Jewelry in Passport Photo 2023 for US: Facial Piercings, Nose Rings, Necklaces
July 11, 2023
4 min. read
The booked trip, filled-in application, passport office – in this order or any other, you can’t get a new US passport without a perfect biometric passport photo.
As passport photo experts, we know the authorities would like to see visible faces clearly in the picture. If you take off your jewelry and piercings flat-out, it’ll remove the concern altogether.
Even though it’s all about identification, you still want to be the real YOU in a decade-lasting photo for a US passport. And the question is – how strict are the regulations in 2023?
Let’s dive in!
The official website of the U.S. Department of State explains in the Passport Photo Tips Section that your jewelry and facial piercings are ok to be worn as long as they do not cover your face. They’ll tell you the same at the pharmacy when you take, say, a Rite Aid passport photo or at a private photo studio.
That’s about all we’ve got to follow. Easy, ain’t it? Well, there might be a few more uncertainties along the road. Let’s look at it practically!
There are a few no-gos to consider. When preparing for your suitable passport photo, take special care in choosing your accessories. Since they may refract or reflect the camera light. And you’ll end up with white bright spots in a picture. It may leave you with a rejected passport photo indeed. Make sure your rings, clickers, nostril screws, septum retainers, necklaces, you name it, are not strongly reflective.
On the other hand, too big objects may obscure your face or cause shadows, thus making it partially visible. And we don’t want that either.
What to avoid in particular?
Bulky, dangly, ornamental jewelry is a big no. Pompous, outstanding, or too shiny personal decorative accessories aren’t your best idea.
Pro tip: You may prefer to wear earrings that are small to medium. For example, simple and small rings, silver, gold, metal or pearl studs, or small hoops. Not overly big pieces.
The official passport photo guide for the US allows facial piercings such as nose studs, lip rings, and eyebrow piercings. However, your face is to be of prime focus, not your accessories according to the guidelines. By wearing your ornaments, you should not contradict any other USA passport photo rules.
Pro tip: Stick to the rule of thumb – if your piercing obscures the line of your cheekbones, ears, eyes, chin, nose, or mouth, you should think of removing it in order to get your US passport no problem at all.
Feel free to wear your favorite casual smaller necklace when you’re getting your passport pictures taken. Again, remember it should not reflect the camera flash or be too large.
Pro tip: If you have any doubt about whether the chain or pendant is suitable for your own passport photo, tuck it under your shirt or blouse during the session. If impossible to do so, just let this one go and take off your necklace for a few seconds.
There are a few occasions when you need good planning in advance. For example, you’d better schedule your facial treatments and piercings after your headshot.
What to do if you completely forgot about your passport photo shoot?
We’re all humans, can’t beat it – we forget. Had your piercing done and are afraid to take it out for your passport photo? The hole might close up or get infected. Or do you have trouble taking the piercing out? These are options you can try.
Decide if you can submit the passport application later and postpone the passport photo session. Make the necessary arrangements. It’s extremely easy if you use an app or a specialized website to take your pic, like a passport photo online tool. No appointment, no hurry. It’ll be compliant too.
Pro tip: If the timing is not right, and you’re pressed for time, consult the experienced passport photo service you trust whether your facial piercing may come out compliant with your official document. Some services will redo the photo for free if it isn’t accepted by the officials.
TLDR: Valid, good passport photos are achievable as long as you follow a few simple recommendations. Passport picture jewelry and piercings are generally allowed, unless they produce reflection, shadows, or hide outlines of your face. And it’s a no-brainer – if you take the accessories off, it’s a plus. But it is totally up to you, of course.
Can you have piercings in a passport photo?
Sure, you can. At the same time, wearing them should not breach any other regulations. Be confident your photo meets all the passport photo rules.
Can you wear a necklace in a passport photo?
Absolutely. Make sure it’s small and doesn’t draw attention or reflect light.
Is jewelry allowed in passport photos?
It is indeed. To be on the safe side, read the actionable tips above to be well versed and have everything under control.