Can I Wear Glasses In My Passport Photo? Get Full Update

September 23, 2022

2 min read


passport photo with glasses

Getting ready for a new passport photo? You arrived at the right place to get the insightful info and take your perfect biometric passport picture at your first shot.

If you’re an owner of a sexy pair of glasses, you probably have a current passport wearing them. Up till 2016, US citizens were allowed to have glasses in passport photos. What are the rules today?

Let’s get deeper.

In Focus

Passport photo glasses or not?

The short answer is “not”. According to the passport service guide of the U.S. Department of State, you have to take your glasses off for a photo of a US passport. And as passport photo experts, we know it’s for a good reason – fewer passport application delays and rejections.

The downside of having glasses on is a big percentage of rejected passport applications. The objective reasons were the face of the applicant wasn’t recognizable or fully visible in a passport photo with glasses. Or the camera flash will make the snapshot partially blurred. For example, eyes.

So, yes, you have to take your nice pair of glasses off to get a passport picture done. But not to worry, it won’t take you long. By the way, it’ll be no discomfort at all if you take your pic with a passport photo tool at home in seconds. You can easily find one on the web.

Passport photo with glasses or contact lens?

There are no restricting rules for wearing lenses. That said, you must not breach any other recommendations of the US passport photo rules.

For example, the lenses must not reflect the camera light and cause white spots in passport photos. This is definitely a thing and you need to look out for that. Make sure your passport photo service has no-limit attempts, is AI-backed and supervised by visual experts for your peace of mind. This way, you can get a quality passport photo.

Sorted!? Not just yet. What about urgent circumstances?

Are passport photo glasses allowed after eye surgery?

In extraordinary cases, when a person has undergone eye medical procedures or cannot take glasses off for a photo session for medical reasons, wearing glasses is allowed in passport photos. In these rare circumstances, a person should provide a signed doctor’s statement. The same is applicable to minors.

When government officials examine a passport application, they take into consideration the documents attached concerning the necessity of wearing glasses for a passport picture.

Can you wear colored contacts in passport photos?

We understand you’re willing to be truly yourself in your photo and wear colored contacts if you’re accustomed to them. You might want to wear them all the time, during traveling and flying.

However, we would recommend not to compromise here. It’s all about identification for passport office workers when you’re applying for your U.S. passport and for customs officers when you’re traveling. Moreover, you should also be easily recognized by the Facial Recognition Software in the airports. They all need to identify you as quickly and as easily as possible.

Summing up

TLDR: There is a set of criteria one should follow in order to get a valid passport photo: rules for hair, jewelry, what to wear for a passport photo, etc. The glasses are not allowed to be worn in passport photos. Rare cases do take place for documented medical reasons. To be on the safe side, get a gist of all the essential information and follow the U.S. passport photo guidelines that advise you to take off your glasses in a passport photo.


Why can’t you wear glasses in a passport photo?

The glare from the glasses can cause a bad-quality image. That could result in rejection when you submit your passport application.

Can you wear prescription glasses in passport photos?

Style glasses, prescription glasses, tinted or sunglasses are not allowed and can not be accepted.

Passport picture with glasses

In special circumstances, one can wear glasses, if you cannot take them off for a passport photo shoot and you have a signed statement from an eye doctor.

Passport photos glasses on or off

You should not have your glasses in a passport pic. Just take them off for a few seconds.

Do you wear glasses for passport photos?

As of 2016, US citizens are not allowed to wear glasses in a new passport photo, including non-prescription and prescription glasses, sunnies, or tinted glasses.