Passport Photo Requirements

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When submitting your passport application, you must include a photo. If you are applying in person you can contact your local office location to see if they offer passport photo service on-site. Or you can take your own photo. Below is a list of requirements if you are looking on how to take a passport photo. They also provide an online tool that will help you generate a proper passport photo.

Passport Photo Requirements

If you cannot or do not want to take a photo you can contact your local passport office and see if they offer passport photo services. In most cases you will be required to pay an extra fee for this service.

  • Your head must face the camera directly with full face in view.
  • Use a plain white or off-white background
  • You must have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open.
  • Taken in the last 6 months
  • Taken in clothing normally worn on a daily basis
  • Be sized correctly
    • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
    • Head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 - 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • Printed in color
  • You cannot wear glasses.
    • If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with application
  • You cannot wear a hat or head covering
    • If you wear a hat or head covering for religious purposes, submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering in your photo is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public
    • If you wear a hat or head covering for medical purposes, submit a signed doctor's statement verifying the hat or head covering in your photo is used daily for medical purposes.
    • Your full face must be visible and your hat or head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
  • You cannot wear headphones or wireless hands-free devices

You cannot wear glasses, sun glasses or tinted glasses in your passport photo. If you cannot remove your glasses due to medical reasons, you will need to submit a signed statement from your doctor along with your passport application. They recommend the proper pose would be facing the camera with your head centered in the frame but not tilted with a neutral expression or natural smile.

You are also not allowed to wear any uniforms in your photo, clothing that may look like a uniform and no camouflage attire. You are not allowed to make any digital edits or alterations except removing red eye. If you need to take a photo of a baby or toddler, only they can be in the photo. A good tip for them is to lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off white sheet. Make sure no shadows are showing on the babies face, especially if you plan to take the photo from above. Another photo tip would be to cover a car seat with a plain white or off white sheet and take the photo with the child in the car seat. It is only acceptable for an infant to have their eyes closed. Any other children must have their eyes open.

If your appearance has changed dramatically from the last passport photo you took, then it is recommended you apply for a new passport. Growing a beard or coloring your hair wouldn't require you to get a new photo, as long as you can still be identified with the current passport photo there is no need to apply for a new one. You may need to apply for a new passport if you have:

  • Undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
  • Added or removed numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
  • Undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain
  • Made a gender transition

If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to normal aging, there is no need to apply for a new passport for him or her.