People with streamlined ears that require new identification card photographs need no longer resort to the embarassing method of buttressing their unassuming appendages with cotton wads or toothpicks to meet legal requirements.
In a move likely to be welcomed by people who are shy or finicky about their appearance, the Ministry of the Interior yesterday promised to loosen the identification standards for photos on ID cards.
"We hope local household registration offices won't be overly strict in carrying out the measure," said Jair Lan-pin (
If the person has small ears, Jair said it is a unique feature of the individual and that the person should not have to make their modest auricles more visible in the picture.
But it was more bad news for people who preferred to hide their ears altogether. If a person has long hair, it is only acceptable for one-third of the ears to be covered, Jair said.
"Hey, we have human rights, too!" joked one individual, whose ears were obscured by her hair.
She characterized her ears as "large," but preferred not to be identified, citing aesthetic concerns.
Jair made the remarks in response to a request made by Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) Legislator Yin Ling-ying (
Yin said her office has received many complaints from her constituents, who said that the photographs they used to apply for their new ID cards were rejected by local household registration offices. This forced the constituents to spend an added NT$350 to have another photograph taken.
"It has caused a lot of inconvenience and complaints," Yin said. "I demand the interior ministry immediately relax the identification criteria."
Wu Chung-ping (
Min Tsung-hsien (
Among the other orginal restrictions that applied to the photos was one that said a person cannot show his or her teeth.
The ministry yesterday issued a statement saying that people could bare their pearly whites if they so chose.