Acceptable Passport Photos: What Are The Rules, And How To Get A Perfect Passport Picture?

Why a correct passport picture is necessary

The rules of passport photos‌ are very strict and simple. This is due to a simple requirement to guarantee the best security possible all around the world. Indeed, passport is a piece of paper needed to travel everywhere in the world, and the most important document to get when you are preparing to travel‌ anywhere out of your home residence country.

That is why the rules are generally uniform in the world. It would be inappropriate if it was not the case. Imagine allowing black and white pictures in some countries and not in others. Then, once the person with a black and white passport picture travels for its summer vacation‌ to a country where it is not allowed, the security controls could not work properly, which could lead to insecurity.

Some countries do not even trust those strict picture rules and add a visa. This other official document is helpful in order to understand the reasons behind people’s travel.

The rules of passport photos

When you renew your passport, the authorities will ask you a picture of you. But you cannot give them your casual vacation picture. The photo must respect some clearly defined rules.

passport photos‌ must be in colour and taken with a white or off-white background, according to the U.S. State Department. Selfies are not allowed. The picture must be taken by someone else, either a professional, a machine, or you can use your tripod.

US Passport photos rules

Passport picture requirements

The resolution must be high, not blurry, grainy or pixelated. The image of your face must be clear, without filter, your hair should not cover your forehead. You cannot wear a hoodie. You should remove your glasses.

The paper itself is important. It should be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper and cannot be photoshopped. If you have red eyes, we encourage you to take another passport picture. But you should not use an app to fix those. The size of the paper is also important. It must be 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). Your eyes should be right in the middle. All your head must be visible.

Why so many rules?

When you read all those rules in one batch of time, you may feel overwhelmed. You should not. Basically, when you take the picture, just make sure that nothing looks suspicious.

Put yourself into the State’s mind. Think about every detail you would not want to see. Think that the rules are here for your security. The goal of this picture is to recognize you, not to fake you. Fooling the State would be dangerous. Imagine they are looking for someone, and your photo is so blurred that they start suspecting you. Think that a bad picture is a suspicious picture.

Having a bad picture will make you lose time at all airports. Indeed, the controls at airport are very simple. They take a picture of you during the controls at the airport, which they compare to the picture of your passport. Then, once you arrive to the destination airport, they take another picture of you, and they compare it to both the departure photo and the passport photo. If you have a bad passport photo, the security checks will take longer and might lead to uncomfortable questionning at the border control.

How to get a perfect passport picture?

Nowadays, it is very simple to get perfect and acceptable passport photos‌ without even leaving the comfort of your home to prepare your next swimwear centered vacation‌ or any other business or leisure travel.

Online services nowadays are able to get your official document passport photos‌ with all international requirements applied, and it can be even easy and affordable.

They work that way: you select the document you want, you take your picture yourself, you send them your picture, and you receive your photos by mail the next days.

Pretty easy, isn't it? Get your passport photos‌ now from your sofa and start packing efficiently!

  Get passport photos
Where Can I FLY ?
About the author - Where Can I FLY ?
I am a 34y.o. man, passionate about travel. With 5+ years on the road, 55+ countries visited on all continents, 650+ flights, 1000+ hotel nights, and a year long world tour, all self organized, travelling is a way of life. I have created this site to share my experience, and get you the best information and deals.

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