3-Second U.S. Passport Card Photo [100% Compliant]

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3-Second U.S. Passport Card Photo [100% Compliant]
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How does it work?

Get the perfect biometric photo in 3 minutes or less.

Check out just how simple it is!

Snap or upload a photo

Snap or upload a photo

That's the only thing you need to do. Snap or upload a photo - we'll take care of the rest.

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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Don't waste time, effort or money. You can take your passport photo without leaving home.

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We guarantee the authorities will accept your photo(s) or we will refund double your purchase cost!

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Take as many photo shots as you want - you pay only when you are satisfied.

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.

US Passport Card Photo - Size & Requirements

U.S. Passport Card Photo At Home [100% Compliant]
Width: 2 in
Height: 2 in
600 dpi
Is it suitable for online submission?
Image definition parameters
Head height: 73 %
Top of the Photo to Top of the Hair: 7 %
Is it printable?
Background Color
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More about US Passport Card Photo - Requirements

Take a photo of your US Passport Card wherever you want! You can create a perfect photo complying with standards in a moment. Learn more about it and save your money and time!

US Passport Card Photo Guidelines

If you are a US citizen and you need an identity document authorizing you to travel by domestic flight in the United States, you can apply for a Passport Card. In order to do it, you have to submit one printed, colour photo taken within the last 6 months. As the US Passport Card is the biometric travel document serving also to confirm the identity and citizenship of its holder, the photo visible in it must comply with strict standards. What are they? Read the article below to learn about:

  • what are the required dimensions of the photo
  • how you have to pose
  • what attire is allowed or forbidden in the picture
  • if you can wear headgears, eyeglasses, piercing, etc. in the moment of taking a photo
  • what color and style must be the background
  • how to get a correct size and crop
  • how to quickly verify if the photo matches all rules
  • how to save money and time preparing the perfect photo for your US Passport Card!

American Passport Card Photo DIY with your phone

The first good news is that there is no requirement to take a photo for the US Passport Card in a professional photography studio. You can as well do it yourself! Take your US Passport Card picture at home, do not waste your time driving around the city or waiting in a queue. Take care of your health, do not risk going to crowded malls. All you need to get a perfect photo to your US Passport Card are:

  • a tripod or a photographer who can be your friend or family member
    (as selfies are not suitable)
  • a digital camera or a smartphone with a camera
  • US Passport Card Photo Guidelines (read the next paragraphs)
  • Smart Photo Maker to resize, crop and adjust your picture to the requirements

US Passport Card Photo - take it at home!

You do not need to make any special preparations to take a photo of the Passport Card in the US. You either do not have to buy expensive equipment or rent a photo studio. Your smartphone is a perfect device to produce a passport-style picture and you can take it on 

help users from all over the world automatically resize and crop a picture and exchange any type of background in the required one.

So, if you want to prepare yourself for the photography session, just do your hair, choose a nice outfit, maybe put on some makeup, and relax. We will assist you during the process and do the main job for you!

U.S. Passport Card Photo - required size and dimensions

Required US Passport Card photo size is 2 x 2 inches or 51 mm x 51 mm. You can use small framing if you like, but no special corners. Keep in mind, that a square aspect ratio (height equal to the width) is obligatory. If you find it difficult to adjust the size of your passport photo to this requirement - use a smart photo resizing tool dedicated to adjusting the dimensions of your picture.

US Passport Card picture - required crop and view

What must be visible in your passport-style photo for the Passport Card? Only your face, neck, area around the collarbone and upper part of the shoulders. Remember: your head with hair must take 50-69% of the whole photo and your eyes must be placed 28-35 mm from the bottom edge. The size of the head must be between 1 inch to 1 and 3/8 inches (25 mm – 35 mm of height. We advise you to use the US Passport Card Photo Resizer and Cropper which will adjust your image to requirements.

The only one accepted view is the en-face view. Profile and semi-profile shots are not allowed. Also, selfies and photos with filters are not acceptable.

Passport Card photo background

There are strict requirements for the background of the biometric photos. In the case of the US Passport Card, it must be white or off-white, plain, with no patterns nor shadows. It may be not easy to obtain but you should not be worried about it. Just check out the background removing photo tool which will prepare your perfect picture in a few seconds. It does not matter if you have taken your picture in your living room, bathroom, or on the beach. The removal of a wrong background with an online photo app and changing it into a required white one is easy and quick. Just upload your picture to the Online Photo App ff

US Passport Card photo colors and lighting

The Passport Card photo must be in colour and these colours must represent the natural skin and eyes tones of the candidate.

There are no special requirements about lightning but we recommend a natural, white one - if you want to be sure that your skin and eyes colours will be real. Don’t use a flash lamp - it might cause the “red eyes” effect which disqualifies a picture. To avoid a “red eyes” effect in the photo, take it without flesh. Remember that you must not retouch the picture. Every altered photograph will be rejected.

Quality photo requirements

The photo must be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper, not be blurred, grainy, pixelated, or damaged. If the US Passport Card picture has any defects, marks, stamps or other patterns on it - it will be not accepted.

