HM Passport Office issues up-to-date requirements and regulations – both for digital shots and paper printouts.
As for general UK passport specifications, your photo has to be taken within the last month, i. e. your appearance in it should be as actual as possible. Also, if you’re struggling when taking a headshot by yourself, ask a family member or friend to be your photographer. For the backdrop, use a uniform light-coloured background.
The other (more specific) guidelines and specs for both digital passport photos and their printouts specify major principles of acceptance/denial. These specifications cover digital photo resolution and focus, correct size, right clothing (including that worn for religious or medical reasons), prescription glasses, earrings and other jewellery, hair, beard, lighting, neutral expression, and no tinted glasses.
See the details above and use our free online UK photo checker to confirm your picture against UK passport requirements. In case of doubts, use our free photo maker to submit a picture that meets all the photo guidelines for a British passport application.
Although it’s way harder to take a good snapshot of your little one, the official rules for such a UK passport photo happen to be generally less strict. After all, you can’t tell the young British citizen to hold still and keep calm, right? So, the strict rules effective for adults do not apply to infants and their shots to the same extent.
For example, your girl or boy may smile or open their mouth a bit (not too much though). Also, if he or she is under six, it is not necessary to look straight at the camera or keep a strictly neutral expression. But still, no matter the age, holding toys or dummies is not allowed, and there shouldn’t be any other objects in the picture.
In addition to that, the baby passport photo requirements clearly state that parents can’t be present in the photo as well.
As for applicants less than 12 months old, the requirements are even less stringent for them. While all the rules mentioned in the paragraph above still apply, there are some differences. For one, they can have their eyes closed.
There’s also this life hack on the official government website: lay your little one on a light grey or cream bed sheet (to use as your makeshift background) and take a digital photo from above. You can support his or her head with your hand as long as it isn’t visible in the frame.
The dimensions for printed photos are very precise: they must be 4.5 cm high and 3.5 cm wide (in line with the requirements). If we measure this in inches, the equivalent dimensions will be 1.375 x 1.75 in.
These specifications are some of the most common ones, as they apply in many states around the world (both for passports and other identity papers). For instance, if you’re off on a business trip to Europe, you can also use a photo of these dimensions for your visa and/or other supporting documents in most cases. As we make 35×45 mm shots exactly, PhotoBooth Online can be your all-in-one cropping tool that’s both time- and cost-effective. Pretty convenient, right?
If you don’t feel like submitting in person, choose the online application service: in this case, the aspect ratio of the file you upload will remain the same. According to the universal standards, the proportions will still be 35×45 in millimetres (which equals 3.5 by 4.5 in centimetres and 1.375 by 1.75 inches).
If we go into technical details, the resolution of your digital passport photo should be at least 750 by 600 (the height and width measured in pixels, not cm or mm). The reason for this requirement is that your picture must not be too blurry or pixelated–after all, you need to be easily identifiable in your official shot (that’s the whole point, isn’t it). There is no specified maximum dimension in pixels, but it obviously should be within reason, as the image cannot take up more than 10MB of space, with 50KB being the minimum.
It’s easy to change a larger JPEG to the proper proportions for a British passport online. So, instead of spending lots of time and money on a visit to the nearest photo shop, we suggest you try the following (the entire process is super-easy):
When you obtain your photo, it should be submitted. In case you want to proceed without leaving home, apply immediately at the UK passport online submission page, following the easy step-by-step process. This is the most efficient way in terms of time and money. Plus, they will have your photo checked against the applicable standards beforehand to see if it’s all okay.
If you don’t want to send in your digital passport photo through the online application page, you can do it in person by mail. Simply take the photo to the nearest post office to submit it to the government and use it for your new British travel document.
This can pose quite a challenge, since most photo booths (and, frankly speaking, some stores) do not verify your photo once it’s taken. Instead, they leave it to you to check if you have a plain light-coloured background, keep a neutral facial expression and keep your mouth closed (and eyes open) in your brand-new passport photo.
Not too great service, isn’t it? Thankfully, there are some options that make the verification much easier: