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Daniel Mundschau's crazy driver's license pic goes viral

8:29 AM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
Daniel Mundschau's post of how he created this look for his 2011 Indiana drivers license was upvoted to Reddit's front page and has been picked up by the blog MetaFilter. (Photo: Daniel Mundschau on IndyStar.com)
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(IndyStar.com) - Has ANYONE ever taken a great photo for their driver's license?

One man has: Daniel Mundschau -- who became one of the first Redditors to have a post go viral in 2014. And it's all because he deliberately set out to take a HORRIBLE one!

How to stage an official photo -- legally

While living in Valparaiso in 2011, Mundschau, now 37, got the idea to spoof the typically creepy/awkward/ugly photos we all sport on government documents and asked his Facebook friends for ideas.

One idea the Gen Xers quickly settled on: Aping the somewhat goofy sideburns of 1990s-era "Beverly Hills 90210" star Luke Perry.

UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Luke Perry. (photo by Newsmakers)

Luke Perry(Photo: Getty Images)

And since one rule the group came up with for the project was to keep his weird look strictly legal, Mundschau grew out his own facial hair rather than wear a wig to look the part -- which took him a month.

"I had some police officer friends that I ran it by," Mundschau said. "We didn't want to break the law."

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, took a month to grow out his facial hair to create the muttonchops of circa-1990s "90210" star Luke Perry for his Indiana drivers license in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.

It took Daniel Mundschau a month to grow out his facial hair to create the muttonchops of circa-1990s "90210" star Luke Perry.(Photo: Daniel Mundschau)

The Facebook group also came up with the idea for his maniacally staring eyes, he said. "It adds a creepy level" to the look, he said.

Shave a little male-pattern baldness into his look, thin out the beard, pull the head back to create a double-chin, and voila!

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, created this wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, created this wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.(Photo: Daniel Mundschau)

"It was like Christmas when it came in the mail," Mundschau wrote on a Imgur post a few weeks ago chronicling the story behind the license photo (which promptly zoomed to the front page of Reddit!).

Instant celebrity

Once Mundschau received his official Indiana driver's license with the crazy-great photo, he told me, the fun REALLY started!

The finished product. Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, created this wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, created this wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.(Photo: Daniel Mundschau)

Mundschau was pulled over three times by police officers, but his crazy-great photo was never really a problem, he said. The first cop "didn't bat an eye," though the other officers did need to give him a second look, he said.

On the other hand, "if I got carded, the license would get passed around," he said -- which earned him a certain amount of celebrity.

"At Applebee's, the manager would see me having drinks and send a server to card me and see their reactions," Mundschau said.

The only real problem Mundschau said the license photo caused him was at Walgreen's. There, the clerk would refuse to sell him a six-pack of beer because his license looked like a fake ID, he said.

One more joke to play

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, had fun also in his current Facebook profile pic. He created a wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.

Redditor Daniel Mundschau, now a resident of the Milwaukee area, had fun also in his current Facebook profile pic. He created a wild-eyed, crazy look for his Indiana drivers license when he lived in Valparaiso in 2011. His post about the process of creating the image for the photo was upvoted to Reddit's front page and been picked up by MetaFilter.(Photo: Daniel Mundschau)

Mundschau moved to the Milwaukee area last year, which necessitated replacing his masterpiece with a brand-new Wisconsin driver's license -- and photo. But that didn't mean the hijinks were over.

The photo recognition software used by the Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles set off an alarm because the picture he took for that state's license didn't match the image on file in Indiana, Mundschau said.

A supervisor made Mundschau come to the DMV office and recreate the face (he said he held his hand on top of his head and threw his head back) to verify that he really was who he said he was.

Usually, the DMV will confiscate the old license after approving the new one. But Mundschau's in-person performance entertained the office SO MUCH that the Wisconsin officials let him keep his masterpiece!

"They clapped and said, 'Well done,'" Mundschau said.

Famous on the Internet

A screenshot of "Jack," the narcissist dispensing wisdom to the lovelorn  in Daniel Mundschau's YouTube channel "Jacks Advice."

A screenshot of "Jack," the narcissist dispensing wisdom to the lovelorn in Daniel Mundschau's YouTube channel "Jacks Advice."(Photo: YouTube screenshot)

Mundschau, now the owner of Solid Structure Masonry and Chimney Repair in Racine, Wisc., is building on his viral Internet success with "Jack's Advice," a new YouTube channel devoted to relationship advice from the view of a narcissist (hello, Valentine's Day).

But he knows his dramatically awful driver's license photo will follow him forever.

"If I ever do commit a crime, there's one disguise I can't use," he said.

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