I give my drivers license photo a solid 6 out of 10.
  • I give my driver's license photo a solid 6 out of 10.

Merc News Editor Denis Theriault insists his driver's license photo is the best picture of him ever taken. He even took a picture of the picture and used it for a brand new press pass (which he realized he needed after almost being arrested on the job).

Denis is one of the lucky ones. Plenty of people despise the pic on their driver's license. And now, State Sen. Floyd Prozanski is swinging in with a sweet unguent for their bruised pride. Sort of.

Prozanski, a Democrat from Eugene, is sponsoring a bill in the upcoming legislative session that explicitly compels sometimes-misinformed DMV employees to snap a new picture if you hate yours.

"I had a constituent who did not like the picture that was on their DMV license and they wanted to have their photo taken over," says Prozanski. "They were told that that was not allowed under the current rules or statutes."

So, voila: Senate Bill 461, of which Prozanski's the only sponsor, decrees new photos for anyone who "dislikes the photograph on the person’s current driver license or driver permit."

The thing is, the DMV says the bill's basically redundant. According to spokesperson David House, you can already get a new photo and replacement license, if you're willing to pay a $26.50 fee. That policy is reflected in this Oregonian story from 2011.

"If someone doesn't like it and simply wants to take another photo, there is a cost to that," House says.

Prozanski made clear that his bill wouldn't do away with the required fee to snap a new photo. But given that at least one DMV employee out there seems to think a new photo is not a valid reason for a new ID, it would at least create a hard policy allowing it.

Update, Tuesday 8:45 am: The DMV's House just wrote back to amend something. He was mistaken when he said you can already get your photo replaced.

"I studied the bill and our current procedure and found that with replacements we use the photo already on file rather than take a new one when someone asks for a replacement," House says. "We take a new photo every eight years at renewal."

So Prozanski's bill would free you from the eight-year bonds of license humiliation. If you're the sort who cares.