Travel & Places Passport Requirements

Passport Photo Guidelines

    Basic Requirements

    • Applicants for a U.S. passport must submit two identical, color photographs along with the rest of the application requirements. The photographs should show the applicant's current, natural appearance and must be taken no earlier than six months prior to the submission of the application.

    Composition and Size Requirements

    • Passport photographs should measure 2 by 2 inches. The photographs must focus on the applicant's head and shoulders and the subject should be set against a white or off-white background. The bottom of the chin to the top of the head must measure no less than 1 inch and no more than 1 and 3/8 inches. The applicant's head must be centered within the frame, and he should have a natural expression on his face.

    Clothing Requirements

    • Applicants are encouraged to wear normal street clothing. Do not wear religious apparel in the photograph unless you do on a daily basis and would likely be wearing the religious garments when traveling with your passport. The U.S. Department of State recommends that applicants who normally use glasses or a hearing aid wear them when being photographed. Similarly, a wig or hairpiece worn normally should be visible in the photograph. Tinted glasses (prescription or nonprescription) should not be worn unless they are medically necessary. In this case, applicants may need to submit documentation confirming the medical need for the tinted glasses.

    Digitized Passport Photograph Requirements

    • In addition to the requirements listed above, applicants submitting digitized photos must not only make sure that photo has a continuous tone. Pixels and colored dots are sometimes visible in photographs produced with a digital printer. Dots and pixels distort the photograph and such photographs will not be accepted by U.S. passport agencies.

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