Can I Take My Own Passport Photo?

Online Passport Photo Service
The following information on How to Take Your Own Passport Photo & Passport Photo Requirements is also available on the website of the U.S. Department of State

How to Take Your Own Passport Photo

So you need passport photos? You can certainly take your own passport photo if you know all the requirements beforehand. It is very important that you follow all of the requirements if you want your passport photos to be accepted by the U.S. Department of State. You can even upload your own photo here to get it ready for the passport application: US DEPT OF STATE PASSPORT PHOTO UPLOADER

You must provide 1 photo with your application

The processing of your passport application may be delayed if you do not submit a passport photo that meets the requirements listed and set by the U.S. Dept of State.  To avoid processing delays, we recommend you use a professional passport photo service or visit your local CVS or Walgreens.

Your passport photo must be:

  • In color
  • Printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.
  • Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance
  • Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
  • Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera
  • With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
    • Uniforms, clothing that looks like a uniform, and camouflage attire should not be worn in photos except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily.
    • You may only wear a hat or head covering if you wear it daily for religious purposes. Your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
    • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.  Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo.
    • Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required).

You can also review these 75 passport photo examples to see variations of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Do not submit photocopies or digitally scanned images from driver’s licenses or other official documents. These are not acceptable and will be rejected. Additionally, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable by the U.S. Department of State.

how to take your own passport photos how to take your own passport photos how to take your own passport photos

  • Make sure the photo presents the full head from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin
  • Center the head with the frame
  • The person in the photo should have a neutral expression and be facing the camera
  • Photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches
  • The height of the head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm – 35 mm)
  • Make sure the eye height is between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm – 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo

How to Take Your Own Passport Photo

There are many passport photo guides online that can assist you in taking your own passport photo. You may want to read them thoroughly or trust a passport photo service to help you.

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Want to take a photo of yourself?

Selfies are not acceptable. We recommend you use a professional passport photo service but you may take the photo yourself. Photos must not be digitally enhanced. They cannot be altered to change your appearance. If you take the photo yourself with a digital camera, the digital image must adhere to the following specifications:

DimensionsThe image dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 x 600 pixels. Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 x 1200 pixels.
ColorThe image must be in color in sRGB color space which is the common output for most digital cameras.

For additional information, you may want to refer to the U.S. Dept of State’s resources:

Want to scan an existing photo?

You can scan an existing photo as long as it meets the requirements. In addition to the digital image requirements, your existing photo must be:

  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm)
  • Scanned at a resolution of 300 pixels per inch (12 pixels per millimeter)

 


Still have questions about passport photos?

Frequently Asked Questions: Photo Requirements

How many photos must I submit with my passport application?

You must submit one photo with your passport application.

Can I take my own passport photo?

You can take your own passport photo as long as it meets the requirements.

What type of paper should I print my photos on?

Photos must be printed on matte or glossy photo quality paper.

Do my photos have to be in color?

Yes, the photos must be in color. Black and white photos will not be accepted.

How recent must my photos be?

Your photos must have been taken within 6 months of submitting your application and reflect your current appearance.

What size must my photos be?

The photo must be exactly 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm).

What pose should I be in for my photo?

You must directly face the camera.  Profile shots will not be accepted. Your expression should be neutral with both eyes open and directly facing the camera. Photos with unusual expressions and squinting will not be accepted

How large should my head be in the photo?

Your head should be between 1 inch and 1-3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of your chin to the top of your hair. If you are submitting a digital image, then your head should be between 50% and 69% of the image’s total height from the top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin.

Can eyeglasses be worn for the photo?

Eyeglasses worn on a daily basis can be worn for the photo. However, there should be no reflections from the eyeglasses that obscure the eyes. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.

Can I wear sunglasses or tinted glasses in my photo?

You may only wear prescription glasses that have dark or tinted lenses if you need to wear them for medical reasons.  A medical certificate may be required to verify prescription eyewear.

Can I wear a hat for the photo?

You may only wear a hat or head covering if you wear it daily for religious purposes. Your full face must be visible and your head covering cannot obscure your hairline or cast shadows on your face.

Can I wear a uniform in my photo?

Uniforms, clothing that looks like a uniform, and camouflage attire should not be worn in photos except in the case of religious attire that is worn daily.

Can a parent or guardian appear in the photo of a child?

No, the child must be the only person in the photo. Nothing used to support the child should be in the camera’s frame, including the arms or hands of a parent holding the child.

Is it acceptable for my child’s eyes to be closed in his or her photo?

It is acceptable if an infant’s eyes, particularly a newborn’s, are not, or are not entirely, open.  All other children must have their eyes open and looking straight ahead towards the camera.

What’s the best way to take a photo of a baby or toddler?

When taking a photo of your baby or toddler, no other person should be in the photo, and your child should be looking at the camera with his or her eyes open.

Tip 1:Lay your baby on his or her back on a plain white or off-white sheet. This will ensure your baby’s head is supported and provide a plain background for the photo. Make certain there are no shadows on your baby’s face, especially if you take a picture from above with the baby lying down.
Tip 2:Cover a car seat with a plain white or off-white sheet and take a picture of your child in the car seat. This will also ensure your baby’s head is supported.
Can I use a digital camera to take my passport photo?

Yes, you can use a digital camera. Most webcams and mobile phones cannot provide images of sufficient quality.

Can I remove the red-eye from my photo?

It is acceptable to use the red-eye reduction option on your digital camera when you are taking the photo. However, you cannot use any photo editing tool to digitally remove the red-eye from your photo. In general, you are not allowed to digitally enhance or alter the photo to change your appearance in any way.

Are photos that are copied from recent driver licenses or other official documents acceptable?

Copied or digitally scanned photos of official documents will not be accepted. In addition, photos must not be digitally enhanced or altered to change your appearance in any way.

Are snapshots, magazine photos, mobile device photos, or photos from vending machines acceptable?

No. Snapshots, magazine photos, low-resolution vending machine photos, mobile device photos, or full-length photographs are not acceptable.

Do I need to take a new photo if my appearance has changed?

New photos are only required if your appearance has significantly changed from what is in your photo.  Growing a beard or coloring your hair would not constitute a significant change.  If you can still be identified from the photo in your current passport, you do not need to apply for a new passport.

You may have to apply for a new passport if you have:

  • Undergone significant facial surgery or trauma
  • Added or removed numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
  • Undergone a significant amount of weight loss or gain
  • Made a gender transition

If the appearance of your child under the age of 16 has changed due to the normal aging process, you do not need to apply for a new passport for him or her.

 

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