U.S. Passport Photo Guide

The passport photo guide has two parts. The first part lists the passport photo requirements including size and dimensions. The second part of the guide provides instructions for taking digital pictures for the purpose of making your own passport photos.

U.S. Passport Photo Requirements

  • Color (black and white photos not accepted)
  • Plain white or off-white background
  • 2 x 2 inches (51 x 51 mm) in size
  • Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (between 25 and 35 mm) from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head.

    Passport Photo Dimensions.
  • Taken within the last 6 months
  • Full-face view directly facing the camera
  • Neutral facial expression
  • Both eyes open
  • Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
    • Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
    • Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
    • Headphones, wireless hands-free devices or similar items are not acceptable in your photo.
    • If you normally wear prescription glasses, a hearing device or similar articles, they may be worn for your photo.
    • Dark glasses or non-prescription glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable unless you need them for medical reasons (a medical certificate may be required)
    • Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Glare can be avoided with a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.  
  • Printed on photo quality paper

Taking Pictures for Passport Photos

The tips below will help you to produce a high quality photo which is necesasry if it is going to be accepted. Some of the things with which you need to concern yourself include the camera position, distance from the subject and lighting among others.

  • Background should be well lit, white or off-white, and free of patterns, objects, textures, etc.
  • Try to eliminate shadows that are caused by overhead lighting
  • Person being photographed should stand as close to background as possible to minimize shadows.
  • Stand at least 4 feet (1.25 meters) away.
  • Place the camera at eye level of the person being photographed.
  • Include the personís upper body in the picture.
  • Leave space above the head in the camera's viewfinder or screen display.

Camera Position

Camera postition for taking pictures to be used for passport photos.

Camera View

Camera's field of view for taking pictures to be used for passport photos.


Lighting position for taking pictures to be used for passport photos.

Ready to make your own passport photos?

Select which type of passport photo you will need:

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Passport Requirements Photo Guide