Prepare the perfect passport photo with guaranteed acceptance!
Just like all other official document photos, the U.S. passport photo must follow very particular guidelines. Here are the main and most important requirements to keep in mind when taking a photo for your U.S. passport:
Passport-style photos are biometric photos. This means that images analyze and download people's individual features and allow for quick and reliable identification. Therefore, when taking a biometric photo you should be positioned frontally and look straight ahead. Visibility of other people is never allowed, and the background requirements vary. But in most cases, it should be uniform and solid-colored. Specifications regarding glasses and head coverings are also usually the same, i.e. you have to pose without a hat and without glasses (if you wear prescription glasses you can keep them on, but make sure they don’t produce a glare, as this could cause your passport photos to be rejected).
Photo size for the U.S. passport must always have the dimensions of 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).
The applicant has to remember that the distance from the top of the head to the bottom of the chin should be between 1 and 1,375 inches (i.e. 25-35 mm). The eye height of the person visible in the photo should also be between 1,125 - 1,375 inches (28-35 mm) from the bottom of the photo (not the bottom of chin).
In the U.S. passport photo the face has to occupy a certain amount of space.. It is stated that the applicant's face (from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin) should occupy between 50% and 69% of the image's height.
Photo dimensions: the digital photo size is measured in pixels instead of inches/centimeters. The photo's pixel dimensions have to be in a square aspect ratio (i.e. the height needs to equal the width). The photo size has to be between 600x600 pixels and 1200x1200 pixels, meaning that a photo that is higher than 1200px in width/height will be rejected. The same applies if the photo's width/height is less than 600px.
Photo format: the only image format allowed is the JPEG file format. Make sure your image is not a PNG file - some cameras and photo editors save pictures in this format by default.
Photo file size and compression: moreover, the U.S. passport photo format cannot be more than 240kB (kilobytes) and it means that the image may need to be compressed in order to meet the maximum file size requirement. The compression ratio should be less than or equal to 20:1.
Photo color: The passport-style photo must be in color (24 bits per pixel) in sRGB color space, which is the common output for the majority of digital cameras.
It’s a common mistake to take a passport photo against a colored background. The official requirement says that a passport photo is acceptable only if taken in front of a plain background (white or off-white) considering the U.S. passport. There also cannot be any patterns on the wall you choose as your background. Also, check if there are no other objects behind you. The background must be uniform and white or off-white.
The best option is to take your passport photos for your American passport in daylight instead of after dark using flash. This helps avoid the red-eye effect and makes the skin look natural. Both sides of your face have to be equally lighted. It means that there cannot be any shadows on the face. Make sure the lighting is not over-or underexposed. Your face must be clearly visible. Moreover, pay attention to the reflections - there cannot be any on your face. The photo has to be sharp with sufficient contrast and detail.
Submit a high-resolution photo that is not blurry, grainy, or pixelated. The submission requirements state that the passport-style photo needs to be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper. You cannot submit a damaged photo (e.g. with holes, creases, or smudges). Do not digitally beautify the picture, you can use the passport photo converters and cropping tools instead.
According to the official passport photo requirements, applicants can’t wear glasses or sunglasses in the submitted photo. However, if you can’t take off your glasses for medical reasons, you will need to include a signed doctor’s note in your passport application, stating that you need to keep your glasses on. Until 2016 the authorities accepted glasses in photos as long as there was no reflection visible in the photo and the eyes were clearly visible, however prescription glasses are no longer allowed to be worn in U.S. passport photos.
Your passport photo may get rejected if you don’t have a neutral facial expression (or a natural smile), with both eyes open and your mouth closed. Again, it is important that your passport photo makes it easy for the authorities to confirm your identity. Face the camera directly with full face in view and remember that both sides of your face should be equally lighted.
A passport photo will be accepted if an applicant is directly facing the camera with a neutral facial expression, closed mouth, and both their eyes clearly visible.
You cannot wear a uniform or clothing that resembles a uniform or camouflage attire. It is officially stated that you should wear the clothes you wear on a daily basis. It cannot confuse any of the authorities that may be checking your documents. Still, there is no specific passport photo dress code. We encourage you to try a smart-casual style instead of just a hoodie or a t-shirt. Passport is a document that you will keep for quite a while, so make sure you look good in the photo.
First, prepare your printable passport photo template on our website - take a photo, upload it, and check to see if you like the image. If you think you don’t look good in the photograph, simply retake the picture.
Second, choose one of the options - you can get the passport photo converter for free though it won’t have the background automatically removed. Therefore, we require you to follow the guidelines more precisely. You can save some time and for $13.95 download a professional U.S. passport photo with an acceptance guarantee! For $16.95 you will also get a printout delivered at your door!
Third, if you decide on a digital version of the photo, find the closest photo-copying point or pharmacy with a photo printing service where you can print it out as a 4x6 inch photo (postcard-size photo). On such a U.S. biometric photo template, you will find 2 (two) passport photos ready to be cut out and submitted to the U.S. passport office!
