Can You Wear Glasses in Passport Photos? [Visual Examples Included]

Glasses in passport photos.
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Passport photo requirements around the world are clear on one thing: Your ID picture must reflect your current look. But what if you wear prescription glasses daily? Can you leave them on or not?

In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly who can wear glasses in passport photos and how to take a picture correctly to make sure it won’t get rejected. Here’s what you’ll learn:

Are you wondering what else you can wear for passport photos? Check out these guides:

Glasses in passport photos: the general rule

So, can you wear glasses in passport photos? In most cases, the answer is: No, you can’t.

This rule has been in place since November 1, 2016, when the US government prohibited wearing eyewear in passport and visa photos (not only sunglasses). This guideline, however, does allow exceptions—see them in the following section.

Pro tip: If your currently valid passport has a photo of you with glasses, you don’t need to replace it. However, you can opt for an early passport renewal at any time if you want your picture to be up-to-date!

Who can wear glasses: exemptions

Only in rare situations can you leave your glasses on for a US passport photo and have your application accepted.

These situations include cases when a passport applicant has a medical condition (e.g., has had eye surgery) and thus needs glasses for medical reasons. If this rule applies to you, you need to provide a signed statement from a doctor.

When a clerk reviewing your passport application sees such medical documentation, your submitted photo will pass muster.

How to take a passport photo with glasses

Applicants who fall under the exemption category can take a passport photo with glasses on—but they must follow additional passport photo eyeglasses policy to ensure their picture is compliant:

  1. Your eyewear can’t have tinted glasses.
  2. Your glasses can’t have thick or dark frames.
  3. Your glasses can’t obscure your eyes (they must be fully visible).
  4. Your glasses can’t produce any glare, reflections (don’t use camera flash!), or cast shadows.

Have a look at the examples below to get a better idea of what an acceptable passport photo with glasses should and shouldn’t look like.

Passport photo glasses: examples.

Still unsure? Don’t risk taking a photo and getting it rejected! Our biometric passport photo experts will check your image and ensure the glasses don’t violate any of the official requirements. Take a photo at home with our Passport Photo Booth App for iOS or Passport Photo Maker App for Android—you upload, we verify!

A picture converted into a government-compliant passport photo in 3 seconds using Passport Photo Online mobile app.


Can you take a passport photo with your glasses on?

Most people will have to take off their glasses for a photo, even if they wear prescription glasses daily. Only applicants who can’t remove their glasses for medical reasons are allowed to submit a passport picture with glasses. Note that a medical statement signed by a doctor is required.

Why can’t you wear glasses in a passport photo?

Since 2016, the US Department of State no longer accepts glasses in a passport photo because they often obscure the applicant’s eyes, cast shadows, or produce glare—all of which are unacceptable in biometric photographs.

Can passport photos with glasses on be rejected?

Yes, passport applications can be rejected because of your eyewear. If your glasses obscure your eyes or produce glare/reflections/shadows, your passport photo will be rejected.

Can a child wear glasses in a passport photo?

Children can wear glasses for a passport picture only if they have a medical condition not allowing them to remove their glasses (e.g., after an eye surgery). In such a case, make sure to provide a passport office clerk with a signed note from a doctor.

Glasses in passport pictures: on or off?

Wearing glasses in a passport photo is generally prohibited, even if you wear them on a daily basis. So, if you can, it’s best to take your glasses off or switch to contact lenses for a new passport photo. 

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. 

You can take a valid passport photo with your glasses on only in rare cases, i.e., when you can’t remove your eyewear for a medical reason. In such a case, you must provide a signed doctor’s statement.

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