How to Know When You Need a
New Passport Photo
We live in a world where changing your physical features through
cosmetic surgery has become mainstream. The extremes to which people
are willing to go to enhance their appearance went from simple changes
like dyeing their hair to going under the knife and sometimes becoming
almost unrecognizable. Many people want what they don't have; if they
have curly hair, they want straight hair, brown-eyed people want blue
eyes, and so on. These days there are many options to change how you
look; in the 1960s you could only wish, hope, and dream to be as
beautiful as Marilyn Monroe, but today people really can morph into the
next Kim Kardashian.
You can literally go through magazines at the cosmetic surgeon's office
and design your look; order this person's nose, that person's cheek
bones, and those luscious lips. Changing your appearance is a personal
choice, and the degree to which you try to do it will vary, but it's
important to consider the effects of your choices. For instance, have
you considered that altering your looks significantly will require
getting a new identification such as a driver's license or passport?
Passport Rules on Change in Appearance
When it comes to any type of overseas travel
you must have a passport; many people don't realize some of the
restrictions involved in crossing international borders. While you may
feel like you have a passport, and you are who you say you are, so
what's the hold up, it's simply not that easy. Your passport needs to
clearly verify that you are who you say you are. Passports isssued to
applicants age 16 or older last for ten years, and a lot can change
during that time. You will have to get a new passport before your
current one has expired if you have altered your appearance so much
that your picture no longer resembles you.
When You Need a New Passport Photo
If you have undergone significant facial surgery or suffered
serious facial trauma, you will need a new passport. Someone who once
had a large number of facial tattoos or piercings, but has since had
them removed will need a new passport. Have you lost or gained a lot of
weight since your passport was issued? If so, you will need to get a
new one. Thanks to advances in medical technology, gender transition
is now possible, which again will require a new passport. Anything that
alters your appearance enough to make it look as if the person in your
current passport photo is not the person standing before the
immigration agent will require a new passport.
Changes That Don't Require a New Passport Photo
While there are certain alterations to one's appearance that will
require a new passport to be issued, there are also less prominent
changes that will not require getting a new one. The changes to your
looks that allow you to keep your current passport are things such as
hair length and color, the addition or removal of facial hair, and
small piercings and tattoos. Simply put, if your hair is a longer than
before, that's okay; if you have a beard now, that's okay, or your ears
are pierced now and they weren't before, that is fine. Any alterations
to your looks that aren't completely redefining will not require you to
get a new passport.
Get a New Passport Fast
If you have planned a trip outside of the country and didn't
realize that you would need a new passport just because your looks
significantly changed, you may need to apply for an expedited passport
. You can get one in as little as 24 to 72 hours if you're willing to pay the price. Fill out passport Form DS-82
for renewals by mail and attach a new passport photo that reflects how
you look now. Overnight the application, your previously-issued
passport and payment for fees to a passport expeditor
They will then handle getting everything for you in no time. This
feature does cost a little more than the standard passport process, but
when you're in a pinch, it's completely worth it!
If you've encountered problems using a passport photo that
doesn't really resemble you any longer, share your experience with us
in the comments below.
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