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Axemusica's avatar

Why do the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV, or MVD) have bad photography?

Asked by Axemusica (9408points) January 12th, 2011

Is it just me or does it seem as though every DMV (MVD what ever it may be in your state/place) has just horrible lighting and backdrops for taking the photo for your ID, license, ect…?

~BONUS~ Is there a reason behind this?

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13 Answers

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

All their pictures look awful, almost like mug shots! I’m so embarassed by my DL picture.

You know, I do actually know the reason behind it and I’ll tell you. It’s because [REDACTED]

ducky_dnl's avatar

So we can be forever tormented by our friends. I look horrible in mine.

coffeenut's avatar

Gives the cops something to laugh about when your pulled over….lol mine is just horrid….looks like half of my face has a sunburn…

bkcunningham's avatar

Nope. You really look like that.

Sunny2's avatar

I agree they can be pretty awful and not even look like you at all….What worked for me was telling the photographer that I’d like to keep the previous picture because I liked it. (It wasn’t bad.) The photographer argued that he could do a better one and paid more attention to what he did and I got another not bad one. I think the problem is the lighting, basically. That and the hurry-up situation the photographer is in. Whatever. There we are, looking our worst.

Austinlad's avatar

No money for decent photo equipment or training for employees.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

They have to graduate from DMV before doing mug shots at the PO-PO station. @Austinlad Hit it on the head – - equipment and lack of training.

Axemusica's avatar

I don’t think @Austinlad hit it on the head. Granted the training is probably the likely case, but not equipment. Well, at least the DMV up here has what looks like a pretty sophisticated system.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

@Axemusica The reason I said equipment is that it is sophisticated but not maintained. Ferrari’s need more tune-ups than a Saturn.

Axemusica's avatar

@Tropical_Willie also true, but I doubt these really need to be “maintained” that much if at all. Unless something goes wrong then of course they’ll need it repaired, but I digress… I know the person running the machine might not know it’s full capabilities. My point being is, I’m no photographer, but I do know that a good backdrop and lighting can make or break a picture. For any type of camera.

For instance my license, I was under florescent with a blue back drop. In my picture I look physically ill. Now imagine how much of a difference it would’ve been to have one of those umbrella thingers with a neutral backdrop… like brown or cream… I dunno.

YARNLADY's avatar

Ours has really changed. There is a mirror on the divider just before you step up for the photo, and you can arrange your hair. The hard part is remembering to arrange your face.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If you pay them $99.99 they’ll do professional photography on you…Hey! What a concept! Any photographers out there? You could make a small fortune setting up shop at the DMV!!

Coloma's avatar

I just had my CA. license renewed and I HATE the new format. Same pic from about 8 years ago, but REALLY dark. Ugh!
Oh well…no biggy, considering I have NEVER been asked for my DL or had a violation aside from a parking ticket, once.

By the time I am required to take a new pic I’ll be about 100. lol

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