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Applying for a passport is a lengthy process no matter how you tackle it. With this in mind, knowing what to expect during each step of the way helps you to prepare and keep things moving smoothly. When it comes to obtaining a passport photo the same holds true.

Here, the experts from Peterborough Camera, Copies & More provide a closer look at the passport photography process and how you can prepare.


2016 changed the rules.

If you wear glasses, plan on leaving them behind when taking your passport photo. In 2016 the United States government updated the rules to state that no photo will be taken with glasses. Don’t worry, if your current passport has a photograph with glasses on, you’re fine, just be prepared to remove them when you go in for a renewal. If you require glasses and can not remove them, be sure to have a medical note submitted with your application.

Mind your outfit.

Another no-no when it comes to taking a passport photo falls within the clothing category. Be sure to wear your everyday clothes because no uniforms or anything that resembles a uniform is allowed. Likewise, camouflage patterns are also frowned upon and should be left at home.

Head coverings are another no-go.

Whether it’s a baseball hat or another type of head covering, these are more items that will have to be placed to the side. That is unless you have a signed medical note or religious exemption. According to the U.S. State Department, “You may wear a hat or head covering, but you must submit a signed statement that verifies that the hat or head covering is part of recognized, traditional religious attire that is customarily or required to be worn continuously in public or a signed doctor’s statement verifying the item is used daily for medical purposes.”

Kiddos need passports too!

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to international travel. So if you’re planning to leave the country with a minor, be sure to have a passport with you. However, depending on the age, this photo session can be a bit trickier. For infants, draping a white cloth over a car seat or laying them on their back on a white sheet for the photograph is often the easiest. For toddlers, practicing at home is always recommended! Look straight, eyes open, and smile!

Understand when a change in physical appearance requires passport updating.

Since we’re talking about minors, it’s important to note that you do not need to update a minor’s passport due to natural causes. Instead, significant changes such as facial trauma, surgery, gender transition, or tattoo removal become the focus when discussing ‘when to update your passport photo.’

From first-time passport photos to updates and renewals, the team at Peterborough Camera, Copes & More have you covered! Give us a call to schedule your appointment and be confident that your application process will be kept on track!



Call PCCM at 603-924-7032 to schedule your appointment for a passport photo!