No smiling - you're in New Jersey

NEW YORK Thu Oct 18, 2012 6:33am EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A ban on smiling in driver's license photos in New Jersey is being frowned upon by the state's voters.

More than six in 10 New Jersey voters - male and female, rich and poor, young and old, Republican and Democrat - think the ban is a bad idea, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday.

The state Motor Vehicle Commission has been cracking down on people making overly expressive facial expressions, saying some smiles can interfere with facial recognition software used to verify a person's identity.

Elyse Coffey, a commission spokeswoman told ABC News last month the commission is simply requesting that drivers refrain from smiling "as if you've just won $5 million in the lottery".

Just 17 percent of New Jersey voters agree they should be blocked from showing off their pearly whites.

The survey of 1,405 registered voters was conducted from October 10 to October 14 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. (Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Andrew Hay)