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| Updated on Apr 5, 2017

Comparing the Requirements of Standard ID Photos

When it comes to your passport, you have to be careful. A big consideration with most passports is making sure that the ID photo you use matches the requirements set by your country of origin. Too many people don't bother to double check their passport requirements before taking a photo, which means that they might not be using appropriate photos. This can cause major problems when you travel, as your passport is not considered valid without meeting all the requirements set out by the government that issued it.

Different countries all have different passport ID requirements, too, so what works for an American passport may not be correct for a Canadian, Australian or Chinese one. Here are the standard requirements for a US passport, to show you just how specific the rules pertaining to your passport can be:

 

US Passport

 

American passport photos all need to meet the following photo requirements: they have to be 2 x 2 inches (or 51 x 51 mm) in size and the size of the head in the photograph must be between 1 and 1 ⅜ inches from the chin's bottom to the tip of the person's head. They also have to be recent, which for these purposes means taken within the last six months so as to reflect the subject's current appearance. Glasses are not permitted. Additionally, the head of the person in the photograph must be facing the camera straight on, and the face may not be obscured. Neutral expressions or natural smiles are permitted. The photo itself must be in color, but the background needs to be white or off-white. Clothing should reflect what the subject wears on a daily basis, and head coverings are prohibited unless they are worn daily for religious reasons. Even in these cases, the full face must be visible, and the head cover cannot cast a shadow over it. Headphones and wireless hands-free devices are strictly disallowed.

 

A Lot to Keep Track Of

 

As you can see, passport photos aren’t exactly the most casual things in the world to take. Break any of these rules, and you may find yourself without a passport you can legally use—and that's just for the United States. As we pointed out earlier, each country comes with its own set of strict passport photo requirements, which need to be followed to the letter for the passport to be considered valid. Additionally, other forms of official ID require different photos, and you'll need to use the correct picture for each one. It can seem confusing, but there’s an easy way to sort it all out.

 

The best way to make sure that your passport photo meets the requirements of the country that issued it is to take your passport photo with MyPassportPhotos. MyPassportPhotos is a convenient service that lets you take your own photos for ID cards using a handy index of different ID photo requirements from around the world. When you use MyPassportPhotos, you’ll always know exactly what kind of picture your ID card requires.

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