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UK Passport Photo Rules and Photo Size

United Kingdom rules for passport photos are specific on size, format, and quality. This section explains passport photo rules for a visa or for a driving licence.

UK PASSPORT PHOTO: Any time you make a passport application you will need two (2) identical photos.

This rule applies even if there is no change in your facial appearance.

That means you will need to get a new photo each time you apply for a new passport.

It can delay the application if the photos fail to meet the UK passport rules.

Note: Extra help and free passport services for disabled people are available (e.g. deaf or blind persons).

UK Passport Photo Size

The exact size of your passport photos is very important. All photographs must:

  • Be a 35mm x 45mm passport photo. Thus, 35mm is the width and 45 millimetres is the height. It is the standard size used in most photo booths around the United Kingdom.
  • Not be a smaller ‘cut down‘ version of any larger picture.

Note: You can use a passport photo booth outside of the United Kingdom. But, it is wise to check it gives photographs measuring 35 mm wide by 45 mm high.

Passport Photo Quality Check

The quality of your passport photos is also very important. All photographs must be:

  • Printed off to a professional standard.
  • Taken within the last 30 days (one month).
  • Colour and on plain white photographic paper (without a border).
  • Taken using a plain cream or light grey as a background colour.
  • Clear and in focus.
  • Undamaged without any tears or paper creases.
  • Unmarked on both sides (except for those needing a countersignature).
  • Neither altered nor enhanced by computer software.

What Passport Photos Need to Show

United Kingdom passport photos rules are specific about what needs to show. Thus, each facial photograph must be:

  1. A close-up shot of a full head and upper shoulders.
  2. In clear contrast to the plain cream or light grey background.
  3. A picture containing no other objects or any other people.

When you get a photo for a passport application you must:

  • Face forward and look direct into the camera lens.
  • Have your mouth closed and have a neutral expression on your face.
  • Have your eyes open. If you wear spectacles the picture must be free from any glare or reflection.
  • Not have any hair dangling in front of your eyes (or obscuring them).
  • Not wear a head covering (an exception applies if it for medical or religious reasons).
  • Not have anything covering your face.
  • Not have shadows over your face or behind you.
  • Not have any photographic ‘red eye‘ issues.

Note: Rules for passport photos do not allow wearing sunglasses or tinted spectacles. But, you may wear reading glasses in a passport photo UK. If so, your eyes must show fully through clear lenses and without any glare or reflections.

British Passport Photo Image Size

An image of your face runs from the crown of your head to your chin. The image size for passport photos must measure between 29mm and 34mm high.

Dos and Don’ts on Passport Pics

  • Do: Look straight into the camera (not facing away to one side).
  • Do: Have a neutral facial expression instead.
  • Do Not: Wear a fashion hair covering (hat or cap).
  • Do Not: Wear a facial covering (some exceptions apply).
  • Do Not: Allow hair to cover the face.
  • Do Not: Allow glare from glasses.
  • Do Not: Smile in the picture.

Sending Passport Photos by Post

There are some general rules for posting passport photographs with an application. If you use postal methods the photos must be:

  1. Sent loose and not stuck or stapled as an attachment to the application form.
  2. In single format and already separated from each other.

Passport Photo for Baby UK (and child)

  • Children must be by themselves (one person in the picture).
  • Babies cannot use dummies or be holding toys.
  • Special rules apply to children under 6 years old:
    • They do not need to look directly at the camera.
    • They do not need to have a neutral expression.
  • Infants who are under one year old:
    • Do not need to have their eyes open. You can use your hand to support their head. But, you must make sure your hand is not visible in baby passports photographs.

Passport Photo Rules in the United Kingdom