Tribal ID Photos: Easy & Accurate Native American ID

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Tribal ID Photos: Easy & Accurate Native American ID
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Snap or upload a photo

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AI prepares the photo

AI prepares the photo

Artificial Intelligence will check your photo, crop it to the right size and remove the background.

Expert verification

Expert verification

Our Photo Expert will make additional verification to check if your photo meets the official requirements.

Digital or print photos

Digital or print photos

You can download a digital version and order a printout which we will send within 2-4 days. Delivery is free!


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How to take a photo?

Taking a photo for your ID has never been so easy.

Follow these simple instruction to take the perfect ID photo.


Body-camera distance

The distance between the face and the camera should be about 40 cm. Ideally the photo should be taken by the other person.


Posture: Straight ahead

Place your face in front of the lens. Hold the camera at eye level and keep neutral face expression.



Stand facing the light source, for example an exposed window. The background will be cut out, don't worry about it.

Tribal ID 2x2" Passport Style Photo

Tribal ID Photos with Native American ID's Accurate Process
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
301 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 1.29 in
Bottom of the Photo to the Eye Line: 1.18 in
Is it printable?
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More about Native American Tribal ID 2x2 Photo - Requirements

Does the tribal ID have a photo?

Almost all tribal IDs nowadays have - among other data - a portrait of a tribe member. Tribal cards look very differently from one another, so you can find different placement of the photo, other sizes or even color and no color options on the members' documents. Some tribes like the Choctaw Nation would even issue an ID card without the photo if the picture is not submitted.

What does the tribal ID photo look like?

You can find tribal IDs with different sizes and proportions of the members' portrait. Some cards even have two photos on the front - with a second, smaller version of the same picture.

You can see that some tribal ID photos can be square while others are rectangular. You may find documents where the person is photographed on the blue background, or maybe yellow, or even see some pattern on the wall behind them. You can also find cards where the owner is smiling, while showing your teeth is unacceptable on the U.S. passports and IDs.

And - as always - the good rule would be to contact your enrollment office or tribe authorities before starting to apply for a new ID. You can find the most accurate information regarding your situation on the tribe website or contacting the enrollment officer himself.

How to take your tribal ID photo?

It is best to first check what kind of photo would be accepted in your tribe. It is really important because in some cases the photo you will submit would not even be considered.

That is the case with Cherokee Nation where you cannot send the photo of yourself to the enrollment office, and they only accept the photos they take in person, using the system that creates ID cards.

If that is not the requirement in your tribe you can, in most cases, just send your photo by mail, email it to the enrollment office or give it in person when you submit your application - as is the rule for members of Choctaw Nation Tribe. If you are enrolled in the Chiricahua Apache Nation you can even submit your photo from your computer using the online form on the tribe website.

What are the tribal ID photo requirements?

If the tribe you belong to allows you to submit your photo while applying for your tribal ID card, the question remains - what kind of photo should it be?

On the Choctaw Nation page we can read that our photo should be passport style. It should include our head and shoulders only. It must be in color, and a member should be photographed on the white background. The glasses and hats are not allowed.

Similar requirements we can find on the Chiricahua Apache Nation website. The page only states that the picture we submit should be an official passport photo. It means you should look straight into the camera with no tilting, remove glasses and hats, and make sure the outline of your face is clearly visible. Your face has to be in focus, light in the room must be uniform and your background flat and white. If you want to know all the U.S. passport photo requirements you can find them here.

What size is the tribal ID photo?

As we know - everything about the tribal ID depends on the tribe itself. It is not always easy to find exact requirements that you are looking for on dedicated tribe pages, but it seems most American Indian and Alaskan native tribal entities use either wallet size or 2x2” passport sized photos.

2x2” passport photos for tribal ID

A 2x2” or 51x51 mm is the most commonly used photo size for US documentation. This kind of picture can be found in U.S. passports, IDs and driver's licenses. You can take it in almost every location that sells photo prints, like an UPS store, or a local drugstore.

Can you take a tribal ID photo yourself?

If your tribe does not require you to take your photo in person while at the enrollment office - there is no reason the picture you submit should not be taken by you yourself - or your friend or family member if they wish to help you.