The photo must be properly exposed. Overexposed and underexposed pictures are not correct. The same rule applies to the contrast - too high or too low will disqualify your picture. The image must be also:

  • well-focused and cropped
  • not digitally altered in any way
  • in the min. resolution of 600 dpi
  • produced using dye-sublimation printing (not with the inkjet printer)

Composition and Posing

The face of the candidate must be placed exactly in the central spot of the picture and

not tilted in any direction. A photographed person must look straight ahead at the camera. 

You might smile naturally (without showing teeth) but a neutral facial expression is recommended. Closed mounts and open eyes are required. If you have long hair, put it behind your ears as the hair must not cover your face. It doesn’t apply to a beard. You are not asked to remove your beard before capturing the US Passport Card picture.

American Passport Card Originality

The obvious rule is that your US Passport Card picture must be valid and original. Validity means that the image must represent your current look. So, it must be “fresh” - taken within the last 6 months. Moreover, if during this period:

  • you made a gender transition
  • you had facial plastic surgery or experienced a permanent facial deformation
  • you added or removed tattoos or piercing on your face area
  • you lost or gained a significant amount of weight

you are obliged to take and submit a newer photo. Moreover, your photo must be original. It means that you are not allowed to use any graphic program to retouch the face image or clear the background. No Photoshop, no colour filters! But you can make the background in the picture white or off-white just by using a tool for the US Passport Card photo! This App will help to turn the background into a white/off-white one and this is absolutely allowed.

You are not allowed to use photo retouching tools, but you can wear make-up. Especially face powder is recommended - it helps the skin to stop shining and covers imperfections.

Head coverings

If a hijab, headscarf, yarmulke, or other head covering is a part of your religious attire and you wear it every day,, you can keep it while capturing a photo for your Passport Card. But you are obliged to prove your religious belongingness and submit a written statement from your religious community.

You may pose in a head covering also for medical reasons - for example after a recent surgery when it is necessary to protect your skin. In such a case, you need to submit a signed letter from a medical practitioner explaining the reason why you cannot take off a headgear.

In both situations, your full facial features must be visible. Headscarves or other headgear must not obscure your cafe or cast a shadow on it.

When it comes to fashion head covering like hats, caps, bands, etc. - they are all forbidden in the official document photos - this is a general rule. All massive hair accessories must be taken off too as they may obscure your face oval.


The first rule about glasses in formal documentaries is that they must be transparent. Sunglasses and tinted glasses are always forbidden.

When you are posing to the picture to the US Passport Card, glasses you wear every day (even prescription glasses) must be taken off. 

There are some rare situations when glasses cannot be removed for medical reasons (e.g., you had recent optical surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect your eyes). In these circumstances, you must provide a medical statement signed by a medical professional or health practitioner. If you have not other option and you must keep your glasses, remember that:

  • the frames of the glasses must not cover your eyes
  • there must be no glare on glasses that obscures the eyes
  • shadows cast by glasses frames or refraction on your face are unacceptable

Clothing (dress-code) in the Passport Card picture

There is only one rule for clothing in the photos dedicated to the US Passport Card: uniforms and camouflage patterns are forbidden. You must not wear a uniform nor clothes resembling a uniform (moro pattern, visible insignia, etc.).

We also advise wearing clothes in dark colors, so your silhouette can distinguish them from the white background. 

Facial piercing and jewellery

Generally speaking, jewellery in the formal photos is allowed as long as it does not obscure face features. For this reason, huge earrings that “touch” the facial oval cannot be worn but small pieces of jewellery are accepted. The same rule applies to facial piercing - you do not need to remove it if you wear it permanently and if it does not cover your features and the piercing does not give a glare on your skin. There are no rules about necklaces or chains - if you like massive ones, there will not be a problem.

By the way, remember to take off every wireless device, such as, for example, headphones. You can leave only the hearing device.

US Passport Card General Rules in a nutshell

We know that there is a lot of information, but this is really easy to produce the ideal photo for your US Passport Card. Just remember that in your photo you must:

  • be facing forwards and looking straight at the camera
  • have your eyes open and your mouth closed
  • have a neutral face expression
  • not have hair covering your eyes
  • not have a fashion head covering (you can wear it only for religious or medical reasons)
  • not have anything covering your face (the beard is allowed)
  • not have any shadows on your face or behind you

The photo must:

  • be taken within last 6 months
  • be free of any objects and other people
  • have a plain, light-colored background
  • be in contrast to the background
  • represent natural colors and skin tone

US Passport Card photo near me

You might be asking yourself where is the place where you can get a picture for the Passport Card near you? The answer is simple: anywhere! Don’t track a professional studio or a photo booth, just take your smartphone and invest three minutes of your time! A good idea is to use a tripod and self-timer function or ask somebody to help you with taking a photo. Then, even if you see that the crop or the background is not perfect, you may just use an online Passport Card photo maker and adjust your picture to all requirements.

Passport Card photo editor online

With our US Passport Card online photo maker, you are able to take and prepare your perfect photo at any time and in any place. With this tool, you can in one second remove an unsuitable background and change it into a required white/off-white, crop and resize your image.

