UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo
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UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo - Size & Requirements
Width: 35 mm
Height: 45 mm
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 32.8 mm
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 4.9 mm
Is it printable?
How to prepare yourself?
Distance from the camera
Take the photo from a distance of about 20 inches from your face. Ideally, the photo should be taken by another person.
Face in front of the camera
Place your face in front of the lens and keep a neutral expression on your face. Hold the camera at face height.
Just stand facing a light source such as an exposed window. Don't worry about the background.
UK Provisional Driving Licence Photo - Size & Requirements
UK provisional driving licence picture guidelines
The UK Provisional Driving Licence is a special type of photocard driving licence that gives learner drivers limited permission to drive on the UK roads, before they pass their driving test. They must be accompanied and supervised by a qualified driving instructor or another driver over the age of 21, who has held a full driving licence for a minimum of three years. They are not permitted to drive on motorways.
To apply for a provisional driving licence, you need to submit a provisional driving licence form, accompanied by some supporting documentation and, most importantly, a provisional driving licence picture that carries all your biometric information and fits all the government’s provisional driving licence picture requirements. To find out more about how this process works and how to get the perfect photo, read on!
Requirements for provisional driving licence photo
When sending a photo for a provisional driving licence application, you have to make sure you have the right UK passport-sized photograph. You can quickly generate a suitable image by using the photo booths found in shopping and leisure areas, or train stations. Alternatively, you can take your provisional driving licence picture online using the Passport Photo Online site or app. You can have your new image ready to go in mere seconds! Read our handy guide to the requirements first and find out how to use this simple and fast photo tool.
It is important to remember that the photograph needs to be signed by a suitable countersignatory. These countersignatories need to fulfil a number of criteria.
- They need to have known you for two years or more.
- They must not be a relative of yours.
- They must not currently be living at the same address as you.
- They also need to, currently or formerly, be practicing in a profession, e.g. teachers, lawyers, or engineers, police officers, civil servants, bank or building society staff, ministers of religion, magistrates, local councillors, Members of Parliament, Members of the Scottish Parliament, Assembly Members, or Members of the European Parliament. They can also be local pillars of the community, like librarians or shopkeepers.
General UK provisional driving licence photo rules:
- The photo must be taken in full colour.
- The background must be a light and neutral colour.
- You must be sitting straight and staring directly into the camera.
- Photographs should show the entirety of your head, with no hats, helmets, or sunglasses obscuring your face.
Photo size for a provisional driving licence photo
The standardised dimensions for a provisional driving licence photo in the UK are 45mm x 35mm. In terms of digital photos, the resolution must be at least 600 pixels in width and 750 pixels in height, but the recommended dimensions for a UK provisional driving licence application are 900 x 1200 pixels. The file size needs to be between 50 KB and 10 MB. Remember that digital photos, as well as printed ones, should be of good quality, very clear and must not be altered using retouching software like Photoshop.
The digital passport photo must be taken against a plain light, neutral coloured background, so that the person in the picture is in clear contrast to the background. Make sure the lighting in the room is right and your face is evenly lit. It is important to expose facial features, critical for biometric photos. Be sure that the background is not textured and that there aren’t any objects visible in the photo.
The positioning of your head, as well as your whole body in the driving licence photo, is very important. You have to stand straight in front of the camera and look directly into the lens. Your head must be positioned straight – you should avoid tilting it sideways! Also, side-profile photos are not accepted and will result in your application being rejected.
In the picture, your eyes are required to be open and visible. You must take special care to ensure that the colour of your irises is easily recognisable. The regulations say you need to make sure that there is no ‘red eye’ effect, so we advise you to avoid using a flash. Remember that your hair cannot cover your eyes, so if you currently have a fringe, you must make sure it doesn’t cover or obscure your eyes.
It is important that you keep your facial expressions as neutral as possible. Smiling, showing teeth, frowning or grimacing is not allowed. Your mouth must also be closed.
