Whether Passport Photos Glossy Or Matte Is for You to Decide

January 5, 2024

2 min. read


should passport photos be glossy or matte

When it comes to printing photos for a travel photo book or for decorating your high-tech lounge, you’ll be confident to choose the matte or glossy photo paper that suits your personal style. What’s the deal with passport photos on glossy or matte paper for your passport application?

For instance, you go to Costco for your passport picture. Should you get a Costco passport photo printed on matte or glossy paper? Is it a matter of taste, or there’s more to it?

Passport photos matte or glossy

If you apply online, there’s no trouble, as it is all done digitally through the State Department website. You can just take a passport pic, be considerate by following all the rules for your new passport high-resolution photo, and not worry about matte or glossy photo quality paper. If you’re applying for a new document by post or through booking an appointment, you need to select the right variant of photo paper for your passport photo.

Here, we always rely on government standards. The U.S. State Department site prescribes the use of matte and glossy paper for passport photos. That’s all there is. Despite all the hoopla about the high-quality photo paper and its glossy and matte texture for a passport photo, we can choose the one that is available at hand.

Glossy or matte for passport photos

The process of document photo-taking might be an uphill climb. You’ll have to take sides. For example, you’ll be asked to pick the photo paper for your passport pictures by a private photographer. Or at the store, if you’re going to buy the photo paper to print passport photos by yourself. Let’s take the guesswork out of here, and see if there is any substantial difference in passport photos if glossy or matte.

Does it matter if passport photos are in matte or glossy paper?

passport photos matte or glossy

Apart from photo glossy paper being a matter of taste for each individual, the glossy paper for your passport picture gives you that saturated enhanced color that looks vibrant compared to the pictures printed on matte paper. If you’re going to reapply your pictures to some other documents, you might want to go for that passport photo glossy style. It’s nice and sweet.

Pro tip: Look after your glossy passport photo while it is traveling to meet the authorities’ validating process. Unlike the rest of the photo-quality paper types, this one is a bit “high maintenance”. Avoid scratches, fingertips, smudges, and the like, since they can cause an issue. Such a damaged glossy passport photo can be rejected by the officials.

It also won’t hurt if your choice is the right opposite of passport photo glossy paper. The matte paper is more durable and streamlines muted colors for your passport image. Some photo connoisseurs tend to think that matte paper gives that exquisite look to the photo. It’s not that it matters much for passport photography.

What does matter is matte paper can give out an additional grainy effect compared to a passport photo glossy variant. It may happen when your passport image comprises fewer pixels than required. And we don’t want that either.

Pro tip: Be confident your passport photo accommodates the six hundred by six hundred dimensions in pixels at its minimum.

The reason these two, passport glossy photos and matte photos, are competitors is only because the glossy photos are lucky to have an extra smooth finish layer, that makes them so shiny and reflective.


Take it or leave it, any paper: matte and glossy for a passport photo is your right choice. There is no need to stress out and rush through the stores in search of glossy photo paper for your passport photo, or matte. To prepare a valid passport photo for your passport application as smoothly as possible, learn how to take a passport photo at home, use PhotoBooth Online, and print a passport photo at any store as a glossy or matte variant.


Are passport photos glossy or matte?

Passport pictures can be both glossy or matte photos. If you apply online, you do not need to have them on paper.

Should US passport photos be glossy or matte?

The US passport photos should be glossy or matte. Remember to follow other criteria for passport photographs, like plain background and correct size. Moreover, it should be a high resolution photo to submit your passport application without a hitch.

Should passport photos be glossy or matte?

It’s totally up to you to decide on the sort of photo. Both variants are legitimate.

Do passport photos need to be matte or glossy?

These are the most common and the only variants of photo quality paper you can use for your passport photo.