Rules for United States Passport Photos

Rules for United States Passport Photos
U.S. citizens are responsible for providing their own passport photos, which must meet certain specifications. Passport photos are required to be of a certain color, size and quality for use in passport books and passport cards.


U.S. embassies, consulates and passport agencies require passport candidates to submit two identical passport photos to process passport and visa applications. Failure to do adhere to the photo requirements could result in the rejection of an application.


U.S. passport photos must be taken in color and photographed against a white or offwhite background.


Passport photos cannot be poorly focused or too dark, nor can they appear to have low-quality dots or shadows that obstruct the face of the subject.


The U.S. Bureau of Consulate Affairs requires passport photos to be 2 inches by 2 inches. The space from the bottom of the subject's chin to the top of the head must be between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches.


Uniforms cannot be worn in passport photos. The exception is religious attire worn daily. Hats, headgear and dark glasses are unacceptable, but prescription eyeglasses are allowed if worn regularly.

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