My Photo is Dreadful. It’s Really a Bad Photo.

Question & AnswerQuestion:  I want to go on a trip within a month or so and pulled out my passport to be sure it was in order. My bad photo is just dreadful. I would never let my friends or anyone else see me looking so drab and I want to change it. Can I use a new photo in my passport? Will I get in trouble if I take out the old photo and paste in a new better one?

Answer:  To be clear you cannot put anything on your passport. Don’t change photos, information, don’t write in your passport and absolutely do not change the photo. etc. It’s an official document.

That being said, if you hate your “bad” photo you can have one taken professionally. If you do so be sure to have it taken by a professional who takes passport photos and knows the rules and regulations regarding passport photos. These regulations are very specific. And you can find the photo regulations here.


Then once you have the new photos you will have to renew your passport. To do so see the instructions here. You can see official examples of photos here. 

If you plan on traveling very soon that you can apply for renewal at a regional office and request expedited service but you will have to prove near term travel arrangements by bringing an itinerary or tickets. You can find details for expedited passport service here.

Remember, this is a legal document and as much as you hate your bad photo it cannot be changed or altered by you or anyone else. The only way to change that terrible photo is to get a new passport. You can find a complete list of passport offices here. If you are in a rush because of a near term travel plan you can go to a regional office and apply for expedited service.