You must avoid wearing sunglasses or tinted glasses. Glasses that are medically necessary, e.g., after an operation, are allowed as long as they do not reflect light and do not cause glare. When wearing medical glasses, your eyes must still be fully visible, so you have to ensure that the frames of your glasses do not obscure them.
There are no special guidelines for hairstyles on digital British passport photos. Your hair may be tied back or loose, but you must make sure it does not cover your face. Even a small fragment of it. To avoid this, it would probably be best to brush your hair backwards, but your ears don’t need to be visible. Remember that your forehead and eyebrows should be visible, so make sure you aren't covering your eyebrows with hair either.
For the photo, you will need to take off any head coverings, such as hats, headbands, caps etc. However, religious and medical head coverings are exceptions to the rule. It is also worth remembering that, even in these cases, your religious and medical headgear must not cover your face.
UK provisional driving licence photo tool
We know that taking photos for documents can be a complicated process. In order to make the process of applying for your British provisional driving licence easier and quicker, remember that you can do it all online by using our provisional licence photo maker.
The tools available on the Passport Photo Online site measure the image you upload and then adjust and crop the picture to the right dimensions for the British authorities. Then, it will also remove any unsuitable colours or patterns from the background and change them to make them a more uniform white or off-white. For the final stage of the process, it fulfills the role of a photo validator, which comprehensively assesses the quality of your photo and will mark it as acceptable if the image truly meets the UK Government’s biometric specifications. Otherwise it works like a photo editor to automatically ensure that your photo meets the official government requirements.
If you need a photo for your provisional driving licence and you decide to try taking your pictures at home, you should definitely check out our photo booth app or website, which can perfectly edit any photo to the right size for the document you want. Try it now!
How to take a picture for a provisional driving licence using my phone?
If you already know the requirements, now it is time to put them into practice by trying to take photos for your UK provisional driving licence by yourself! Below, you will find listed a few steps that will make the whole process easier for you:
- Try to find a place with a plain background and good daylight. Natural light is the best light to take a biometric photo in. You should make sure that your entire face is in the light.
- Make sure you wear something which will not blend into the background, but stand out a little. Nothing too extravagant, but something you are comfortable in and which covers your shoulders. Any kind of uniform is forbidden. Aim for something casual, the sort of thing that you’d wear every day.
- Download on your phone the Photo Maker app or search for the Passport Photo Online site.
- Start taking photos - following the above rules regarding head position, facial expression, what is allowed and what is forbidden, etc.
- Take your provisional licence photo, upload it and crop it to fit the British requirements with a 100% guarantee of acceptance!
The most common mistakes on photos for your UK provisional driving licence
You are probably wondering what NOT to do while taking a photo for your provisional driving licence. Passports, visas, driving licences or other identity/travel documents can cause some stress connected with the application as well as the process of taking the photographs. But, you want your document to get accepted, right? Make sure to read up on what to avoid and you will know what mistakes not to make.
Things to avoid when taking your provisional driving licence photos:
- Looking sideways – your eyes need to be looking directly at the camera.
- Wearing sunglasses – you must avoid wearing tinted glasses as your eyes, particularly your irises, need to be clearly seen in the picture.
- Exaggerated makeup that covers your natural look – keep makeup to a minimum, stick with what you wear on a daily basis to ensure you are easily recognisable and the biometrics are not affected.
- Smiling – you must avoid smiling in photos for your documents, as well as showing your teeth, your mouth needs to be closed.
- Having your head covered – the regulatory body will only accept religious or medical reasons for covering your head, but your face must still remain visible. Any other hats, scarves or headwear that cover your hairline or your eyes are forbidden.
You should avoid wearing clothes of the same colour as the photo background – you do not want to blend into the background, right? Make sure that you stand out colour wise from your chosen background and that there are no patterns or shadows either on you or in the background. We recommend that you wear a darker colour, but not black. This way, the contrast will be just right, and you won’t fade into your background.
Last update: 24.09.2021
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