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DMV tells boy he can’t wear make-up in driver’s license photo

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ANDERSON, South Carolina – A South Carolina teenager was told to take off his makeup before he was allowed to get his picture taken at the DMV.

However, the 16-year-old boy said he was not in disguise. He said he was dressed as who he is. Chase Culpepper was told he needed to look more like a boy before he could receive his new license.

SC teen made to remove makeup to get license photo at DMV

He said he was only dressed the way he does every day to school and to his job at McDonald’s. He doesn’t think he violated any rules and now he wants the DMV to let him re-take his license picture, wearing makeup.

Culpepper got his license in March but felt like he had been singled out and mistreated at the DMV for dressing differently.

He went to the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, and on June 9 the group contacted the DMV explaining that Culpepper’s rights had been violated.

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles spokesperson Beth Parks said it’s important for a license picture to portray who the person is legally.

“When this young man has to show his ID, his ID shows that he’s male. The card says he’s male [and therefore], he needs to look like a male,” said Parks.

She explained that if someone is transgender and changes their name and gender through the courts, the DMV will honor that change.

According to the South Carolina DMV’s photo policy, which was updated in 2009:

“At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he or she is purposefully altering his or her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his or her identity.”
Culpepper said he thinks people should be able to walk into the DMV and take a picture no matter what he or she is wearing.

“This is how I am every day. And if a police officer wanted to recognize how I am, then, he would want to see who I am in my picture as well,” said Culpepper.

His mom has stood behind him throughout and said she is appalled that her government is telling her son that he needs to conform to specific ideals of what a man should look like.

Culpepper hopes his story can be part of a movement toward change so that others don’t go through what he did.

Parks said that the staff at the DMV acted in accordance to policy.

She said that Culpepper will not be allowed to take his photo with makeup because he needs to look like a male, as indicated on his legal identification.

Source: WHNS


  • buzz

    This is proof how messed up these people are and how messed up the parents are! society has become sick, deranged and demented to let these sick kids get away with this crappola! This kid needs his butt kicked to straightness along with his messed up parents!

      • manalishi

        Pay attn dumba**. Little boy blew has his “business” on the news. That would be his choice too.

    • athynz

      So this kid is sick because he wears makeup? Buzz if that is his only vice then let him be… in the scheme of things a boy wearing makeup is not the end of the world no matter how much it may offend your masculinity.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Athynz, you are coming off as very insecure about your own transgender habits. Something to think about…

  • todd

    this has always been a rule at dmv and most people know it.what good is his picture if he takes it wearing the make up then never wears the make up again?duh.Can I just dress like a clown and have my picture taken,how about paint my face and take it.get over it.You don’t get special treatment ok

    • Thea

      The point is that he wears the makeup every day. All the time. Therefore since this picture was taken without him wearing makeup it is a misrepresentation of his daily appearance. Duh.

    • athynz

      I’d agree if this was the only time he ever wore makeup – apparently it’s a daily thing with him. And it’s not like it completely obscures his features like your clown makeup would.

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Athynz, do you only wear makeup on weekends, or during the week as well? Does it interfere with your job? How do your parents feel about it? Does your father accept you as a transgender?

      • Mo Fiscal conservatism

        Athynz, just because you wear makeup and tape yourself to yourself to open yourself up to a larger category of men. That doesn’t mean we have to accept it.

    • athynz

      What’s the matter Kathryn, did I hit a nerve with you? Are you simply ticked that he looks better in makeup than you do and are lashing out in a bitter rage? Sorry but I’m not transgender nor do I wear makeup. It’s rather sad and pathetic that you make these judgment calls, trolls an online forum, then brag about being intelligent.

      • Troll

        athynz ….. you are rather sad and pathetic to incessantly foment controversy with juvenile or obviously shallow comments. Try to get a life. No doubt most readers are tired of the wtvr eddie haskell dumbarse.

  • Robbie

    Why is this a story other than the fact that WTVR is showing everyone just how liberal their reporting continues to be. People are tired of having gay/lesbian people, whites looking wrong at blacks and half truths shoved down their throats everyday. I don’t care about some kid wanting to wear makeup but I do care about crimes committed by blacks against whites. Why? Because the liberal identifies white on black crime and runs it into the ground. Black on white crime is hardly reported.

  • Robbie

    In other news you won’t see on liberal tv stations like WTVR…a 10 year old white child attacked by a 13 year old black child in Cleveland. Child was pulled off scooter, beaten for 12 seconds and called racist names

  • Edna

    He would still look like him without the make up. I believe it would be ok to make him take it off. Arent the pictures black and white any way like in VA. He could go right to the bathroom to put it back on and he could keep his hair how he chooses.

  • Tarishima Mahone

    Since he wears make-up to school and at his job, then it stands to reason that he is not purposefully trying to alter his appearance. How would the DMV handle those religious practices that require full garments from head to toe. Let this young man be who he is, and kudos to his mom for sticking by him.


    Robbie you need to shut the phuck up. You don’t know what the hell you’re talking acout. Everytime a black person commit a crime on a white person, they almost always get the death penalty. You dont hear about no white person getting the death pealty when the comkit a crime on a black person. Anyway this article has nothing to do with what the he** you’re saying. Ignorant a**

    • Robbie

      Wow Tonya! Let’s see…a Hispanic male kills a young African American male wearing a hoodie and the media makes him out to be white. A white man runs over an African American boy that ran out in front of him in Detroit he stops to render aid and is beaten by a mob to within an inch of his life. The case in Florida is run down our throats. The case in Detroit, well who cares. You are a racist young lady. What I write is true. I just want fair reporting from the media.

  • tjallen

    Do they make women with mustaches shave? No. Some women look more like men, and some men look like women. Forced to be like a stereotype is wrong. “He has to look like a man?” Who’s to say what a man looks like? Or has to look like? Why force people to look like your (false) stereotype?

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