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Four Things You Can't Wear When Taking Passport Photos

Unacceptable passport photos. That is the number one reason that passport applications are delayed.

Specific passport photo requirements exist concerning the size of the image itself and the head from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. There are regulations about the background color and resoltion. And, among other things, your attire and accessories can affect whether or not your photo is accepted.

Following are a few items that you cannot wear when taking a passport photo. It is important that you be aware of them so that the application process goes smoothly and you get your passport as quickly as possible.

Wearing a uniform is not allowed when taking passport photos.

You cannot be photographed for your passport in any kind of uniform, including military or law enforcement uniforms. One exception is for diplomats or other officials who may get approval. Also, commercial employees who wear their uniforms during travel, like pilots or flight attendants, may get approval.

Wearing a hat is not allowed when taking passport photos.

You cannot wear hats, scarves, or other headwear that completely covers your hairline. The exception is if it is part of your religious attire like a turban or headscarf. Even then, your face must be visible from your hairline to your chin and from the front of one ear to the front of the other.

Wearing eyeglasses is not allowed when taking passport photos.

Neither prescription glasses nor sunglasses are allowed in passport photos. Until recently, you could wear eyeglasses in the passport photo as long as the frames don't cover your eyes. Because a high number of photos were being denied due to glare from lenses, Passport Services decided to ban the use of them. You also can't wear contacts that make your irises appear larger or smaller or obscure your eyes.

Wearing headphones is not allowed when taking passport photos.

Lastly, you cannot wear wear headphones or wireless hands-free devices.

You'll be photographed in front of a white background, so contrasting clothing is best. Keep in mind that immigration officials and others you may need help from while traveling can be humorless, so use a neutral facial expression in your passport photo.

While you can take a passport photo with a digital camera, there are numerous locations with experienced personnel that offer on-site passport photo services.

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