Disclosure: We are an affiliate of some of the companies and products mentioned and may be compensated if you click one of these links and make a purchase.

Do I need a new passport photo after losing over 40 pounds?

Question: My passport was issued 2 yrs. ago, and since that time I've lost more than 40 pounds on a successful weight-loss program. Do I need to have my photo re-taken, or my passport re-issued, prior to a planned trip to Ireland in May?

Answer: Passports issued to adults have a validity of 10 years. People change a lot in ten years, some more than others. Passport holders are only required to change the picture in a passport when there has been a significant change in their appearance.

One item that the Department of States lists as sufficient reason to apply for a new passport is "significant amount of weight loss or gain". However, there is a high degree of subjectivity to this requirement. It is not necessary "if you can still be identified from the photo in your current passport." In this case, you do not need to apply for a new passport.

Some travelers in similar situations have claimed to have no problem in crossing borders while others related that they had been detained for several hours. Some claim that carrying a few photos at various stages of the weight loss has helped.

In summary, you have to decide if the change is significant enough to warrant the effort to obtain a new passport. You cannot just have a new photo added to your current passport. You have to apply for a renewal and pay the appropriate fee. If you think your current passport may create delays at border crossings, you may want to invest in a new passport in order to avoid the hassle. If so, click the link below for instructions.

Passport Renewal Requirements

Congrats on the accomplishment and enjoy your trip to Ireland.

Return to Passport Photo FAQ.

Top 5 Questions About Expedited Passport Couriers

Latest Passport & Travel Updates

Emergency Passport Renewal
How to get an emergency passport renewal in the U.S. or abroad. Discover the steps to renew your passport the same day.

How to Renew a U.S. Passport Fast
Learn to expedite passport renewals as quickly as the same day. Where and how to renew passport in a hurry.

Make Your Own Passport Photos
Use the online Passport Photo Wizard tool to make your own passport photos in minutes. Save money and time.

Passport Renewal Videos
Watch step-by-step instructional passport videos of how to renew a passport in 3 steps.

The Ultimate Jet Lag Survival Guide
Jet lag is almost certain if you travel across several time zones. Discover how to minimize the effects of jet lag for every age group and ensure a more rewarding family trip.

Expedite Your Passport Now!