The Basics of the U.S. Passport Photo Requirements for Minors

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All About the U.S. Passport Photo Requirements for Minors

Planning a trip with minors for the first time requires a lot of preparation, including passport applications. While getting a passport picture for your little ones may seem easy, there are many aspects you should consider, such as:

This guide will list the basic rules you must be aware of and show you how to get a satisfying picture for your document in the blink of an eye !

The Passport Photo Criteria Explained

Most of the standard passport photo requirements for adults provided by the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs also work for children under the age of 16. Here are some essential criteria you must have in mind when getting a photo of your child or any minor:

  • Technical rules:
    • Photo mustn’t be older than six months
    • Size must be 2 x 2’’—approximately 5 cm x 5 cm
    • Resolution should be high—at least 600 x 600 pixels
    • Image has to be clear and in focus
    • Matte and glossy paper is recommended for printing the photo
    • Filtered and modified pictures aren’t acceptable
  • Face and position
    • Selfies aren’t allowed—the applicant must be facing the camera without tilting their head
    • The person should be sitting or standing in front of a plain white background
    • Face and ears should be fully visible
    • Smiling is acceptable only in moderation
    • Grimaces and facial expressions are unacceptable
  • Clothes and accessories
    • Outfits in neutral colors are desirable
    • Applicants can’t wear uniforms, camouflage clothes, or national costumes
    • Hats and headscarves aren’t allowed unless they are used for religious purposes
    • Eyewear must be removed—the only exception is prescription glasses, but only if you have a signed statement from a doctor
    • Headphones and wireless hands-free devices can’t be worn in the picture

Specific Passport Picture Requirements for Minors

Besides the official passport photo criteria for all generations, there are specific rules applying to young children and babies. These are listed in the table below:

Children ShouldChildren Shouldn’t
  • Lie on a white blanket or sheet or be photographed in a car seat covered by a white blanket or sheet
  • Have their head supported, but the parent’s hand mustn’t be visible
  • Look directly at the camera unless they are unable to
  • Stand still
  • Be photographed with a parent or any other person
  • Have a shadow on their faces
  • Hold pacifiers in their mouths
  • Have toys in their hands

Ways To Get a Passport Photo for a Minor

Depending on your preferences, you can choose one of the following ways to get a passport picture of a minor:

  • Visiting a professional to get a physical passport photo—Feel free to take your child to any photo studio in your vicinity. Professional photographers know how to make a proper 2 x 2’’ or 4 x 6’’ picture, so you don’t need to wonder whether your photo will meet the requirements
  • Taking passport pictures in stores or facilities that offer such a service—The photos can be taken at:
  • Taking a digital picture by yourself at home—This option is free, but it’s quite difficult to meet all the requirements. You must take care of all the aspects of the photo, including contrast, lighting, and background settings. Once you snap a photo, you can adjust it to your needs by using online programs and apps

What Happens if Your Passport Photo Gets Rejected?

Failing to comply with the prescribed rules can make the U.S. Department of State reject the photo of a minor.

The good news is that not everything is lost if this happens. Your application will be put on hold until you provide the institution with an acceptable picture.

Here’s what the resubmitting procedure looks like:

  1. Read through the instructions you get from the agency by mail
  2. Create a new photo that aligns with the proposed requirements
  3. Prepare any other additional documents if necessary
  4. Send everything to the agency

Your Perfect Passport Photo Is Only a Click Away With DoNotPay

If you aren’t sure whether the snap you just took is good enough to be accepted by the U.S. Department of State, we can help!

DoNotPay will run a few checks, scan your photo, and correct all the details that don’t match the official requirements, including:

  • Bad lighting
  • Contrast issues
  • Incorrect dimensions
  • Wrong background

All you should do is:

  1. in your preferred web browser
  2. Navigate to the Passport Photos product
  3. Submit a photo
  4. Provide us with your email address—and optional shipping details—so that we can send you the photos

If you upload a photo and we can’t detect your face, you can submit another one.

We will automatically send you digital copies by email, but if you order physical ones too, they will reach you within three days if you opt for Rush Shipping! If you don’t mind waiting, you can also choose:

  • Expedited Shipping—delivery within four business days
  • Economy Shipping—delivery within five to ten business days

Find your place of residence in the table below to see where you can have your passport photo taken:

San DiegoSacramentoBostonAlbuquerqueRaleigh
HoustonAtlantaPhoenixSan FranciscoDenver
CincinnatiRochesterLos AngelesColumbusScottsdale
HonoluluMinneapolisChicagoTallahasseeKansas City
New York CityPortlandPhiladelphiaAustinRockville
SeattleCharlestonSan JoseSan AntonioCharlotte
HerndonColvilleIndianapolisLas VegasBrooklyn

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