You can get a digital U.S. passport photo on Passport Photo Online and print it out at any photo-copying service (like Walmart or Costco).
The U.S. passport photo is a biometric photo which means the image should enable the authorities easy recognition of the passport holder. Most of the requirements are standard biometric photo requirements. The key difference between passport photos around the world consists usually in size and background of the photo.
When taking your U.S. passport photo, you must remember to stick to certain rules regarding posture, lighting, positioning of the camera, and maintaining the correct facial expression, among other things. Here is a list of what you should keep in mind to get a perfect photo for your passport:
To avoid crowds and wasting time and money driving to a photography studio, you might think about taking a photo for your passport at home. You can use your iOS or Android phone and download our app. Taking document photos at home is possible with a 100% guarantee of acceptance! If you decide to try taking photos for your U.S. passport by yourself, read on to find out more.
While you already know the requirements regarding U.S. passport photos, you know how to pose and what to do as well as what to avoid while taking pictures for documents.
If you put on nice clothes and you already have all the equipment, you just need to follow these 5 simple steps about how to take a passport photo at home:
Passport Photo Online maker is an easy-to-use tool that will get you a U.S. passport photo that meets all the official requirements. All you have to do is take a photo with your phone or digital camera, upload it and our passport photo editor will convert the photo to passport size and erase the background. We have developed a passport photo generator that responds to our clients’ needs regardless of whether they need the photo in digital or printed form. The passport photo creator will prepare for you a printable passport photo template, i.e. a file that is ready to be printed in the 4x6 inch (10x15 cm) format. This way you will get 2(two) 2x2 inch (51x51mm) photos on one postcard size photo. You can print it out at any photo-copying store for just a few cents. If you prefer to get the printed passport photos delivered straight to your place, Passport Photo Online offers a delivery option.
The background is really important considering photos for official documents. The required background for the U.S. passport photo is white or off-white, free of patterns. Our photo background editor removes the incorrect background with shadows or unnecessary objects in the picture or with a different color and changes it to a plain background required by the passport office.
The online photo cropper adjusts your photographs and changes them as required in your U.S. passport guidelines. It crops the photo as stated on the official websites regarding dimensions for passport photos. The application will automatically resize your picture to the size specified for the United States passport.
In the end, our photo tool creates a passport photo template that is ready to download via email that you can print by yourself in a local printing place or you can order an already printed one which we will ship to you.
The last thing that our application does is check the final picture paying special attention to the correctness and quality of your photo, making sure it contains all the important elements. The photo checker validates the sent photos and makes sure it will have a 100% warranty of acceptance. Create a passport photo with our online cropping tool, converter and resizer and save yourself time and money!
Last update: 9/23/22
The U.S. passport photo, with the dimensions of 2x2 inches (51x51 mm) is the official photo format for your driver’s licence and citizenship application.
While taking photos for the passport document yourself, you can make a lot of mistakes, such as incorrect size, smiling in the photo, wrong background, wrong pose, etc. This is why it is very important to know the official requirements regarding passport photos for your country and follow them. Otherwise, your photo will be declined.
Your full hairstyle should be visible in a passport photo. However, hair cannot cover the applicant’s face, especially the eyes and eyebrows.
Editing is not allowed, you can’t remove any glares or shadows by yourself. We recommend using our photo tool which works like a background remover, so it can change the color or make your background plain and without patterns.
Editing photos for official documents is forbidden. You cannot retouch, crop yourself from a bigger photo, remove any scars, tattoos, wrinkles, spots, etc. Any ways of interfering in the picture will cause a rejection. Use a mobile photo app instead or our online service which will edit your photo with a guarantee of acceptance.
It is important to be sure that you print your passport photos on thin, photo quality paper. For the United States passport photos, you can print it using either matte, semi-matte, or glossy photo paper.
The background for the U.S. passport should be white or off-white, so make sure that you do not pose against a colored one or with patterns or shadows. That will cause rejection.
In order to be accepted, a passport photo must meet a number of criteria regarding the background of the photo, lighting, or size. Most Android smartphones have good enough cameras to take high quality photos. If you have already taken the photo you want to use for your passport, use our passport photo editing application, which will remove the background from the photo, cut it to the right size, and frame your face.
No. Photos for the U.S. passport cannot be black and white, only color photos with a white background are accepted.
The height of a passport photo is 2 inches (equivalent to 51mm) and its width is 2 inches (equivalent to 51mm) as well. You can check the other requirements of the passport size photo on our website.
The easiest way to do so is to use a passport photo maker. All you will have to do is upload a photo and choose “U.S. passport” to crop it properly. You can do it for $6.99 here.
If you need a digital passport photo and don’t need to bother with the printed one, you should use our passport photo generator. It will transform your picture into a digital passport photo within a few seconds. It will be downloadable in the most useful formats.