Although there are many specialistic places that can make the photo for you - there is actually no need to pay a professional photographer for a full photo session just to create a simple photo for your ID. Most digital cameras we have at home, or even the phones we keep in our pockets can take the picture, that will meet all the passport photo requirements.

Can you take your tribal ID photo at home?

If you want to skip the unnecessary trip to the photo atelier you can just take your tribal ID photo at home. 

Before you do - find the right place to do it. You should have an even, white background and uniform lighting. Make sure your face is well visible and you are standing a good distance from the camera. Remember to keep your eyes open and keep your mouth closed, while maintaining neutral face expression

Use our Passport Photo Online tool to create a perfect photo. Our site will help you take the picture, that will meet all the requirements for passport style photo for your tribal ID card. Don’t worry if you don’t do it correctly on the first try. Our app will help you retake the photo as many times as you want. It will also remove the background, correct the proportions and make sure all the document photo guidelines are followed.

When you finish, you can download your final picture and send your tribal ID photo by mail or upload it to the online form - if your tribe allows it. You can also download it and find a place to print it. But you can skip this step altogether, and choose to order an already printed version of your photo straight to your home.

Can you use your phone to take the tribal ID photo?

There is no reason you should not be able to do the whole process - of creating and ordering your tribal ID photo - on your phone . All you need is a good phone camera - our app will do the rest for you. And the whole process will take just moments.

 You can download it both for Android and IOS and be sure your perfect passport style photo will get accepted for your Tribal ID card and meet all the enrollment office requirements.

Passport Photo Online

PPO is an online tool dedicated to creating professional, high-quality photos for passports, IDs, drivers licences and official documents. With our service you can be sure your picture will meet all the requirements of your chosen format. Passport Photo Online offers you three different options:

  • You can download the digital passport style photo template for free in the app, and use it to print your photos at your local store.
  • You can decide to create your professional photo with our dedicated app. Your picture will be analyzed by AI as well as revised by a qualified person to make sure it is perfect for your purposes. You can be certain that the photo will be accepted and the service costs only $9.95.
  • If comfort and time is important to you - as well as the quality - you can order your photos already printed and shipped right to your home for just $14.95.

Tribal ID photo 

Make sure to contact your enrollment officer to gather all the necessary information about your Tribal ID card photo.

You can take the picture yourself at home, by your phone. Passport Photo Online app will make sure your photo looks professional, is high-quality and meets all the tribal ID photo criteria.

You can download the digital picture from the app, or - if your enrollment office requires a paper version - order it from Passport Photo Online already printed.

Last update: 5/28/23

About the document

What is a tribal ID card?

Tribal ID is a form of identification issued by the American Indian or Alaskan native tribal entity. It proves your enrollment and membership in your tribe. It also is a proof of eligibility for certain services such as Indian health service. It can be used as a government-issued photo identification and should be recognized as a proper ID in places like federal buildings, airports or banks. Although it is seen as an official personal ID it may not be sufficient for every purpose and it is better to check if you do not need any additional documentation for your situation.

What does the tribal ID look like?

The way tribal identification documents look may vary between the different tribes. Every tribe is treated as sovereign by the United States and has their own separate government, and therefore their own sets of rules regarding their documentation. 

For example - Navajo Tribe ID card is the same size as the californian driving license. It contains a photo, name of birth, census number indicating a person's tribe, gender, eye color, height and weight. It also shows mailing address and physical address, city, state, zip code, issue date and date of document expiration. You can find the information on the card that it is an official ID, as well as US flag, Navajo flag, watermark of the Navajo seal and two signatures - of the ID owner and tribe manager of vital statistics.

Not all tribal IDs are the same. Their layouts, color or included information may be a little different, but they all contain similar data about their members.

How can you enroll into the tribe?

All tribes have their own requirements, but they share a strong belief in “preserving the unique character and traditions of each tribe”. Membership is based not only on shared customs, traditions and language, but also tribal blood. The tribe will generally require you to provide genealogical documentation of ancestry to prove your family connections to a specific tribe or community.

Tribal enrollment and tribe’s base roll

Tribal sovereignties create their own rules and so the sets of criteria for enrollment may vary between each tribal community. Most commonly - to join, you must descend from someone on the tribe’s base roll or have a relationship to a member that did. 

