The US Department of State gives specific information about passport photo dimensions, leaving no margin for error.
If your photo deviates from the guidelines, your passport application will be rejected, and you’ll need to start the process over.
Not to worry.
In this article, we’ll walk you through all the acceptable sizes and ratios, so you don’t lose any sleep worrying about passport photo dimensions.
Try our passport photo resizer to save time and get your picture cropped to the correct dimensions in 3 seconds.
And here are some complementary articles you may want to check out:
- 6 Best Free Passport Photo Tools in 2024 [Web & Mobile Apps]
- How to Resize a Photo to Passport Size
- Take Your Own Passport Photo on an iPhone [With & Without Additional Apps]
What is the size of a passport photo in the US?
In the United States, the required size for a passport photograph is 2×2 inches—i.e., 2 inches high and 2 inches wide.
According to the US State Department, that’s the only acceptable size of a US passport photo.
Here are more details (including metric conversions) about US passport photo dimensions:
- Photo size in centimeters: 5.1×5.1 cm
- Photo size in millimeters: 51×51 mm
- Square aspect ratio: 1:1 (equal height and width)
- Head height: 1–1⅜ inch (25–35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head
Note: The same requirements apply to pictures for Green Cards or US visa applications, including form DS 160 applicants.
For further clarification, look at the following photo composition template—based on the US Department of State’s photo sizing guidelines.
This video contains more information on how to take compliant passport photos, including examples of incorrect submissions
Pro tip: A non-compliant passport picture is the number one reason why passport applications get rejected in the US.
“I think that apps for taking photos for official documents are a perfect solution. This type of photography is a mundane task, and—for me—the quickest and smoothest way to get it over with is the best!”
Rosie Matheson, photographer
Grab your camera or smartphone and ask a friend or relative to take your picture. Upload it to the app and transform your image into a fully compliant passport photo. All photos include a double-your-money-back guarantee and home delivery service.
A 2×2” picture is not the correct passport photo size in many countries.
For instance, most European nations require 35×45 mm photos for their travel documents.
To ensure passport photo compliance outside the United States, you may want to consult official size requirements by contacting their respective authorities or visiting our dedicated passport photo requirement list—complete with dimensions from countries from all over the world.
US passport photo size in pixels: digital images
What if you’d like to renew your passport online?
In that case, you need a digital image.
In contrast to hard copies that express their size in inches or millimeters, pixels are used to describe the correct digital passport photo size. The size, expressed in pixels, is one of the factors that determine whether or not your photo is fit for uploading.
The table below lists all the factors to consider for digital passport photos.
|US Digital Passport Photo
|Size in pixels
|≥600 by 600 px
|Between 54 KB and 10 MB
|56–69% of the image’s height
No need to worry if your digital photo needs cropping.
The US Department offers a Photo Tool that runs a quality check and adjusts the head proportions if needed.
Note: Unlike the officials at the acceptance facility, the Photo Tool may not be able to detect digitally enhanced pictures. Thus, we recommend avoiding the use of filters to alter your natural appearance and suggest following all passport photo requirements for digital copies if you decide to get your own passport photo at home.
What else to consider besides the size?
While passport photo size is an important factor, it’s not the only one.
When taking a passport photo, also consider the following requirements:
- A plain white background
- A neutral facial expression—smiling in a passport photo may be a problem
- Good lighting—avoid passport photo shadows
- Your full face must be visible and your head centered, facing the camera directly
- No head coverings, unless for religious or medical reasons. Don’t wear glasses either
👉 Learn more about passport photo clothing requirements
And remember that the photo mustn’t be older than six months.
Passport photo dimensions: closing thoughts
When getting US passport photo prints, remember the most important:
- The correct size is 2×2 inches (51×51 mm)
- Head height must measure between 1 and 1⅜ inches (25–35 mm)
And when it comes to digital passport photo dimensions, keep in mind that:
- Photo size must be at least 600×600 pixels
- Your head must occupy slightly more than half of the total picture height (up to 70% is also acceptable)
And voilà! Just like that, you’re ready to submit your passport application.
Simon Wojtyczka is a writer with experience living and working in 7 countries, each adding depth to his work. Holding a Master’s in Applied Linguistics, he has a profound grasp of language and its intricate ties to culture.