Got Questions About Your Passport Photos? We Have Answers!

March 16, 2016

If your passport is up for renewal, or you need a new passport, you’ll have to send passport photos with your application. If you’re heading in to take new passport photos, here are some helpful things to know before you visit your AIM Mail Center for a passport photo:

  1. You must submit one photo with your passport application. However it’s always handy to have one or two extras for future visa applications.
  2. Your passport photo needs to be a clear head shot, so avoid clothing that obscures your face, like scarves and hats.
  3. Head coverings may be worn only if you wear it daily for religious purposes. However, your face must still be fully visible, and your head covering cannot hide your hairline or cast shadows on your face.
  4. Uniforms should not be worn unless it is religious attire you wear daily.
  5. If you wear eyeglasses on a daily basis, then you may wear them in your passport photo. The person taking your photos will make sure there isn’t a glare that obscures your eyes.
  6. You can smile in your passport photos, but the government prefers that you have a neutral facial expression.
  7. If your appearance has changed significantly since your current passport photos were taken, you will need to get new photos. Significant changes include:
    1. Undergoing significant facial surgery or trauma
    2. Adding or removing numerous/large facial piercings or tattoos
    3. Losing or gaining a significant amount of weight
    4. Making a gender transition
  8. If you don’t like your photos, don’t retouch them – take new ones. In general, you are not allowed to digitally enhance or alter the photo to change your appearance in any way. 
  9. If you are traveling with children, including babies, they will need to have passports too.
  10. Children under the age of 16 and whose change in appearance is from the normal aging process do not need new passports.

If you need to get new passport photos, make sure they come out right the first time! Visit your nearest AIM Mail Center location where the experts can quickly take your passport pictures.

Source: U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs


Passport Photos at AIM Mail Center