All Questions About the U.S. Passport Photo Size Metric Answered

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U.S. Passport Photo Size Metric Explained

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs proposes strict rules related to the size of your passport photo. If you make a mistake and submit a picture of dimensions different than the proposed ones, your application may be put on hold or rejected.

This guide brings you a rundown on the U.S. passport photo size metric, explaining how big your image should be and what other details you should consider. You will also:

  1. Take a peek at the other general passport requirements
  2. Find out how and where to get your passport picture
  3. Learn how to prepare one online from the comfort of your home by

What Should Be the Size of Your Passport Photo?

According to the prescribed requirements, your passport picture must be 2 x 2” (approximately 51 mm x 51 mm).

Besides the general size of the photo, there’s also a head size standard—it must range between 1” and 1 ⅜“ (25 mm x 35 mm) from the bottom of your chin to the top of your head. The required passport picture is usually printed on a 4 x 6” piece of paper.

What Other Criteria Must Your Passport Picture Meet?

When it comes to other passport photo rules, you should:

  • Use a picture not older than six months
  • Print it on a high-quality piece of paper with a matte or glossy finish
  • Set a white or off-white background when taking a photo
  • Make sure the picture is in high resolution if it’s digital—600 x 600 pixels at least
  • Dress neutrally, without vivid patterns or prints, uniforms, costumes, or camouflage clothing items
  • Smile mildly or not smile at all and have a blank (neutral) facial expression
  • Remove all accessories that may hide portions of your face, such as:
    • Glasses—unless your doctor provides a signed statement that confirms you shouldn’t take them off
    • Sunglasses and other eyewear
    • Hair accessories and headgear
    • Hats and head coverings—unless worn for religious reasons
    • Large piercings and pieces of jewelry

Where Can You Get Your Passport Photo?

There are two ways to get your passport picture at:

  1. Home
  2. Designated locations

Getting a Passport Photo at Home

The first option, which is free and less demanding, is taking your own passport photo at home with a smartphone or regular camera. Unlike in photo studios, where professionals usually know what to do to take a good passport photo, you must check the standards yourself and ensure you comply with them.

Since you can’t take a selfie and make it your passport picture, use some help and have a friend or a relative take a photo instead. Once they do it, you can transfer the image to a computer and edit it by:

  • Cropping
  • Resizing
  • Setting the head size
  • Fixing the lighting

For this purpose, you can use one of the numerous online tools and photo apps or regular programs on your PC or laptop.

Getting a Passport Photo at Other Locations

If you aren’t sure that you would be able to make a good passport picture yourself, there are various locations in the city where you can get it instead. Check out the following table for some ideas:

Type of PlaceLocations
Nearby passport offices
  • Clerk offices
  • Public libraries
  • Municipal government offices
  • Passport application acceptance centers
Stores and pharmacies
Shipping companies

DoNotPay Helps You Create a Suitable Passport Picture Swiftly

Would you like to save some coins and avoid professional photo services, but you don’t want to take risks with creating a passport picture yourself? DoNotPay is here to help!

Let our app scan the photo you want to use as a passport picture and fix all the features that don’t comply with proposed standards. We will adjust the background, contrast, and all other necessary settings and help you get a perfect image in less than five minutes.

Here’s how it works:

  1. in any browser and log in to your account
  2. Choose the Passport Photos product
  3. Upload the desired photo or take one with your cellphone camera
  4. Input your email address to which you want us to send the photos

You can also choose a shipping option and provide mailing details if you want to get physical copies too

Our app can’t recognize your face on the photo you uploaded? No worries—you will have an option to start a new scan by providing another image.

If you opt for the electronic version only, we’ll forward it to the email address provided right away! Should you choose to get physical pictures to your mailing address, they will reach you within three to ten working days!

Check Out Our City-Specific Passport Photo Guides

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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