How To Cut Passport Photos: UK Guide

picture of scissors and other stationery to cut passport photo

When applying for official documents, you should be as attentive as ever. There’s no room for mistakes: it’s not uncommon to face rejection because of a small detail (say, your application may be invalidated by a minor misspelling). Even the little things matter, and it’s okay if you obsess over them a bit when getting your British passport.

Take ID photos, for example—if you’re up to applying offline, you should submit two of these. Suppose you’ve got yourself a printout with two photos in it. How should you cut picture to passport size correctly (that is, without getting your application rejected)?

Table of Contents

Do I Even Need to Cut Passport Photos in the UK?

Without any doubt, you do. The government website clearly states that, if you’re applying offline, His Majesty’s Passport Office will only take two pictures which must be separated from each other.

‘Why so?’, you may wonder. Is it so hard for HMPO employees to cut passport photo for you? They surely have special cutters to do that in seconds!

They do have these but it doesn’t mean we can send them whatever piece of photo paper we want. HMPO processes thousands of pictures, and by carefully cutting out each photo you make their important work a little bit easier.

How to Cut Passport Photos With Scissors

Although this task seems easy, there’s plenty of room to make a mistake. For instance, you might pick too-thin paper for your printout, use the wrong type of scissors, accidentally cut the photo itself, etc. To avoid any potential trouble, follow these easy step-by-step instructions on how to cut passport-size photo:

  • Step 1. Print out a template with at least two photos for your British passport. It can come from either a photo booth, photographic services studio or your own printer as long as the image is reproduced on photo paper.
  • Step 2. Take a pair of scissors. Needless to say, they should be straight, sharp and big enough. If you try to use small and/or blunt scissors, the cutting line will end up jagged and tattered.
  • Step 3. Carefully cut each passport photo out, one by one. You can cut right at the edge of each headshot as long as the resulting size is 35×45 mm. However, it might be safer to leave a border of up to 5 mm so that you don’t damage the photo if scissors go the wrong way (HMPO remove the border if they need to).

That’s it, now you’re off to attach the cutouts to your application form!

Get Cuttable Template With Photos For British Passport

In case you were wondering how to make a printable pattern (like the one below), we can help you with that, too.

template to cut passport photo from

You don’t even need to leave home, as you’ve already got a passport photo service at hand. Just upload your image and get a correctly cropped printable template back in seconds and for free! Then make a printout using our instructions on how to print a passport-size photo.

Once you’ve figured it all out and made a proper printout, proceed to cut passport photo as per our instructions and you’ll be ready for submission!