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Passport Photo

Travelling abroad requires a passport for each and every passenger – be it by train, bus or plane. Unlike one’s birth certificate though, the US Passport is a form of government-issued ID which requires a photo. A passport photo adds a great deal of security to one’s identity, making it near impossible to create fraudulent copies.

For its security reasons, US Passport photos have specific requirements that must be adhered to by all applicants. 

Passport Photo Requirements

When completing a US Passport application form, one passport photo must be submitted. It is common for applicants to include more than one copy of their passport photo in the event one gets misplaced.

It is important to submit a photo in order for your passport form to be processed. Without a photo, your application will be delayed.

Note you cannot send just any type of photo for your passport – no matter how flattering you think it may be. Review the following list for specific passport photo guidelines to adhere to:

  1. Your passport photo must be in color. Black and white photos will not be accepted, and your application will be returned to you if it was submitted by mail.
  2. Visit a professional passport photo agency to receive a photo printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.
  3. If you took passport photos more than six months ago, these are no longer valid. Passport photos must be taken within six months of submitting a US passport application form to present your current appearance.
  4. Passport pictures must be taken in front of a white or off-white background.
  5. Maintain a neutral expression. You may choose not to smile or pose a natural smile – yet it is important for security personnel to see a relaxed facial expression to verify your identity.

What size is a passport photo?

Another reason for ordering professional passport pictures is to have the correct passport photo dimensions: 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 millimeters).

The composition of the photo must also be considered. Your head must take up space between one inch and one and three-eighths of an inch, from your chin to the top of your head. There must be some space over your head and beneath your chin. If either is cut off, the photo will not be accepted, and your passport application will be postponed. In addition, you must be staring straight into the camera – no profile or angled pictures will be accepted.

Where to Get Passport Photos

Knowing where to take passport photos is crucial before mailing in an application or entering a passport agency. You can look up passport photos online for nearby locations, yet in general, a passport photo shop will be located within walking distance from your local US Passport Agency. If you forgot to get one beforehand, simply give yourself an extra hour before the appointment to visit one of these locations.

These storefronts will offer cheap passport photos, and you can also rely on your local or major drug store chain for affordable passport photo costs. Attendants will already know the passport photo size; however just check your packet of prints before paying. Even though, passport photo printing requires little time, you are recommended to order your passport picture before the day of your appointment.