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Passport Photos: What You Need to Know to Avoid Delays with Your Passport Application

Starting November 1, glasses will not be allowed in passport photos.

No Glasses in Your New Passport starting November 1

Writing a check to pay passport feesOnly one passport photo is required when applying for most passport services, especially a new issue or renewal. Your application can be delayed significantly if your photo does not meet established standards. In fact, problems with pictures is one of the main reasons delays occur. It could be that the photos are not the right dimensions or the quality is not high enough. In other cases, the applicant does not follow the guidelines concerning the background or what is worn.

It is important that you familiarize yourself with the guidelines below and read through the frequently asked questions to guarantee that your passport photos meet the requirements.

Passport Photo Requirements

  • U.S. passport photo size is 2x2 inches
  • Taken within the past 6 months, showing current appearance
  • Color (NOTE: Black and white photos are no longer accepted.)
  • Printed in either matte or glossy quality photo paper
  • Full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background
  • Between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
  • With neutral facial expression and both eyes open

Apply online to get your passport fast.

NOTE: Vending machine photos are not generally acceptable.

Passport Photo FAQ

What type of paper are the photographs to be printed on?
The photos should be printed on thin photo-quality paper.

Can hats or religious headgear be worn for the passport photo?
Unless worn daily for religious reasons, all hats or headgear should be removed for the photo. In all cases, no item or attire should cover or otherwise obscure any part of the face.

Can work uniforms be worn for the passport photo?
Uniforms should not be worn in photographs except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily. Otherwise, normal street attire should be worn.

Can eyeglasses be worn for the passport photo?
Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscures the eyes.

Can sunglasses or tinted glasses be worn for the passport photo?
Dark glasses or nonprescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons. A medical certificate may be required.

Can a parent or guardian appear in the passport photo of a minor child?
No, the minor child must be the only subject in the photo. Nothing used to support the minor child, whether by mechanical or human means, should be in the camera's frame.

Are photos that are copied from recent driver licenses or other official documents acceptable?
No, only original photographs are acceptable. Copied or digitally scanned photos of photos will not be accepted. In addition, photos must not be retouched to alter the applicant's appearance in any way.

May photos be taken with a digital camera?
If the digital camera has sufficient resolution capable of capturing and storing images with 1 million pixels (megapixels) or more, it can be used to take the photos. However, printing of digital images is best done by professional photography processing labs because many off-the-shelf digital printers cannot achieve the image-quality required for passport and visa photographs. In any case, the image-quality criteria, described on this website, must be met in the submitted conventional film photo and/or the digital image printed photo. For more information, visit Passport Photos with a Digital Camera.

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