The online visa photo app verifies also if the picture meets all requirements. If you want to be sure that the attached to your application form picture is correct, just let us do the job!

You have an unlimited number of trials and you will pay only for 100% correct and satisfying your photos with a warranty of acceptance by authorities! And our prices are really favourable - you will only pay a part of the usual price demanded in photography studios!

Last update: 6/7/23

About the document

US Passport Card

US Passport Card is the official US document serving as proof of your U.S. citizenship and identity. Why is this called a “passport” if it has a form of a plastic card with the photo? Can its holder use this document going abroad or coming back to the United States? Is it only for adults or also children can have it? How to get it and what the applicant needs to do in order to get it? Read our short article to know more about the American Passport Card, its application and its functions.

Differences between a passport and a passport card

As you know, the US passport has a form of a booklet and you can cross borders all over the world carrying it. There are blank pages inside this little book when visas and annotations can be stamped or pastes. This is necessary when you travel to countries where a visa is required.

The US Passport Card is similar to the credit card in size and shape, so there is no space to store visas. That is the main difference between these two documents. You can travel carrying your passport card only for:

  • domestic air travels
  • coming back to the United States at land border crossings and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean Islands and Bermuda Islands.

The passport card is not valid for international flights. It serves as a national identity and travel document but only in the listed above situations. A passport card can be issued to every US citizen regardless of their age. It was designed for the specific needs of northern and southern states inhabitants who cross the borders frequently by land and for some reasons do not have passports. It is also a good solution for people who do not have driving licences as it serves as proof of their identity in many situations including police questioning or buying alcohol.

How to apply for a Passport Card in the US?

You must apply in-person if you apply for your first passport card, you are younger than 16 years old, your previous passport was issued when you were younger than 16 years old, your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, damaged, or issued more than 15 years ago. In such a case you have to provide the US Department of State with:

  1. the filled but not signed application form DS-11 (you will be told when to sign it)
  2. original or certified, physical copy of the evidence of the US citizenship
  3. black and white photocopy of the evidence of the US citizenship
  4. your present identification document
  5. black and white photocopy of the American ID
  6. one color passport-style photograph meeting requirements
  7. proof of a fee payment
  8. optionally a special circumstances proof if needed (if you apply for a passport for a child, if your passport was stolen or lost, etc.)

Once you submit your complete application and all demanded documents in-person, you will be instructed by the acceptance agent to sign it and you will be told about the next steps. Usually, an applicant can track the US Passport Card Application status online. After +/- 14 days the application status should be updated. Remember that you can apply for both - a passport book and passport card - at the same time. 

Frequently Asked Questions FAQ

Can I attach a black and white photo to my American Passport Card application?

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No. Only color pictures will be accepted. Moreover, colors must be real and represent your natural skin tone. Do not use color filters in your picture.

Can I travel internationally by air with my Passport Card?

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No. The US Passport Card is valid only for domestic flight and for crossing the sea or land borders with Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

Can I apply for my US Passport Card online?

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Yes, but not always. If you are applying for your first U.S. passport and:

  • you are under age 16 or
  • your previous U.S. passport issued when you were under age 16
  • your previous U.S. passport was lost, stolen, or damaged
  • your previous U.S. passport was issued more than 15 years ago

then you must apply in-person.

Your photo that you attach to the passport card application must not be older than 6 months.
No, any alteration in the picture by computer software is forbidden and will cause the rejection of the photo.
Once you use the Passport Card Online Photo Generator - everywhere you want.
If you are a US citizen, getting a passport card is your right, so it will be issued for you anyway, but the time of processing your application might be longer if you attach the wrong photo.
You can get it in the studio, in a photo booth, or… wherever you wish! Use your smartphone or a digital camera and then adjust the picture with our Passport Card photo editor.
You only must not wear uniforms and any clothes similar to uniforms. The rest is up to you.
The background must be clear white or off-white. Use the photo background remover to obtain a perfect background in your US PC.
Different documents must comply with different standards about the size, crop, etc., so the best idea is to use a new photo for each one.
Yes, the beard is allowed in the passport card photo.
Headgears worn for religious purposes are allowed under some conditions. 1. You must provide the written statement from your religious community explaining the situation; 2. you must make sure that your headgear does not obscure or cover in any way your face.
Glasses with tinted lenses are not allowed.
No. Eyeglasses are allowed only for medical reasons. ( sight protection due to recent ocular surgery). You must provide a medical statement signed by a medical professional or health practitioner explaining why you cannot take off the glasses.
Yes, you are absolutely allowed to do it. After capturing a photo by your iPhone or another smartphone, upload it to Online Passport Photo Maker and have it done!
A natural, slight smile is allowed, just do not open your mouths and do not show the teeth. You can also have a neutral facial expression. Do not frown or make grimaces.
The correct size of the head from the chin to the top is 1 inch to 1 and 3/8 inches (25 mm – 35 mm of height. Use a Passport Card Photo Cropping App to obtain this crop.
The required size of the Passport Card photo in the US is 2 x 2 inches [51 x 51 mm].