The Do's and Don'ts of U.S. Passport Photography: Submitting a high-quality photograph is an important part of a U.S. passport application. To learn more about the U.S. Department of State's guidelines for passport photos, watch this video and then review the information below to avoid passport processing delays.
Your photo is a vital part of your passport application. We recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements. The acceptance of your photo is always at the discretion of the U.S. passport agency.
Review the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
Need help with some photography terms? View our Glossary
While we recommend you use a professional passport photo service to ensure your photo meets all the requirements, you may take the photo yourself. Hand-held self portraits are not acceptable. Photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way. Please review the following technical requirements and references for guidance on taking your own passport photo.
Use the Department of State’s free photo tool to:
This tool requires Adobe Flash Player 10 or later.
When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.
|Tip 1:||Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby's head is supported and provide
a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby's face, especially if you take a picture
from above with the baby lying down.
|Tip 2:||Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported.|
Your passport may not be accepted at the border if your appearance has changed significantly or if you cannot be identified from the photo in your current passport.
If you cannot be identified from your current passport photo, you should apply for a new passport, even if your old one has not yet expired (appropriate fees required).
You may have to apply for a new passport if, from the time of your last passport photo, you have:
If you feel that you can still be identified from the photo in your current passport, you do not need to apply for a new passport. For example, growing a beard or coloring your hair would not constitute a significant change.
If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to the normal aging process, you do not need to apply for a new passport for him or her.