If “best” applies to the price, user experience, and quality, we would recommend you our Passport Photo Online app. For $6.99 you will get a professional passport photo within a few seconds.
Passport Photo Online is available as a web page, but also as a mobile app. You can easily download it on your iOS smartphone and on most of the smartphones equipped with Android software.
In order to be accepted, passport photos have to meet several requirements like color of the background or size of the photo. Your iPhone camera will let you take a valid passport photo that you can later crop and resize to passport size using our photo cropping tool.
Yes, it is definitely legal to have a beard in a passport photo, although you should bear in mind that the passport photo has to resemble you in the way it would not constitute any problems for the border control. Hence, if you drastically change your look by shaving your beard, consider renewing the passport photo to avoid any problems.
The main U.S. passport photo requirements are:
The cost of a passport photo depends on the way you get the photo. In a professional photography studio it may cost around $20, Walmart charges $7.44, and Passport Photo Online will charge you just $6.99. By taking the passport photo yourself, you save not only money, but also time.
Yes, it is possible to take photos for your newborn baby’s passport. It can be easily done with Passport Photo Online, an AI-supported photo tool. Since the requirements for infants’ passport photos are less strict, you can take their passport photos even during sleep. The most crucial thing is to keep their face 100% visible—it cannot be covered by toys, hair, or a pacifier. Download our app and try it for yourself.
Yes - the photo taken in a photo booth can be used as a photograph attached to the application for a passport, driver’s license or identity card, as long as it meets all the requirements. Most photo booths allow the passport photo size to choose, so make sure you choose 2x2 inch dimensions.
Since a passport is an official document, consider dressing up for the photo. We recommend smart-casual clothing. It will make you look nice and professional. Extravagant outfits or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed, so in case your beliefs require a specific outfit, there shouldn’t be any problem in that matter.
The U.S. passport photo has the dimensions of 2x2 inches (51x51 mm). It is also the size of most official documents in the U.S., including the driver’s license or Identity Card.
Sit up straight, don’t hold your head up high, look directly at the camera and keep your shoulders down and back.
Yes, you can wear earrings or clip-ons in your passport photo. The only requirement is that they should not impede facial recognition. Earrings that would cover e.g. part of the neck or cheeks cannot be worn in the photo.
You can wear lenses in your passport photo, as long as they do not cover any distinguishing marks. If you have tinted lenses for medical reasons, you may have to provide a signed medical statement.
Maintain a neutral facial expression with both eyes open. All types of unusual expressions are forbidden. In the United States a natural smile is allowed in passport photos, however, the smile should not expose your teeth.
Makeup for a passport photo is allowed, but it must be subtle and delicate enough to make the person in the photo recognizable. Women can accentuate their eyes with mascara or eyeliner and their lips with lipstick, they may also use a gentle foundation. However, we would like to stress that makeup can’t hide or mask the so-called special characteristics, i.e. furrows, strong wrinkles, scars, or permanent beauty marks. If such characteristics are covered in the photo, the photograph will not meet the government requirements and should be rejected. Even if the photo passes the verification process, we can expect problems at the airport or border control.
Unless it covers a distinguishing mark, lipstick is allowed in passport photos, as well as in other official documents. Our suggestion, however, is to not use lipstick that’s too flashy.
No, glasses are not allowed in a U.S. passport photo - neither are prescription glasses or sunglasses, unless you have a medical reason which forbids you from taking the glasses off. In such a case a statement signed by a doctor is required.
Yes, a passport photo can be taken easily and quickly by yourself and in almost any place.
The best and easiest way to take a photo is to use Passport Photo Online, which is much more advanced than any online document photo generator available online. Using our tool, all you have to do is take a photo of yourself against any background, and only pay attention to your face being evenly lit. The rest will be taken care of by Passport Photo Online, i.e. it will frame the face, clear the background from shadows and any items and save the photos in the right format and size. An additional advantage is that you do not have to go anywhere and pay $20 or even $25 for the photos. This option is especially useful for passport photos for small children and babies.
Yes, you can take a passport photo with your phone. All you have to do is upload a photo to our website and our tool will transform it to a professional passport photo. You can also use our photo cropping app and take a passport photo with your phone.
Since passport is an official document, we suggest a smart-casual style, which will make you look good and professional. Extravagant outfits or uniforms might cause a photo rejection. Religious clothing, however, is allowed, so in case your beliefs require a specific outfit, there shall not be any problem on that matter.
Look at the following blog article to find out what tricks do models use to look good in the passport photos.
It is possible to take a passport photo at home as long as it meets all the requirements. The easiest way is to use a photo cropping tool or a passport photo generator which will detect all the potential problems with a photo, crop it, and frame in agreement with the document’s size and requirements. Our suggestion is to try out the Passport Photo Online website or its photo cropping app on Android.