Applying for a new passport or renewing an existing one is a lengthy process, even if you know what you’re doing. However, having knowledge ahead of time makes it much easier. At Flash Photo, we can take passport photos for you and your family, but you still need to know the rules ahead of time.
Our team at Flash Photo has pulled together this handy guide to make taking passport photos a breeze.
Check up on any new rules.
Passports are good for 10 years, so it’s probably been a while since you had to renew yours if you ever had one. In 2016, the United States government updated the rules concerning glasses. With the new rules, new passport photos can’t be taken with glasses. If you are wearing glasses in your current passport photo, you’re still okay, but you’ll need a new photo when it comes time to renew. If you cannot remove your glasses, you’ll have to submit a medical note with your passport application.
It matters what you wear.
Even though your passport photo only gets you from the shoulders up, it does matter what you’re wearing. Uniforms, or even clothing that looks like it might be a uniform, are not allowed. Camouflage patterns are also a no-go. Stick with plain, everyday clothes.
Keep your head uncovered.
Baseball caps, beanies, or any other type of head covering are not allowed in your passport photo. However, if you wear something for medical or religious reasons, you can get an exemption. Per the State Department, you will need a signed statement verifying that your specific head covering is traditional religious attire that you regularly wear in public. Similarly, your doctor will have to submit a note that you wear a head covering for medical purposes. Regardless, your face must be completely visible and your head covering cannot cast a shadow over your face.
Don’t forget about the kids!
No matter their age, all minors need passports to travel internationally. To take an infant’s passport photo, drape a white sheet over their car seat or lay them on their back on a white sheet. For toddlers, just keep taking photos until you get one you can use!
Changes in appearance require updated passport photos.
Kids’ passports are still good for 10 years, and you don’t need to take new photos as they age. Adults, however, do need new photos if they drastically change their appearance. Those changes include facial trauma, gender transition, surgery, and facial tattoos (or tattoo removal).