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To legally drive a car in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you need the driver’s licence - a document which authorises you to operate motor vehicles on highways and other public roads in.
This is a credit card-sized document with a biometric photo of its holder, containing the personal data and the information about the category of vehicles that the bearer is authorised to drive. Do you know what the requirements are for the United Kingdom driving licence photo?
When you apply for a driving licence in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales, you'll need to provide a photograph which must satisfy certain standards set by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (in England, Scotland and Wales) or Driver & Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland.
There is not a requirement of taking the picture professionally, so you are allowed to take it yourself. We assure you that you are perfectly able to do it with the smartphone, tablet or a digital camera.
Just bear in mind that this picture must follow specific rules about the size, crop, view and composition. You need to know which items (ex. eyeglasses, headgears, headphones etc.) are prohibited in the photo and some other details. For your comfort we have gathered all the necessary information and presented them in an easy to read UK driving licence photo guidelines. After reading our article you will know-how:
Your photo must be taken recently because it must represent your current appearance. So it cannot be taken more than a month before you submit your driving licence application. You can use your passport-style photo which is not older than mentioned one month, but not an older one.
The good news is that your photo dedicated to a driver’s license may be used for many different documents such as passports, visas, some licences etc. as many times as you want. If you use the UK driving licence photo generator, you receive the ordered photo on your email. It will be saved in JPEG format. You can upload it to different online applications or print it if you wish. Just watch out for its “expiration date”.
There is only one correct size of this type of photograph and that is: 35 x 45 mm or 3.5 x 4.5 cm or 1.38 x 1.77 inches.
The image of your head (without neck and the upper part of your shoulders) must measure between 29 mm and 34 mm high. Your head must be positioned in the central spot of the image and it must be 3-5 mm space left between the top of the head and the upper edge of the photo. That includes the hair, so if you have a voluminous hairstyle, make sure that this condition is satisfied.
If you are not sure how to resize and crop your picture, use the photo generator - the special tool designed to help users with the passport, visa or driving licence photos.
The background in this kind of photo must be cream or light grey, always in one color with no shades. The background must be plain and free of shadows or patterns. No other people or items must be visible in the photo of a candidate.
How to be sure that the background is correct?
Download our background removing photo app and remove an unsuitable background. You can exchange it into a light, plain and unified one in 2 seconds!
The photo dedicated to the official document must be original. But does this mean this requirement?
Nothing more than the picture cannot be a photocopy or a cut-out from the larger image. For example some candidates zoom their photo from holidays, cut out the head and try to attach it as a driver’s licence picture. It doesn’t work. You must take an original photograph of your face if you want to attach it to an application form.
Moreover, “originality” requirement means also that the UK driving licence picture must not be altered with Photoshop or other computer software. Of course we all like to look attractive in the photos, but every picture dedicated to an official document is checked by artificial intelligence and if this tool detects an interference, authorities will reject the photo because of the risk of personality fraud. So, do not retouche the picture and do not use any popular filters.
For the reasons of security and drivers’ identity control, the photo in the document must be biometric and meet some rules about how to pose in this type of picture.
The camera lens must be positioned at the level of your eyes and the head must be situated in the central spot of the image. The picture must be a close-up and an en-face view only.
You are not allowed to. Plain expression is a requirement.
In your photo, the candidate is obliged to:
Your photo attached to the form must be printed to professional standards - using dye sublimation and on the photo-quality paper, not damaged, without any creases or tears.
Moreover, your photo must be:
You are allowed to wear eyeglasses in the photo for the driving licence in the United Kingdom. However, you are obliged to make sure that their frames do not obscure your eyes and do not drop shadows on your face. Control also if the light does not give a glare on them. The glasses must be transparent -your pupils must be clearly visible.
If you wear a head covering as a part of religious attire, it may be worn in the picture dedicated to a driving licence in the United Kingdom. It may be for example a hijab, turban, yarmulke etc. but not a niqab, because the head covering must not obscure any part of your face and does not drop a shadow on your skin or eyes. Fashion headgears such as caps, hats or headbands are forbidden.
And what’s about clothing? For a proper contrast, wear a shirt and a headgear, if you wear one, in color contrasting to the background. There are no more rules about a dress-code in the UK driving licence photo. Avoid only uniforms.
You do not need to remove the facial piercing and jewellery while capturing a photo for the United Kingdom driving licence if it does not obscure any part of your face. Moreover, there can’t be any reflection from rings or studs.
Be aware that big or shiny earrings may obscure the edges of your face so consider to take them off before taking a picture. Remove headbands or massive, decorative hair accessories too.
Nowadays we like to do almost everything via the Internet. Due to pandemic restrictions we cannot or don’t want to leave our houses. Taking a photo for any official document at home is easier, cheaper and lets people save time and energy and many people worldwide decide for this option.
But unfortunately every day the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency’s and Driver & Vehicle Agency’s employees are forced to reject candidates’ photos because they don’t meet requirements.
We checked which are the most commonly made mistakes and prepared the list for you. Now you can avoid the situation when your photo will be rejected and you will need to start all the visa processing again
Remember that your picture MUSTN’T BE:
Most commonly made mistakes that people do in their UK driving licence photos are:
Remember also about the right size and crop, make sure if the background’s color is correct. You do not do it yourself - you can use a smart resizing and cropping photo App available in the Google Play Store and in the AppStore. If your photo is recognized as incorrect, it will be rejected. In such a case you will need to provide the new photo and all the process will be delayed.
