Passport Photo Requirements can be confusing.
The U.S. Department of State is very strict on what passes as an acceptable passport photo. In addition, these requirements apply to visa applications as well. Importantly, poor passport photos are one of the biggest reasons why the Department of State delays or denies passport applications.
If your passport photo does not fulfill these requirements, the U.S. Department of State may reject your passport or visa application.
You can get passport photos locally at most CVS, Walgreens, or local photo shops that specialize in passport photos. Additionally, it is also possible to take your own passport photos.
Passport Photo Requirements include:
- It must be a recent color photo within the last 6 months — printed on matte or glossy photo-quality paper.
- Background color must be white or off-white.
- Your head must face the camera directly with a view of your entire face.
- No smiles. You must have a neutral or natural facial expression.
- 2” x 2” in size (51mm x 51mm).
- Head-size must be between 1″ and 1 ⅜” from the lowest point of your chin to the top of your head.
- Wear normal clothing. No uniforms, except for religious clothing worn daily.
- You cannot wear a hat or head covering.
- Nothing can cover your hair or hairline, unless you normally wear it daily for religious purposes. Be sure not to cast shadows on your face.
- Do NOT wear headphones, sunglasses, or similar items, unless it is a medical device worn daily. You may need to provide proof of medication certification.
- You may wear prescription glasses and hearing devices, if worn daily. Watch for glare.
First thing to remember, passport Photo Requirements are not flexible. If you are concerned about your photos, please contact our Passport Help Desk directly, visit a passport acceptance facility, CVS, Walgreens, or local photo shop that specializes in passport photos.
NOTE: You may reference the Passport Photo FAQ Page at the website of the U.S. Department of State for additional information.