Virginia Driver’s License – Don’t Smile!

by Sherry Riter in Sherry

I hope you’re sitting down because you may just pass out while reading this post.

It’s Time For Your Mugshot

Located on a driver’s license is all your current personal identifying information such as your driver’s license number, name, address, gender, eye color, height, driving limitations, birthday, expiration date and a photo of your face.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has a rule that is relatively new. When they take the photo that will appear on your license, you are not allowed to smile. The logic behind the no smiling rule is that if you get arrested and have a mugshot taken, you’ll probably not be showing the pearly whites. Yuck! I think having a bunch of frowning faces on the driver’s licenses is just terrible!

My Driver’s License

Keeping track of my car registration sticker and inspection sticker has been impossible for the last three years. Because I never realize when they expire, a police officer stops me every year to give me a bright yellow ticket. I would go update the stickers, appear in court on the appointed day, have the judge throw the case out because I complied and then I would go back to work. More than anything, it has been a big nuisance!

After the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles started taking frowning photos for the driver’s license, I wanted to make sure that I renewed my license online. By renewing online, the picture that is currently on my license would be duplicated and stuck onto my new license. I wanted a smiling picture on my license!

My driver’s license is due to expire on my birthday this year. Throughout the year I kept reminding myself that I would have to renew my license before my birthday.

Around the middle of December I decided to renew my driver’s license. Somehow I got sidetracked and didn’t remember again until January 1st. When I logged onto the DMV website, I discovered that to renew a driver’s license online, the request for renewal had to take place at least 15 days before the license expired.


My birthday is on the 17th, so I almost missed the deadline for online renewal which would in turn allow me to have a smiling picture for the next 8 years!

It Is In The Mail

Well, I ordered my driver’s license online and knew that something would happen to mess up my wonderful plan. Everyday when I looked at the mail, no license appeared. By Friday, I was feeling sad and worried because I really didn’t want to deal with a driver’s license mess. I also really wanted a smiling picture of me on my license!

After work on Friday, I looked in the mailbox and I saw an envelope with the letters DMV printed in the corner. I could tell that inside the envelope was a plastic card of some kind. Surely, it wasn’t my license because that would be too good to be true.

However, after opening the envelope, I discovered my renewed license that is due to expire on 1/17/2021. It also had my smiling picture on the front!!!!

virginia drivers license dont smile

Now do you see why I wanted to retain my happy, smiling photo for the next eight years?

Can you believe I renewed something before getting a ticket?!!!! I’m so proud of myself!!!



This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Young Werther January 15, 2013 at 12:59 am

Not new… Not allowed to smile on an Aussie Passport!

The photograph must show the applicant with a neutral expression, with the mouth closed..


2 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 1:10 am

Oh my goodness! Well I don’t like frowning or blank looks! LOL


3 Skip_D January 15, 2013 at 1:58 am

you surely won’t get blank looks from anyone who looks at that license!!! ROFLMAO!!! 😛


4 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:47 am

What? Are you making fun of my face? LOL 😛


5 Skip_D January 15, 2013 at 1:04 pm

naaaaaaahhhh… but your “do” is – errr, ummm – striking 😀


6 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:20 pm

LMBO! Yeah! I’m going to keep it like that every day! It’s called The Tornado! LOL LOL


7 PJ January 15, 2013 at 7:16 am

OH! I hope they don’t get that law in Texas! I look bad enough with the deep bags under my eyes, at least if I smile it kind of takes away from that. My Military ID is even WORSE!


8 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:49 am

LOL LOL YOU are so funny!


9 Katherine January 15, 2013 at 10:33 am

you crack me up. Yes congrats on renewing before you got a ticket. We are not allowed to smile for our drivers license here either. xo


10 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 11:05 am

Thank ya!

The no smiling thing just drives me crazy especially because the vast majority of people will not ever go to jail, so we don’t need to look like a mugshot! Ha!

Have a great day!


11 Skip_D January 15, 2013 at 1:02 pm

I’ve got the answer… practice the Mona Lisa smile – & your license becomes a timeless work of art! 😛


12 Sherry Riter January 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm



13 Joan January 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

How come they don’t have your weight on your driver’s license in Virginia? In California they have your weight on your driver’s license. Now that’s something I never smile about!


14 Sherry Riter January 16, 2013 at 7:48 am

I dunno. Maybe because over 50 percent of marriages end in divorce and A Bad Marriage Is Fattening, so putting a weight on the license is pointless. LOL


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