Old Photo – Could I Update My Old Photo on My Passport?

qaQuestion:  My daughter is traveling to Mexico in a few months and she recently turned 21. She obtained her passport when she was 17. I must say that she has grown up and looks quite different than she did as a teen. Put simply, its an old photo that I would like to update for my beautiful daughter. Will she need a new photo or will the old one suffice?

Answer:  This is a tough call. She was almost an adult when she got her passport and now she is only a few years older. If she looks so different that you are concerned that people will question her identity and not see that she simply grew a few years older then you will need to take action to play it safe. You cannot change a photo on an existing passport. So, you will have to apply for a new passport with a new photo.

But, as we said, she is only a few years older and passports are good for 10 years so most officials understand that people change as they age, especially young teens as they become young women.

You can apply for a new passport and have a new photo taken. If you do this and are very concerned that your lovely daughter appear as good as possible you may want to use the services of a professional photographer. Just be sure they take passport photos which have very specific requirements. See our article on this here.  You can also see good examples of photos on this site published by the U.S. Government.

If you do decide to get a new passport follow the instructions on our site.

If you need it in under 4 weeks you can apply for expedited service. Regional offices can issue passports in 24-48 hours if you are traveling that soon. You will need to make an appointment and prepare for it. See this article for full details.