You must provide one photo with your passport application.
All our photo policies apply to both adults and children under age 16. We have a few exceptions to our photo policies for infants.
- Submit a color photo, taken in last 6 months
- Use a clear image of your face. Do not use filters commonly used on social media.
- Have someone else take your photo. No selfies.
- Take off your eyeglasses for your photo.
- Use a plain white or off-white background.
Already have a photo?
Use our Photo Tool to upload your photo and crop it so it’s the right size. Compare your photo with examples of good photos.
Note: this tool is intended for cropping your photo only. After you apply, a U.S. Department of State employee will review your photo and decide if we can accept your photo.
Face Coverings and Masks
We realize customers may wear face coverings and masks to prevent the spread of disease.
When someone takes your passport photo, you must remove your face covering or mask so your full face is visible and the face covering and mask do not block portions of your face. We need to see your full face to establish your identity.
Please do not take a selfie because they are often the incorrect size and have the wrong head position for passport photos.
Tips for Submitting your Photo
Resolution, Print Size, and Quality
- Submit a high-resolution photo that is not blurry, grainy, or pixelated.
- The correct size of a passport photo is:
- 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
- Head must be between 1 -1 3/8 inches (25 – 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
- Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
- Do not digitally change the photo
- You cannot submit a damaged photo with holes, creases, or smudges
- Use our photo tool to see if your photo meets our requirements
Pose and Expression
- Have a neutral facial expression or a natural smile, with both eyes open.
- Face the camera directly with full face in view.
- You cannot wear glasses.
- If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, please include a signed note from your doctor with application.
- Taken in clothing normally worn on a daily basis.
- You cannot wear a uniform, clothing that looks like a uniform, or camouflage attire.
- You cannot wear a hat or head covering.
- If you wear a hat or head covering for religious purposes, submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering in your photo is part of traditional religious attire worn continuously in public.
- If you wear a hat or head covering for medical purposes, submit a signed doctor’s statement verifying the hat or head covering in your photo is used daily for medical purposes.
- Your full face must be visible, and your hat or head covering cannot block your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
- You cannot wear headphones or wireless hands-free devices.
- You can wear jewelry and keep on your facial piercings as long as they do not hide your face. Permanent tattoos are acceptable for passport purposes as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I wear glasses, sunglasses, or tinted glasses in my passport photo?
No, take them off for your passport photo.
If you cannot remove your glasses for medical reasons, you must submit a signed statement from your doctor with your passport application.
What pose should I be in for my photo?
Face the camera with your head centered in the frame and not tilted with a neutral expression or natural smile.
Can I wear a hat or head covering in my photo?
You may wear a hat or head covering, but you must submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public or a signed doctor’s statement verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes.
Your full face must be visible and your hat or head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
Can I remove red-eye from my photo?
No, you can not digitally alter a photo to remove red eye. You will have to submit a new photo without red eye.
Can I smile in my passport photo?
Yes, but it must be a natural, unexaggerated smile. Both your eyes must be open.
What’s the best way to take a photo of a baby or toddler?
When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo.
Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above. Covering a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and taking a picture of your child in the car seat may also be helpful.
Is it acceptable for my child’s eye to be closed in his or her photo?
It is acceptable if an infant’s eyes are not open or entirely open. All other children must have their eyes open.
Do I need a new photo if my appearance has changed (grown a beard, dyed my hair)?
Only if your appearance has significantly changed from what is in your current passport. Growing a beard or coloring your hair would not constitute a significant change. If you can still be identified from the photo in your current passport, you do not need to apply for a new passport.
You may have to apply for a new passport if you have:
- Undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
- Added or removed numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
- Undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain
- Made a gender transition
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.
I’m not sure if my photo meets your requirements. What should I do?
You can use our photo tool to see if your photo meets our requirements. Upload your photo and see examples of good and bad photos.