South Carolina DMV will not allow teen to wear makeup for license picture

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ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles says a boy who dresses as a girl may not have his driver's license photo retaken wearing makeup.

A New York group known as the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund wrote the DMV last week requesting that 16-year-old Chase Culpepper be allowed to have a new photo dressed as he normally does.

The organization said the youth regularly wears makeup and androgynous or girls' clothing.

In March, Culpepper was told at the DMV office in Anderson he could not have his photo taken with makeup and the defense fund says that violates his free speech rights.

Beth Parks, a DMV spokeswoman, says the agency policy on license photos is that people can't alter their appearance on license photos.


An transgender group is calling on the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to allow a “gender non-conforming,” teenager to retake his driver’s license picture.

Chase Culpepper, 16, was asked to remove his makeup before taking his driver’s license picture at a DMV office in Anderson March 3. Culpepper wears both makeup and girls’ clothing regularly.

The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has sent a letter to the DMV, asking it allow Culpepper to retake his picture.

The SC DMV released a statement, saying it is against policy for anyone to “alter their identity to disguise themselves.” It said it “enforces it [the policy] with anyone who is in violation….”