Do you want to be sure that your English driving licence photo is 100% correct? Download the online photo App which helps you to resize your image to the demanded 35 x 45 mm and adjust the head’s size for a proper crop. This tool also adjusts the background and at the end it verifies if everything is as required. Once you order the photo on our website, you have a guarantee of approval by authorities. Don’t risk that the photo in your application will be rejected, use the online photo app which resizes, crops and exchanges the background in one second and then the App sends your ready to print picture to your address email.
💡 What size is a driving licence photo in the UK?
The dimensions of the driving licence photo in the United Kingdom is the same as a passport one: 35 x 45 mm.
💡 Must the UK driver’s licence photo be taken professionally?
No, there is no such requirement. You can take it with your smartphone or a digital camera if you like.
💡 Where can I take a driving licence photo near me?
You do not have to go anywhere to take a perfect photo of yourself. Download and use your phone and a Driving Licence Photo Tool that will edit to meet all the requirements.
💡 Can I take a driving licence photo with my phone?
Yes and we recommend it to do it!! The first step is to download on your iPhone or a phone with Android the UK Driving Licence Photo Editor. Then upload your picture and this smart tool will edit it for you.
💡 Can I wear makeup in my English driver's license photo?
Yes, there are no contraindications. Some face powder is even recommended not to shine. If you normally wear make-up, you might want to apply it more heavily than usual.
💡 Can I wear glasses in my UK driving licence photo?
You can if the glasses are transparent and their frames do not cover your eyes.
💡 Where can I print my driving license photo in the United Kingdom?
Don’t do it at home, on your inkjet printer. Photos must be produced using the dye sublimation process. You can print your shots in one-hour printing service or go to a local photo studio to have the photos printed for you. You can also find a photo lab which delivers ready prints to a client’s address.
💡 Is there an App for creating the UK driver's licence photos?
Yes: the PhotoAid App based on artificial intelligence. This tool not only resizes, crops and exchanges the background in the image into a required one but also verifies if your pose and photo composition is correct. It is a real help for everyone who wants to save time and money and create photographs on their own.
💡 How much does a driving licence photo cost in England?
If you decide to go to a professional photo studio, it may not be chea, you will pay a bit less in a photo booth. As you see, prices vary depending on where you take the photo. The most convenient option is taking the picture on your own and editing it with Photo Online Generator - you will pay just a part of usual costs and the quality of the photo will be exactly the same!
💡 Should I remove my piercing for the UK driving licence picture?
No, you can keep it if it does not obscure your facial features.
💡 Can I retouch my British driving licence photo?
No, do not use computer software, filters or Photoshop to interfere with your picture. The photo must be original, otherwise, you risk its rejection.
💡 Can I cut my head out from the larger photo for my UK driving licence?
No. Your photo to a British driving licence must be originally taken and be a close-up of your head with visible neck and the upper part of the shoulders. Do not cut it out from another picture as it may cause a rejection of an application form.
💡 What are the requirements for an UK driving licence photo?
Basic requirements for a UK driving licence picture are:
💡 How to crop and resize a photo for my driving licence in the UK?
The best option is to use a Cropping and Resizing Photo App. Select a template for “UK driving licence photo” and upload your picture. The tool will correctly resize and crop the image in 3 seconds.
💡 What to wear for a photo to my UK driver’s licence?
There is no official dress-code for a driving licence photo in Great Britain. Just do not wear a uniform and shirt or top in the color of the background.
💡 Are hijabs allowed in the driving licence photo in the UK?
Yes, if you wear any head covering being part of your religious attire, you may keep it in the picture for the British driving licence. Just make sure that it does not obscure any part of your face.
💡 Can I attach a selfie as a driving licence photo in the United Kingdom?
No, selfies may distort facial features and are not accepted as formal pictures.. Ask somebody for help or use a tripode and self-timer function to produce a correct photograph to any document.
💡 Should I submit a new photo if I change or renew my driving licence in the UK?
Yes, you do. And the requirements for photos are the same regardless if this is your first or next driving licence.
💡 How to remove a wrong background from my UK driving permit photo?
If you want to obtain a plain, cream or light grey background in your photo for a driving licence, the best option is to download the background remover photo app and select the relevant document from our basis and upload your photo. The rest will be done automatically!
The driving permit issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency in England, Scotland and Wales or the Driver & Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland is the official document which authorises its holder to drive on highways and other public roads.
Until 31 December 2020, a UK driving licence was considered a European Driving Licence and was valid in all the European Economic Area. Now UK licence holders can still use their driving licence to drive in the EU for short visits. If a British citizen wants to live in some European Union country, they must use an International Driving Permit or apply for a local driving licence.
The United Kingdom citizens do not usually have identity cards, so a driving licence containing a biometric photo of its holder can serve many of the purposes of an identity card in non-driving contexts. Its holder can use it as proof of identity when opening a bank account when buying age-restricted goods such as alcohol or tobacco.
The UK driver’s licence has the same shape and size as an ID card and contains the same personal data information plus categories of motor vehicles the bearer can operate.
In a nutshell, you have to:
You can apply for your full driving licence as soon as you’ve passed successfully your practical driving test. Usually at this moment you have a provisional driving licence with the photo (the plastic card shape), and if you haven’t changed your name or other personal data, your examiner will send your driving test pass certificate to the DVLA or DVA.
If you have a paper provisional driving licence, you must provide in person or by post:
You have 2 years from passing your driving test to submit these documents or you’ll have to take it again.
You can renew your driving licence online at any time before the extension ends.
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