Find Out What Happens if a Passport Photo Is Rejected

Create Passport Photos Find Out What Happens if a Passport Photo Is Rejected

What Happens if Your Passport Photo Is Rejected—Question Answered

Even though you may think that you rocked that passport photo you have just made, it could get rejected for a number of reasons. This problem may cause a significant delay during your passport application and bring about further issues.

We will explain what happens if your passport photo is rejected, list possible reasons for this issue, and help you get a flawless shot online!

The Basic Passport Photo Requirements in a Nutshell

Each U.S. passport photo must match certain criteria for the U.S. Department of State to accept it. This institution has determined the essential rules you must abide by when getting a picture for your passport.


Regardless of whether you are taking a digital photo or visiting a photographer, your passport picture must:

  • Be taken within the past six months
  • Have a specific size—2 x 2 inches (51 mm x 51 mm)
  • Be printed on matte or glossy paper
  • Get stapled at the specific place on the application
  • Remain damage-free and clear
  • Be taken in front of a white background without patterns or other colors

Why Can My Passport Photo Get Rejected?

The passport photo guidelines established by the U.S. Department of State are strict. This means you must follow all of them if you want to create an acceptable photo that won’t get rejected.

Find the lists of most common problems causing the rejection of submitted photos in the table below:

Issue Details
Photo quality errors
  • Filters
  • Shadows
  • Bad lighting
  • Overexposure
  • Underexposure
  • Bad paper quality
  • Wrong size of the photo
  • Wrong size of your face in the picture
Face position and expression problems
  • Frowning
  • Wide smile
  • Blinking or smirking
  • Overly emotive expression
Unacceptable clothes and accessories
  • Eyewear, including:
    • Prescription glasses
    • Sunglasses
    • Tinted glasses
    • Lenses that can change the appearance of your pupils
  • Hats
  • Head coverings (unless they are a part of religious clothes)
  • Huge or reflective jewelry
  • Piercings that can hide parts of your face
  • Uniforms
  • Camouflage print
  • High collars

What if My Passport Photo Is Rejected?

You will know if your passport picture gets denied soon after submitting it along with the other necessary documents. The agency will inform you that they have faced an issue while processing your application and disclose the reason for rejecting your photo.

Once you receive a letter from them, you must resubmit the photo according to the instructions given to avoid further complications during the process. Your application will probably remain on hold until you send the appropriate picture.

Here’s what the procedure looks like:

  1. Create a new photo that will match all the requirements
  2. Include any other supporting documentation if necessary
  3. Send it to the institution within 90 days from receiving their letter

If you have any doubts about the instructions you got, you can always contact the agency via email or phone and get all your questions answered.

How Can DoNotPay Help Me Obtain a Proper Passport Picture?

DoNotPay offers a fast and affordable solution for getting an impeccable passport photo that complies with all requirements. Skip expensive photo services and avoid taking risks with unchecked pictures made at home—rely on our app and solve the matter quickly and easily!

Provide us with a photo you made, and we will make all necessary corrections, including cropping, adjusting the size and background of the picture, or fixing the contrast.

Here are the steps you must follow to use our app:

  1. Access DoNotPay and navigate to the Passport Photos feature
  2. Attach a photo or snap one with your phone
  3. Let us scan your picture and adapt it to the proposed requirements
  4. Provide your email address to receive electronic copies of your photo

You can also submit your shipping details if you want us to send physical copies your way!

Depending on the mailing option you choose, you can receive the pictures:

  • Right away—if you select the email option only
  • In three to ten business days—if you want to receive pictures by mail

You will also be able to express concerns or ask questions once you submit the necessary information.

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

San Diego Sacramento Boston Albuquerque Raleigh
Houston Atlanta Phoenix San Francisco Denver
Cincinnati Rochester Los Angeles Columbus Scottsdale
Honolulu Minneapolis Chicago Tallahassee Kansas City
New York City Portland Philadelphia Austin Rockville
Seattle Charleston San Jose San Antonio Charlotte
Herndon Colville Indianapolis Las Vegas Brooklyn

Discover More About Passport Photos in Our Learning Center

If you want to get some practical tips for obtaining proper passport pictures, check out DoNotPay and find all the info you need in one place—our vast learning base!

Below is the table showing some super handy guides that will make your life easier and simplify your passport application process:

Common Questions

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