5 Tips for taking the best passport photo

Passport Photos
Passport Photos
Passport Photo
Passport Photos

5 Tips for taking the best passport photo

To have a passport approved, United States citizens must submit a photo that meets exactly the criteria currently in place. Any deviation from the requirements will result in delay or denial of your passport

1. Photos submitted for passports must be exactly 2 inches tall and wide and be taken in full color. Black and white photos are never accepted, and those from vending machine are rarely accepted. The top to the bottom of the head to the chin should measure between 1” and 1 3/8” in the photo. It needs to be printed on photo paper and cannot be more than six months old. Only original pictures are accepted, so applicants cannot copy or digitally scan another photo for submission with the passport application. The applicant’s appearance must not be altered in any way in the photo.

2. It is possible to take passport photos at home, but printing them at home is not recommended. Most home printers do not print in a high enough quality for the images to be acceptable.

3. The applicant must be facing the camera in the picture and wearing a neutral expression. They should not be smiling and should have both eyes open. Only white or off-white backgrounds are allowed. Hearing devices and prescription glasses are allowed in the photo as long as they are worn every day and don’t cause a reflection or glare that would prevent the eyes from being clearly seen. Dark and nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not allowed without a medical certificate proving necessity.

4. The applicant should wear normal clothing. The only exceptions to this rule are hats and uniforms that are part of daily religious attire. Non-religious headgear is not allowed, and no item can cover or obscure any part of the face or cast any shadows on it.

5. A minor child must have its own photo with no other persons in it. If something or someone is supporting the child while the photo is taken, it cannot appear in the camera frame. To photograph a baby, lay a white blanket on the floor or in a car seat and place them on it. The child should be looking at the camera with their eyes open.

Passport photos are valid for ten years, so don’t worry about changes to hair or weight. Authorities know to expect them. To change the photo, the holder would have to apply for a whole new passport. The only justification for this would be an appearance change drastic enough to have authorities questioning the validity of the passport.

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