How to Scan Passport Photo? The New Way or in a Scanner

December 20, 2023

3 min. read


scan passport photo

There might be a few reasons why you urgently need to scan your passport photo. The cases vary from requiring a photo for your visa to converting your hard copy into a digital format for passport offices.

In this article, you’ll learn all the variants at your fingertips on how to scan a passport photo and do it effectively.

In Focus

Scan passport photo

Scanning a passport photo is more difficult than digitalizing your official documents since a few factors come into play, like dimension, ratio, color saturation, and even reflection. All of them contribute to the quality when you scan a passport photo. It has to be up to the standards of the authority you’re sending it to.

You also need to keep in mind that the U.S. Department of State advises not to scan printed photos or take a photo of an existing picture.

And it’s not a problem to get printed passport photos and submit them confidently. You can obtain a UPS store passport photo, for instance, or get it at a pharmacy, take a digital picture online and print it anywhere you like. This way, you’re sure the requirements are met and there won’t be an unpleasant surprise or delay with your paperwork.

Scan for digital passport photo

You should also remember that a photo for your passport must be recent and be taken within the last 6 months. That means whatever photo you need to scan for a digital passport photo version, it has to be not older than 180 days.

There is a general list of official requirements to adhere to when taking a suitable photo for a passport. A hard copy must comply with the rules for correct dimensions, plain background, no head coverings except for religious purposes or medical circumstances, neutral expression, head straight, no digital alteration, and no eyeglasses. A soft copy must be of high resolution and in the color of 24 bits per pixel in sRGB color space, alongside other specific dimensions.

Scan passport photos: specifics

We can’t miss out on the situation when you need to scan your passport photo rolling up your sleeves. What to do then? You can go a few ways. Choose the one that mostly fits the resources at your disposal.

Can you scan a passport photo for online application?

It’s not the best option to scan a photo for your online passport application. You can verify your scanned passport photo using our services. Here, you have to use high-resolution devices and take much care. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee, the result will hit 100% compliance.

What you can do is ask for a JPEG digital copy from passport photo services you got a pic from, that is from one of the retail stores, post offices, or pharmacies. If it’s unattainable, get an advantage of our website to take a new soft copy of your headshot.

How to scan a passport photo to computer as 600 pixels?

To do so, make sure your scanner has a clear glass surface, apply DPI to 600 dots per inch, scan your passport picture at the original size, set a 1:1 ratio, and check the preview. If the result is acceptable, proceed with a cropping tool as mentioned in the article. You can always omit these steps. Use our website and not scan a passport photo, but get a new valid picture.

How to scan passport size photo in scanner?

If you have a scanner, make sure it’s wired or wi-fi-connected to your computer or phone. You might need to download a special program like Windows Fax or Scan if you don’t have a built-in app on your device. To avoid any white or blurry spots when you scan a passport photo, make sure the glass is spick and span and won’t cause any marks on a digital photo.

Now, there are a few techy settings to apply to your scanner. That is the required resolution, which is 600 dots per inch (DPI) or more. The square aspect ratio is 1:1 in width and height.

Pro tip: Once you scan a passport picture, double-check the quality and the colors to be acceptable and save it to your device, preferably in JPEG file format, not a PNG file. Your passport photo must also comprise between 54 kilobytes and 10 megabytes. If in doubt, check the image properties. Do not compress the file for text messaging, sending by email, or cloud-saving.

The last manipulation to finish scanning your passport photo is to crop it to the standard size required by the U.S. Department of State. The American passport photo is a square and measures 2 x 2 inches or 51 mm x 51 mm. You’ll achieve this exact measurement by leveraging one of the apps you are used to, such as Paint, Paint 3D, etc. You need to start the program, open your passport photo to scan, and select the re-size mode. Remember, you don’t need a pixel mode, but one for inches or centimeters to feed in the right numbers.

Alternatively, use our PhotoBooth Online for the same purpose: it crops the scanned passport picture into the right size and fulfill all the work automatically without your engagement.

Scan passport photo from your document

scan passport photos

You might require to scan a photo from your passport directly. Let’s figure out how to digitalize your passport photo with a phone. Follow the instructions:

  1. Open your passport on the photo page and smooth it out.
  2. Make sure no shadow or reflection spoils the image. Scan the passport photo in a well-lit room, facing the light.
  3. Position the phone camera right above the photo in landscape mode, and tune by fitting the phone screen for the machine-readable zone, so that all four edges are in place.
  4. For some cameras, more time is necessary to process the shot – give a few seconds after the shot is complete to save the scanned passport photo to your memory card.
  5. As with a scanner, the same cropping procedure applies to scanning a passport photo with a mobile.

Scan passport picture: quick solution

how to scan passport size photo in scanner

To get your own passport photo, all you need is to upload a pic you have on your device to our website PhotoBooth Online or take a new one using your camera. It’s a free easy way how to scan passport photos without a hitch.  We promise, using it is as easy as taking a selfie. You get advanced artificial intelligence to help you on your way. It’ll crop, resize, and verify for all mistakes possible, as it is tuned to the latest passport photo criteria.

Moreover, you’ll get a short list of key recommendations to follow and be 100% sure you meet the rules for the absence of headwear, glasses, excessive jewelry, big smiles, etc. The in-house experts make the final check on the validity of your new photo. These are easy instructions on how to scan a passport photo without looking for a scanner, a Photoshop app, or downloading any software.


Whatever your purpose to scan passport photos is, remember the U.S. Department of State advises taking a recent photo, not digitalizing an old one. In addition to that, you can digitalize other documents as part of your passport application attachments. After scanning passport photos and printing, fill in the relevant passport application form and correctly staple a passport photo with vertical shots.