Chapter 2, Section D:
Taking the Customer's Photograph

Revised May 22, 2008


Head Covers, etc.

MVD field offices and private third party MVD providers have generally used a common sense approach regarding whether an applicant for a driverís license or ID card may use a head cover in his or her photograph. However, it is necessary to set forth in writing MVD policy on head covers in photographs in order to assure that all offices follow uniform guidelines on this issue.

As a general rule, it is essential that MVD obtain a clear photograph for use on a driver license or ID card so that the individual is identifiable to law enforcement. Therefore, under MVD policy, an applicant is not permitted to wear in his or her photograph any item of clothing (such as a head cover) that interferes with or otherwise obscures identification of the individual. As an example, an applicant is not permitted to have an MVD photo taken if the applicant is wearing a head cover that reveals solely the applicantís eyes but obscures other facial features.


Effective March 2008, per PQU#58, customers are required to remove their glasses for driversí license and ID photos.

With implementation of the IDNM central issuance program, we have found that eyeglasses can result in false facial recognition system (FRS) matches, in effect tricking the system into thinking that two different people are the same person because they wear similar eyeglasses. In addition, as a quality-control issue, it is difficult, and can be unnecessarily time-consuming, to get a good, reflection-free photo that clearly shows the eyes of an individual who is wearing glasses.

Facial recognition technology makes it much, much more difficult for individuals to acquire DLs and IDs with multiple identities, or to engage in identity theft. The no-glasses rule allows the FRS to do its job better and more efficiently..