Urgent Passport Services | Passport Photos – How to Make Sure Yours Gets Accepted

The U.S. Department of State can be very particular about passport photos.  Please review the tips below to make sure your passport photo will be acceptable and not cause any issues with the processing of your expedited passport.

Passport Photo Guidelines:

  • Passport photos must be new – if the government deems the photos older than 6 months they will be rejected – they are able to test the paper for age.
  • We strongly recommend going to CVS, Walgreen’s, UPS Store, Costco, Rite Aid, or somewhere similar.  Do not make them yourself or use a pro photographer.
  • Make sure to compare the completed photo to the sizing dotted lines on the government application to make sure the head fits within the parameters.
  • Make sure not to be wearing any glasses or hats or uniforms in the photo.
  • If wearing a religous headcovering you must include a letter with your application justifying your need to wear the headcovering.
  • We are happy to affix the photo to the application for you – if you want to do it, simply staple each corner of the photo to the passport application.
  • If the photo appears pixelated or has redeye, get new photos done.  The government scans the photos and if the scan isn’t clear – the photo is rejected.
  • For taking baby passport photos, often it is best to lay the baby down on their back on a light colored sheet, then take the picture from above while they look up.
  • Make sure to have a neutral facial expression in the photo.  No overanimated either happy of upset facial expressions are accepted.
  • No headphones or earbuds may be worn in the photo.
  • Finally, don’t overthink it.  Go somewhere where the process is standardized and they do many of them every day.  The entire photo process should take 5 – 10 minutes.

Follow these quick passport photo tips from Urgent Passport Services and your passport application will be processed on time every time.

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