The DMV Put Loki in Charge of Photos (And He Wants All Of Us To Look Like Garbage)

By Rachael Brennan


Dear DMV,

It appears you’ve made Loki the head of your purchasing department. I don’t know why you would choose to do that – is someone in your HR department possessed by the ghost of Allen Funt? I’m not sure what is going on over there, but either someone seems to be playing a prank on you or you are collectively playing a prank on the rest of us.

I don’t know how exactly Loki managed to put a sea hag filter on the lens when they took my picture last week, but apparently he did it because my new driver’s license photo looks like I put a wig on the Creature from the Black Lagoon. I’m not going to claim that I’m Helen of Troy or anything, but I’m a perfectly ordinary-looking person who would not make you flee in terror if you saw me in public. You wouldn’t know that by looking at my I.D. though, which somehow managed to answer the question, “What would I look like if I drank a 5th of whiskey and then tried to fistfight some angry bees?”

Loki has clearly figured out how to make every driver’s license picture terrible – you simply zoom in too much. I get it, guys…you need to have a clear image of my face to put on my license. Police officers need to know when they look at my I.D. that I am, in fact, the person that is pictured there, so you zoom in to make sure that all of my freckles, scars, and other identifying marks are visible. That makes sense, but I’ve come up with two problems with your theory.


First of all, the person viewing my license needs to know what I actually look like, and I can promise you that I don’t look like that. Whatever anthropomorphized balloon animal full of vanilla pudding you took a picture of to put on my license doesn’t look a damn thing like me. Unless you are expecting a police officer to shove their face into mine like a cat that wants you to wake up and feed it already, they don’t need to know what I look like that close up. Zoom out, please, so that my picture is identifiable to people who aren’t close enough to lick my face.


Secondly, a police officer hasn’t needed to see my driver’s license in about twenty years. I’m remarkably boring, really, and the only people who need to see my license are employers when I’m filling out new hire paperwork and grocery store checkers when I buy my one bottle of red wine each year. None of these people have ever asked for that kind of view up my nostrils.


Oh fuck, I forgot about the TSA! Every single time I fly I’m going to have to show the people at the airport exactly what it looks like when you run over a wax statue of Jabba the Hut from Ripley’s Believe It or Not with a steamroller. They will all be able to tell stories to their friends after work, laughing about how now they know Ursula from The Little Mermaid is real. It is bad enough they make you go through the naked image scanner, but now before I have to go through the Dignity Destroyer I get to show them a picture of what I’d look like if I were doing an angry hippopotamus impression. Fan-fucking-tastic.


Please let Loki go and replace him with his brother Thor. Or, I suppose, if Thor is unavailable you could simply hire a regular human to do the job. I don’t want to come back to renew my license in a few years only to discover that you’ve zoomed in so close that it is only the upper right quadrant of my face in the image. At the very least, please put some kind of warning label on the bottom of my driver’s license

*Warning: Driver is less squishy and swollen than they appear in this image*


Rachael Brennan


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