Lifestyle Guides

Passport photo rules

When it’s time for a new passport you’ll need to have a new photo taken, regardless of whether your appearance has changed.

Uk passport

For years the only option was finding a photo booth to get the photos taken, but you now can provide a digital photo if you’re applying online for a new passport. 

Here we’ll take you through the passport photo rules for both digital and print.

Passport photo rules – print 

If you’re applying for a new passport using the paper form, you’ll need to include two identical photos with your application. 

Showing just your head and shoulders, they’ll need to measure 45mm x 35mm – this is the standard size given in UK photo booths, so it’s still the easiest way to get prints.

You can’t cut photos down to size. 

The passport office is strict on what the images must be like in terms of quality and how you’re presented. 

For quality, the photos must be:

  • In colour
  • In focus 
  • Printed to a professional standard

Your photos must show:

  • A close-up of your head and shoulders – face forward and look straight into the camera
  • No smiling – keep a neutral face with your mouth closed and eyes open
  • No hair, glasses or clothing (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons) obscuring your face
  • No objects, people or shadows 
  • A plain, light background

Passport photo rules – digital  

You have three options for getting a digital photograph to accompany your online application. 

  1. Take a photo during your application using your phone – ask someone to take it for you rather than taking a selfie
  2. Find a photo shop and get a digital photo - some shops can give you a code to add the photo to your application
  3. Use a photo booth and get a code (not all photo booths offer this service)

Quality-wise, the digital photo must be:

  • Unedited, in colour and in focus
  • At least 600 pixels x 750 pixels 
  • At least 50KB (maximum 10MB)

Your photos must show:

  • A close-up of your head and shoulders – face forward and look straight into the camera
  • No smiling – keep a neutral face with your mouth closed and eyes open 
  • No hair, glasses or clothing (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons) obscuring your face
  • No objects, people or shadows 
  • A plain, light background
  • No red eye

Passport photos for babies and children

Thankfully, the rules aren’t as strict for little ones.

Like adults, children must be on their own in the photograph. You can support your baby’s head with your hand, but it can’t be visible.

Children under six don’t need to be looking directly at the camera or keep a plain expression, while children under one don’t have to have their eyes open. 

They can’t hold toys or use a dummy in the photos.

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