on both sides of my family so, I’m not winning any modeling contests but I’m a happy guy, so I’m usually smiling. Quite often. Always for photos. Here’s an example. And, to be fair, even though I wear glasses 24 hours a day, here’s a pic of myself, taken by a professional photographer, without glasses, that I like.
I saw my passport photo and thought, “OMG- they have done a remake of the Goodfellas – with the same actors- even the dead ones, and one of the dead ones got arrested and this is his mug shot. No one is seeing this pic. Ever.”
I mentioned that I had renewed my passport and reminded the GF to get hers done. Of course, a few weeks later she texts me her passport photo, and complains of the new rules. I look at her photo and she looks like she just left a cover photo shoot for Vogue. Of course she does. I mentioned my horrible photo and I got back a “really? Pfffft” message as if I was being self deprecating. So I texted her the black and white from my passport card.
5,4,3,2,1- and the phone rings. She is laughing so hard, the tears coming out of her eyes are coming through my phone. She’s laughing harder then the time in Austin Texas I slid out of the back seat of a pickup truck so far because I’m so short I ended up in a ditch. She was laughing so hard, I could understand no words she was saying. Not one. Then the texts started. It was my pic back with a caption. Some of the best were: “I have killed and will keep on killing”. “Sorry to bother you, don’t want to interrupt you cutting up peeps in little parts”. “Jaundice for babies”. “Jeffrey Dahmer for adults photo filter”. “No probation for you ever”. “Everybody’s talking about your mug shot”. This went on for hours.
Ok. If you liked that, here’s the actual passport photo.
The ER called later. They actually had to give her something to get her to stop laughing.