The base roll is the original list of members of the tribe designated in constitution or other documents specifying joining rules. To become a member you may have to prove how much of a native american blood you have, if you lived with the tribe or on the reservation, or if you kept in contact with your tribe. 

Every tribe has their own requirements contained in tribal constitution, articles of incorporation and ordinances so it is best to contact the enrollment office of the tribe you try to join for more information and requirements.

What is the enrollment process?

First thing you need to do is find the exact tribe your ancestors were affiliated with. When you do - call or write to your tribe enrollment department. When the enrollment officer contacts you back, follow all their instructions - send all the forms and documents they require you to provide.

If you want to obtain your tribal ID card, but you are not already enrolled in the tribe, send as many details as possible about your family history and tribal ancestry

Each tribe maintains its own enrollment records and records about past members - so it would be much easier if your parent or one of the living relatives is an enrolled member of the tribe.

What documents do you need to enroll?

When you contact the enrollment department of your tribe you will get to know all the requirements and you can start the enrollment process.

You will have to prepare your family tree with focus on the tribal relatives. The more detailed your family tree - the easier it would be for the enrollment office to determine if you should get the tribal membership. In most cases you would also need a certified copy of your original birth certificate.

How to get your tribal ID?

It used to be that you could obtain your tribal ID through the Bureau of Indian Affairs but that is no longer the case. Now all the enrollment and documentation matters are taken directly to the tribal government. For that reason the procedure may vary depending on the tribe you enroll into. The process may also look different if you are applying just for a new tribal ID, and you are already enrolled in the tribe.

For example if you are part of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and you lost your tribal ID you will have to pay a fee to replace it. You must also be present, because the duplicates cannot be issued without the member. Also, you will have to agree to get your photo taken with a webcam, and complete tribal ID receipt form.

Can you travel with a tribal ID?

Tribal ID used to let you travel domestically and internationally. But changes were made after september 11 2001 to enhance border security. WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) went into effect in 2009 and now every person who wants to enter the US from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda by sea or land needs to have on them some kind of WHTI compliant document. Instead of passports, members of a tribe can use enhanced tribal ID cards - both to enter the U.S. and travel using domestic airports.

Do tribe members need a passport to travel?

Not exactly. In 2011 the Pascua Yaqui Tribe issued their enhanced tribal ID card that is equipped with electronic verification of identity that allows an owner to cross the borders. The cards use RFID technology (Radio Frequency Identification) and makes the passage through land and seaports easier and quicker for the tribe members.

What is an enhanced tribal ID card (ETC)?

Enhanced tribal ID is a card that can be used instead of a passport and is accepted as a passport equivalent. It is a WHTI compliant document, but it is still issued by the tribe itself with no U.S. government interference. It is sovereignty-friendly and the tribe is in full control of the program. They decide who qualifies for the document, and no tribal members' information is shared with the federal government.

Document uses biometrics and the enhanced tribal card has a fingerprint of the owner that can be read by a scanner, as well as electronic verification and RFID technology.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

What is tribal ID?

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A tribal ID card is proof of your enrollment and membership in the tribe. They are issued by tribes and are valid as photo identification in many places.

How to get tribal ID?

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To get the tribal ID you need to contact the tribe's enrollment department and follow their further instructions. You may need to collect documentation and detailed information about your family generations back.

Who issues tribal ID cards?

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Tribal ID is issued by the tribe recognized by the U.S. federal government. To get your tribal ID you should contact the tribe's enrollment department.

The way the tribal ID looks may vary depending on the tribe that issued it. On most tribal ID cards you can find a photo, name of the tribe and full name of the owner, as well as sex, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, date of enrollment, expiration date and owner's signature.

If you have an enhanced tribal ID card - which means tribal ID that meets the WHTI rules - your card can be used instead of a passport and is treated as a passport equivalent.

Yes, your tribal ID is a valid form of ID that can prove your age and give you access to alcohol and tobacco purchases.

Yes, in most states tribal ID is listed as an acceptable form of identification that allows you to vote.

Yes, if you own a tribal ID card with a photo, or enhanced tribal ID.

Yes, all you need is the tribal ID (passport may also be helpful) and declare that you are crossing the border for subsistence purposes. Reasons like fishing, hunting, gathering etc are accepted as means of subsistence.