Rejected Infant Passport Photo – What Now

Rejected Infant Passport Photo - What Now
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Taking a child’s passport photo can be very difficult, just getting them to stand still for enough time is usually a challenge.

Even if the requirements are not as strict as they are for adults, a baby’s passport photo can definitely get rejected if it doesn’t follow the official guidelines.

So, if the Department of State rejected your infant’s passport photo, you can follow our guide to learn everything you need to do to make sure that your baby’s passport photo gets approved without delays.

In this article:

Infant passport photo requirements

Many of the baby passport photo requirements in the US are the same as the ones for adults, however, there are a few exceptions.

Infant passport photo – size and quality

The size and quality requirements do not change for a baby’s passport photo: it needs to be 2×2 inches, in color, in sharp focus, evenly lit, printed on glossy photo quality paper.

As always, remember to make sure that the picture isn’t blurry, overexposed or underexposed, and that the printout is undamaged.

The infant’s picture will need to be as up-to-date as possible, although, you won’t have to worry if their appearance changes after the passport has been issued, it will still be valid for the same time.

Interested in finding out more about passport photos? Check out:

Infant passport photo – positioning and background

For the positioning, you need to make sure that the baby is in the center of the photo, and that the head occupies between 70% and 80% of the picture. There should be some space between the baby and the edges of the photo.

While they need to face the camera, infants are not required to keep a neutral expression or their mouth closed,  just make sure that they are not laughing or crying, and you will have an acceptable passport photo.

Newborn passport photos still need a plain white background, if there are people, objects, or patterns visible, it will not be an acceptable photo.

Infant passport photo – accessories and clothing

The infant cannot hold toys or have a pacifier, they need to be the only subject in the passport photo. If the baby has long hair or a fringe, be sure to brush it aside, fully exposing the face. The infant’s eyes also need to be visible.

There is no need for specific clothes in an infant passport photo, what they usually wear is good enough. However, try to avoid white clothing, it might blend in with the background and cause problems with the biometric system.

Why an infant’s passport photo might be rejected

There are a few common mistakes when it comes to baby passport photos, to make sure that your infant’s passport photo gets accepted, you will have to pay close attention to avoid them.

One of the most common causes for the rejection of a baby’s passport photo is the lack of an appropriate background. Remember that only a uniform white background is acceptable, any other element in the background will cause the passport photo to be rejected.

Since the infant’s appearance will change significantly in a short time, many people think that baby passport photos can be of lower quality or not precisely of the required size. However, the biometric requirements still apply and, if you don’t follow them to the letter, the passport photo will not be accepted.

Given that infants are not required to keep a neutral expression, people often assume that they don’t need to stare into the camera either. But, of course, this isn’t true. As stated before, the infant needs to face the camera directly, looking straight into the lens.

Especially if you take your own passport photos, you need to double-check that the lighting is balanced. Avoid any shadows on the infant or in the background, and pay attention to the exposure. If the picture is too light or too dark, the baby’s natural color will be altered.

How to ensure my infant’s passport photo is not rejected

There are three main things you need to do to take a perfect baby passport photo at home. Especially in this case, taking the passport photos yourself can be a good way to save both time and money.

Preparing the background

The best way to get a plain background is to lay the infant on a white sheet, making sure there are no creases. Check that everything is evenly lit and take the passport photo from above. If the baby’s head needs support, roll a towel in a “U” shape and put it under the sheet.

Another good idea is to use a car seat. Lay a white sheet on the seat and put a small pillow behind the baby’s head. To make sure that the sheet doesn’t wrinkle or crease, you can use pins to keep it in tension.

You can also support the infant with your hands, but you need to make sure that they are not visible, otherwise, you’ll have to take a new photo.

Choosing the best light

Take your baby passport photo during the day, possibly when the infant is well-rested and not hungry. If they are relaxed and not fussing, it will be much easier to take passport photos. Also, if you pick a sunny day, natural light will definitely help you with the exposure.

Choose a well-known environment, to ensure that the infant is perfectly calm and attract their attention to the camera before taking the passport photo.

If natural light is not enough, you can use an overhead lamp to expose the passport photos correctly. Try not to use flash, it might change the infant’s expression or overexpose the picture.

Positioning the camera

Position your camera parallel to the baby’s head and leave a significant amount of space around them. This way, it will be easier to crop and center the passport photo.

To take multiple passport photos, use the camera’s “live mode”, it will allow you to take many shots one after the other. It will definitely help if your baby is moving or fussing.

To make sure you have perfect passport photos, it’s better to use a camera with a fast shutter speed, at least 1/200. It will avoid your pictures being unfocused or blurry.

Another good idea to take a baby’s passport photo is to record the infant and pause the video when they are looking at the camera. Keep in mind that you’ll need a high-definition camera.

Take an infant’s passport photo with guaranteed acceptance

As you probably know, taking an infant’s passport photos can prove quite challenging. Even with the right tricks, it will likely take a long time, and you will still need to carefully check the passport photo to make sure it follows the requirements to the letter.

With Passport Photo Online, you can be sure that the infant’s passport photos will be accepted by the Department of State. You’ll be able to take them at home, without going to a professional photographer.

PPO is an app, available on iOS and Android, that makes professional passport photography available to everyone!

Just follow our instructions and take a picture with your smartphone or digital camera, our AI will do the rest. In 3 seconds, the photo will be cropped to the required size and the background will be set to the appropriate color. The passport photo will also be analyzed, making sure that it follows all the official guidelines to the letter, our app can guarantee that they will be accepted!

You can take as many photo shots as you need, with Passport Photo Online, you only pay for the pictures you download!

When you get the perfect passport photo, you can either download it right away or have it printed and shipped to you. Whatever you choose, you will have a passport picture ready in no time!

Choose the best software for passport photos:

Rejected infant passport photo – summing up

Taking an infant’s passport photo can be quite challenging and, sometimes, it can get rejected by the authorities for even a minor mistake.

There are however a few tricks you can employ to make sure that your baby’s picture has all it needs to be accepted.

Using Passport Photo Online will guarantee that your photos follow the requirements to the letter, without the need for a professional!


Can an infant’s passport picture get rejected?

Yes, while some of the requirements are not as strict, an infant’s passport photo still needs to follow most of the guidelines.

Can a baby’s passport photo have shadows?

No, in a baby’s passport photo the lighting still needs to be even.


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