It’s a personal triumph, a rite of passage—and the perfect photo op.
Acquiring a driver’s license is no easy feat and takes months of hard work and preparation. It’s no wonder many newly-minted drivers want to celebrate the moment with a victorious selfie. But sharing that street-legal status with the world can also be a win for those with nefarious intentions.
Driver’s licenses offer a smorgasbord of personal information for would-be identity thieves to feast on. Aside from the license number itself, which can be especially dangerous in the wrong hands, the card is riddled with identifiers—from a recipient’s full name and birth date to their address and eye color—which can create a number of openings for careful criminals.
And now the First State is once again the first state in the nation doing something to curb those unlawful opportunities.
The Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) recently unveiled a “Safe Selfie Zone” at its local offices for new drivers to share their personal victory without divulging their personal info.
The concept was originally developed by DMV employee Willie Goldsboro, who said he increasingly noticed license recipients posting a photo of their new government ID to social media, oftentimes before even leaving the office.
With a father-in-law on the police force who regularly deals with issues of identity theft and child abduction, Goldsboro said the practice began raising red flags for him. He began brainstorming ways to help new drivers stay safe while still enjoying the moment.
While a few early ideas were jettisoned—including the use of a big license prop—Goldsboro and fellow employee Laura Russum finally nailed it: a big, fun backdrop for drivers to proudly pose in front of.
Bonus: without worrying about a phone to hold, new drivers have both hands to give themselves a thumbs-up or otherwise emphatically celebrate the moment.
Since it was initiated earlier this month, the idea has taken off for the state agency, with drivers even flocking to the custom hashtags included on the sign.
And now the DE team wants to take the idea further, presenting it at a statewide conference this year where it can be pitched to DMV offices across the country.
In the meantime, new drivers everywhere should feel free to celebrate… but try to exhibit more selfie-control.