Anderson, SC (WLTX) -- A 16-year-old in the Upstate says the Anderson DMV office told him to take off his makeup before he would be allowed to take his license photo. Chase Culpepper says he is gender non-conforming and wears makeup and girls' clothing regularly.
He says on March 3 after he passed his driver's test an employee told him DMV rules prohibited license pictures to be taken while the person is in "disguise." Culpepper eventually removed his makeup and had his license photo taken.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is calling for the DMV to allow Culpepper to retake the photo.
In a letter to the DMV, TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman wrote "Chase's freedom to express his gender should not be restricted by DMV staff. He is entitled to be who he is and to express that without interference from government actors."
The SC DMV tells News19 that their policy states: "At no time will an applicant be photographed when it appears that he/she is purposefully altering his/her appearance so that the photo would misrepresent his/her identity." DMV spokesperson Beth Parks tells us the current policy was put in place in August of 2009. Parks says the policy is not up for review at this time.