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Bill Would Let Californians Choose Driver's License Pictures

California Department of Motor Vehicles
 

California Department of Motor Vehicles

An effort by a state lawmaker to generate more money for driver's education in California schools is banking on people's vanity.

Democratic Sen. Josh Newman of Fullerton has introduced a bill that would let drivers take more than one photo at the Department of Motor Vehicles and then choose which one goes on their license.

"Recall your last experience going to the DMV," says Newman. "You finally get to that point in line where they snap your picture and you might or might not be ready for it and they might or might not show it to you before you get it. But you get what you get. So many of us get photos that aren't particularly flattering and you have no choice these days but to show that photo to everybody."

Under the bill, fees would be assessed for each additional photo taken. Revenue from the fees would pay for a Driver Education and Training Fund.

Newman says people would have two options:

"One is that if you paid extra at the DMV, you could get another picture taken, or subsequent pictures taken, until you got one you that you thought you could live with," says Newman. "Or the second path is, as with passport photos, you could go to a photographer, who would be accredited by the DMV, and would use the spec provided and you could get a picture that suited your preference as to how you would be presented."

Newman says, coming out of the recession, virtually all public schools have eliminated driver's ed in their curriculum. He says it's too early, at this point, to say how much the fees on extra photos would cost.

The next step for the bill is to be referred to a Senate committee.

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