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Passport Photo

When you plan to travel abroad, you’ll need a passport as proof of your identity. One of the main elements of your passport is the photo, but you can’t use just any photo. A correct photo will streamline the passport registration process while using a photo that doesn’t meet those requirements is one of the most common causes of delays when it comes to getting your passport.

Physical Requirements

Your passport photo must measure 2 inches by 2 inches. In your photo, your head measures between 1 inch and 1-3/8 inches. Your eyes may not be more than 1-3/8 inches from the bottom of the photo and no less than 1-1/8 inches from the bottom of the photo.

If you’re using a digital photo to print, it must have at least 300 pixels per inch (PPI) and measure 600 by 600 pixels.


Passport Photo Requirements

  • Passport Photo Size 2 x 2
  • Taken within the past 6 months
  • Color photo Only (Black and White Photo are no longer accepted)
  • 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 child
  • Taken in normal street attire

Composition Requirements

Passport photos must be in color with a plain white or offwhite backdrop. A recent photo — taken in the last 6 months — is required. When it comes time to update your passport, bring or take a new photo. Look straight into the camera when taking your photo. Your expression should be neutral — no smiling — and eyes open.

The photo color should accurately represent skin and hair tone. Photos with too many shadows or that are over-exposed are not acceptable for passports. No shadow should be visible on the background, either. Too much light will cause shine on the skin, which is not appropriate for your passport.

Clothing Requirements

Photos should depict you in casual clothing without head adornments except for those required for religious purposes. Exceptions include glasses. However, the glasses should not create a glare that makes it difficult to view the irises and pupils of the eyes. Even if you wear glasses on a daily basis, you can remove them for your passport photo.

Style your hair so that it doesn’t obscure any part of your face. All head coverings should be styled so that they do not cast shadows on your face.

Passport Photos for Children

It may be difficult to take a photo of a child, especially an infant, that perfectly meets these requirements. A child’s eyes may not be fully open, a child may smile or a seat may appear in the background. However, it’s best to encourage children to meet adult passport photo requirements.

Because of these requirements, many people opt to use the services of a professional photographer, especially one who is experienced with passport photos to expedite the process.

Where to Get Passport Photo Taken

You could get your passport photo taken at a number of location thru out the United States some example of location are

  • KINKOS
  • CVS
  • Passport Offices
  • Local Photo Studio

Religious Passport Photo

If you need to wear a burqa, topi (taqiyah) or a headscarf this is acceptable, but you need to add an additional letter stating that you are wearing this item on top of your head for religious purposes.

How to Take Your Passport Photo?

If you are going to take your passport photo you must not be wearing a white background this is because all passport photo must be taken on a white background doing so would get your passport application rejected.

This in fact is the main reason why some passport application are denied. A passport photo must be taken on an off-white background. If the background is blue, red, pink, orange or yellow background this is not acceptable by the passport agency.