Requirements for a Passport Photo ID

Requirements for a Passport Photo ID
There are specific requirements for the photos used in creating a United States passport. These requirements are listed on the U.S. Department of State's website, or you can inquire about them at a U.S. post office, where you can get an application form, complete it with photos and submit your application.


U.S. passport photos--two copies are required--must be 2 by 2 inches in size. These photos are also appropriate for applications for the new U.S. Passport Card.


The passport photo must be in color, and must show the full face of the applicant on a plain white or off-white background. The photo should focus on the applicant's head and shoulders. Regulation photos should show between 1 and 1 3/4 inches from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. Overexposed photos will not be accepted.

No Dated Photos

Photos must have been taken in the past six months and should show the applicant's current appearance.


The passport applicant should not wear hats or uniforms in the official photo, but religious attire that is worn daily is allowed. Dark or nonprescription glasses are not allowed unless medical need is documented. If you normally wear glasses, wigs or hearing aids, they should appear in the photo.

Where to Get Photos

Most stores that offer photo services will take a passport photo in the correct format. The price is generally just a few dollars. AAA members can also have their photos taken free of charge at a local office and can complete their applications there.

Article Written By Debbie Selinsky

Debbie Selinsky is an award-winning writer based in North Carolina. Selinsky is the former senior editor of "Success Magazine" and deputy director of the Duke University News Service. She has written about travel for many years and specializes in cruise travel, having sailed on more than 100 cruises. Selinsky attended North Greenville University, Oregon Institute of Technology and the Poynter Institute for Journalistic Excellence.

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