Ga. twins denied learner’s permit, DMV can’t tell them apart


EVANS, Ga. (WJBF) – Alicia and Alicen Kennedy are proof that two heads are not always better than one, at least according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

WJBF News Channel 6’s Margaret-Ann Carter spoke with these twin teens about their struggle to get a learner’s permit.

Take a close look at their picture. Can you tell them apart? The state of Georgia sure can’t.

Panic after a day at the driver’s license office took a wrong turn.

A right of passage replaced by frustration as the twins got denied by the DMV, all because a camera could not tell one girl from the other.

“We gave her our paperwork but we didn’t even get a chance to take the test because she kept saying something was wrong with the computer,” said Alicia, who has a twin sister, Alicen.

That computer can recognize faces, a feature that comes in handy if somebody’s is trying to get an illegal i.d. It apparently is not programmed to detect twins.

Alicia said she took her picture several times and then had to sign her signature several more time. She says she felt like it was her fault.

“I was listening to her conversation with the person on the phone and it said that one of us popped up as a fraud,” Alicen explained.

“The other lady came back and said that when we were taking our pictures it was picking up as saying that we were one person instead of two different people,” Alicia said.

All of a sudden, a day that these girls had dreamed about was dashed. Their high hopes of hitting the open road, brought down by a machine that didn’t know what to make of them.

“After try, after try, after try, the system just would not accept them, and it kept saying that it was the same person, they finally said there was a problem and they had to call headquarters,” the twin’s mom, Wanda Kennedy said.

Carter asked the girls, “Is that crazy to you that you have to go prove that you’re two different people?” To which Alicia responded with, “We don’t look exactly alike so you would think the computer would pick up somewhat of a difference, but it can’t tell us apart.”

Now the girls have to regroup. They have to get ready for whatever the state says comes next, as they continue their quest to get behind the wheel.

“I want my permit, I don’t want to wait a whole other year,” Alicia said.

We spoke with a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS). She says they have not heard of this happening before, but they do have a check box on the application asking if someone is a twin. The girls told me they didn’t see one.

After we picked up the story, the DDS has been working with the teens to help this process move along as quickly as possible.

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