DMV: No more smiling in RI license photos

CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Soon, Rhode Island drivers will no longer be allowed to smile in their driver’s license photos.

The R.I. Division of Motor Vehicles says this is one of several changes taking place in order to comply with strengthened federal security standards.

Starting sometime in late April, people getting their picture taken will be asked to keep a neutral facial expression, with their mouth closed and eyes open.

Hair cannot cover the eyes or eyebrows and hats and glasses cannot be worn.

All photos also have to be taken in front of a light-colored background to comply with national standards.

Rhode Island licenses will have several new features, including:

  • An optically variable pattern including the state name, state seal, an anchor and stars. When viewed from different angles, these design elements appear to shift.
  • A large primary license-holder portrait, along with a smaller “ghost” portrait.
  • A date of birth printed in three locations, including once on the back.
  • Ink that glows when exposed to an ultraviolet light source.
  • A “document discriminator,” or inventory control number, featured on the front of the card.
  • Increased tamper-resistant protections on the cards.

These new licenses are expected to be more secure, according to the DMV.

DMV officials encourage people to destroy their old license upon receiving their new one, though current licenses remain valid until their expiration date.