Can I Wear Colored Contacts in My Passport Photo?

June 20, 2024

2 min. read


can i wear colored contacts for passport photo

If colored contacts are your element, you might have spent some time getting a prescription with an optometrist or optician and finding the right supplier and shipping. You enjoy every bit of it and will not spend a couple of days without wearing colored lenses. With all this effort put into a thing, the question strikes: Can I wear colored contacts in my passport photo? In this short article, we’ll answer your question and get to the bottom of it.

In Focus

Can I wear colored contacts in my passport photo?

First, let’s learn everything we need to know about passport photos and eyes, and colored contacts are to follow. The general rule is that nothing can hide your face visibility or cover your eyes.

Piercing, heavy jewelry, curtain fringe, or curly hair that can obstruct your eyes in a photo are forbidden. For the same reason, glasses stopped being acceptable in a visa or passport photo back in 2016. No sunglasses or tinted glasses. You can only wear prescription ones for medical reasons if you can’t take them off for a picture. With such a straightforward recommendation, what does it leave us to do with colored contacts in a passport photo?

Colored contacts in passport photos: allowed or not?

The official website of the US State Department does not particularly explain the usage of colored contacts in passport photos, however, there are other passport photo rules that can’t be breached by wearing them. For example, eye lenses or colored contacts in a passport photo might produce a glare or red-eye effect. Such poorly visible pictures can be rejected by the passport office or result in a delay in your passport application. And it’s not the best way to go if you plan your trip and look forward to jumping on a plane and embracing the world or a friend next month.

Now, let’s look at it at a high level. Even if you have no glare or reflection, it’s not a yes to colored contacts in passport photos. You can’t wear blue-colored contacts in a passport photo if your beautiful natural eye color is brown. It is an alteration of your appearance, which is forbidden by the official passport photo guidelines. Sorry to say, colored contacts aficionados, but we have to take the colored contacts off for a passport picture.

Not to worry. As passport photo experts, we take close care not only in adhering to the official recommendations (which is our ultimate goal), but we also share actionable tips, so you can be proud of passport photos with or without colored contacts.

To get a passport photo you’ll love for the next ten years, use our insightful tips. Our service gives limitless attempts anywhere and anytime for a baby passport photo and that of a grownup (try here). Our blog gives you a few ideas on the beautifiers to spice up your look, the ones to avoid, and how to make the most of your hair, makeup kit, and accessories for your passport photo without colored contacts.

Can I wear colored contacts in my passport picture at the airport?

can you wear colored contacts for passport photos

Though you hopefully decide to keep off from wearing colored contacts in passport photos, you might fancy wearing them in the airport during your travel. And why not? What can happen at security checkpoints and the border protection line? Will it all end up with check-ups in the back room with security officers?

In most airports of the world and the US, the airport facial recognition system is constantly on the lookout for mismatches between travelers’ real-life biometrics and their identification document photo. If the software cannot fulfill the task, the customs officers will take a closer look. Generally, the nose, eyes, and mouth line are the most important matching-your-passport-photo matter. If you have deep green eyes in your passport photo, and you are wearing dark brown colored lenses to finish your look, that might raise some concerns.

Still, your cool colored contacts are unlikely to cause an issue if all the rest of your biometrics are in place. What’s more, as our recommendation for colored contacts followers, be prepared to take your colored contacts off for passport photo and identification control at the airport.

Can you wear colored contacts for passport photo: more options?

can you wear colored contacts for passport phot

Some people will prefer wearing colored or tinted lenses, not in a passport photo, but at the airport to help them manage the airport lights. Some of us stabilize our vision together with a changed eye color effect. For example, people with astigmatism enjoy wearing colored contacts too. In this case, it is a good supplement to take eye drops for eye dryness and a disinfectant to help you take the contacts off if needed during the trip.


We understand you’re willing to be truly yourself and wear colored contacts in a passport photo. You’re used to them, and they compliment your look. You might want to wear them on a daily basis, during traveling and flying.

However, we don’t recommend compromising here. It’s all about identification for passport office workers when you’re applying for your US passport and customs officers when you’re traveling. Moreover, you should also be recognized by the facial recognition software in airports. They all need to identify you as quickly and as easily as possible. Compliant passport photography and a safe journey!