No More Mr. Nice Guy!

Yesterday I had the utter privilege of going to the Henderson DMV to have my license renewed. Why didn’t I just do it online? Because apparently every couple of years you have to go and do it in person and have a new photo taken. Now it’s no secret that to most people, a trip to the DMV is somewhat akin to having a tooth pulled, or waiting for CSI: Miami’s Horatio to finish taking off his sunglasses and just say the cheesy opening line, but I have to give credit where it’s due; the Henderson DMV is the best DMV I’ve been to.


So what made this particular visit interesting was not that I was there for 2 hours to basically confirm the information they already had, but that I needed to take a new picture. Time for some backstory. In all of my previous pictures, I always had a well thought out strategy to answer the age old picture debate: to smile or not to smile. I would venture to say that most normal people don’t put a lot of forethought into this particular issue, but in the words of catchy new tune called “Square Peg” (available now at!), I’m a little left of normal. I have always decided that if I ever got pulled over and a cop asked to see my license, that there was a better chance he or she would be lenient if they received a smiling reception from the piece of informatory plastic they inspected. Do I have any substantive data to back up this claim? Of course, not, but I figure it probably wouldn’t hurt my hypothetical situation. So the answer is, I smile.

At the end of my glorious DMV experience, I find myself standing in line to have my picture taken, slightly confused by the extremely blank faces people are making to the camera. I didn’t understand why anyone would want their photo to look like mugshot, but regardless of my confusion, each face looked eerily the same. When I finally reached the front of the line, I was able to read the sign posted indicating “the age of facial recognition technology is here.” Interesting…

To my limited understanding, formulated from one read thru of the aforementioned sign, you can’t wear glasses and your ears must be showing in order for the technology to function property. Neither of which were relevant to my current appearance. So the lady behind the counter instructed me to stare at the blue dot for 5 seconds. 5 seconds? Wait, is this the actual picture, or is this the technology leading up to the picture? After watching the people before me, I was pretty sure this was it. Well, I wasn’t going to try and smile for 5 seconds straight and look like a buffoon (not that I’m not used to looking like a buffoon), so I decided I would have to abandon my decade and a half strategy and just put on the most pleasant looking non-smiling face that I could.

And that was it. I don’t even get to see the picture that will represent me for the next number of years until it arrives in the mail in about 10 days. Can’t they have a reverse mirror mounted on the top of the camera or something? Or maybe bring in good old Olan Mills and let you do a couple of shots and then you get to pick the best one. In any case, if I do get pulled over now, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

5 Responses to No More Mr. Nice Guy!

  1. heids124 says:

    I’m going to start a business. It will be called the DMVOA. (Department of Motor Vehicles, Only Awesome.) Here’s some of what will make my DMV awesome.

    1) You have to pass an awesome test* before you’re allowed in the door. For example, if you have seen the entire 3 seasons of Arrested Development, have a Starbucks Gold card, and have a Mac, you’re in good shape.
    *Test still in development. Test will be based on a points system. Owning an iPhone will be 10 points, being the most awesome, and eating at Applebee’s more than once a year will be 0 points, being the least awesome.

    2) In the DMVOA, you have 5 choices for background and costume for your driver’s license photo. The choices are:
    a) Western man or woman in an old timey saloon
    b) Pirate surrounded by cardboard cutout wenches
    c) Mermaid/merman in a scene from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid”
    d) Disguise of choice of Sydney Bristow from the hit tv show Alias
    e) A black leotard and heels reminiscent of Beyonce’s “Put a Ring on It” video

    3) While you wait, you must participate in one of these 3 games on your iPhone with other awesome people in the building.
    a) Scrabble
    b) Seek & Spell
    c) Boggle

    4) Free wifi

  2. Vallie Avery says:

    This was a great post…and actually a subject that I had also put some thought into before going to DMV. To smile….or NOT to smile….LOL. Your two hours was much better then my 5 hours I spent a few weeks ago…and not in one trip, but TWO trips in 1 day to get our 2 trucks tagged. But it is done….for another 12 months and then I get the joy of doing it again, only this time I can go in and Kiosk the renewel!!!! Some things about technology aren’t bad….LOL. Have a blessed day!

  3. Robin Cooper says:

    Oh my gosh that’s so funny! Now for a few words of advice. If they made you surrender your old DL, DON”T try to use the worthless piece of paper they gave you for anything—especially ID! I too, just had to get a new drivers license about 3 weeks ago and it still wasn’t here on the night of your concert. So i go to GVR with my litlle piece of paper and luckily had the forethought to ask the guy at the door if this would work for ID (since I look SOOO young!). Well it’s a good thing I did because he said no. SOOO I gave up my killer spot in line, drove all the way home (luckily it’s just Seven Hills) and got my COSTCO card for ID!! Which by the way—what’s up with their camera? It looks like you’re standing in the house of crazy mirrors on ALL of their pictures.) Anyhow, I told you that to tell you this—-good luck with that DMV pc because I too pride myself on my award-winning smile on my DL and when I finally JUST got it back—it looks like I’ve been sniffing Sharpies or something! I wonder if they do re-do’s? They should at least count to 3 or SOMETHING!! AAANNND the cranky guy behind the camera wouldn’t even tell me if I looked cute—he said I’d have to wait till the pic came! BOO

  4. Stefanie says:

    Pretty nice job blogging. Not that the DMV was that interesting, but you made it fun.

  5. Oh my Gosh, I have the worst picture of ALL TIME!! I planned to go at a certain time, and I went that time, but just decided to sleep as long as I could. My picture is terrible!!! Funny story, It was in San Diego, I lost the ID and had to take another, my bangs were totally covering my eyes, and found the other ID a week later from a co-worker whom claimed to want to “just have a picture of me” yeah, I have some GREAT ID stories!:)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: