One of the most important aspects of getting a passport is making sure the photo for the document meets all the necessary requirements. That way, you won’t have any headaches when it comes to meeting the requirements for the picture. Plus, you’ll look great in your passport pictures and anytime someone wants to see it you’ll be proud to show them!

Without further ado, here are all the mandatory requirements that will make sure your passport photo is up to par.

The Passport Photo Must Be Recent

Most people know that your passport photo can’t be too old and needs to be taken recently, though some are still confused about the exact timing.

Your passport photo in the US must be no older than six months. This is to make sure that your face, including hair, is as recent and up to date as possible.

You Must Directly Face the Camera

Every US passport photo must have you facing the camera directly, looking into the camera. This angle will allow the passport photo to have the clearest view of your face.

Any passport photo taken at too far of an angle, such as tipping your head too far down or too far to the side, will be invalidated if it obscures your mouth, nose, both ears, eyes and other important facial features.


The Passport Photo Must Measure 2×2’’

Everyone knows that passport photos have to be small, but they have to meet precise measurements in order to fit the passport properly.

When cropping your passport photo online or elsewhere, make sure it is precisely 2 inches by 2 inches. If it is off by even a centimeter, you risk having your US passport photo be completely invalid.

The Passport Photo Must have a White Background

US Passport photos can’t be taken in just about any location. Or better said, you can take a US passport photo anywhere, but it cannot depict any kind of scenery whatsoever behind you. This includes bedrooms, outdoor scenes or coffee shops.

The traditional way to take a passport photo is to have a white screen behind you indoors as the photo is taken. However, most people do not have access to this kind of equipment that’s typically only owned by professional photographers. That’s why taking US passport photos online is becoming a growing trend.

AiPassportPhotos is a great way to take the perfect US passport photo, including having the right colored background. The AI facial detection technology can easily isolate your face from the background and replace it with a perfect white background instead. This makes taking proper US passport photos easier than any other method.

AI Passport Photos also allows you to crop your photo to the perfect 2×2’’ measurements, and you won’t have to worry about the size of the picture either.


Your Head Must Vertically Measure at least 1 inch

Sometimes people are confused about how much space their face must take up in the US Passport Photo. Just like with the measurements of the photo itself, your head must also meet specific criteria.

Your face must be no smaller than 1 inch vertically and no larger than 1 & 3/8 inches vertically. This allows your face to be clearly visible when displayed on the 2×2’’ passport photo.

Special Exceptions to US Passport Photos

Under very specific circumstances, you are allowed to have extra features in your US Passport photo.

If you must wear a scarf or any kind of headwear due to religious reasons, you are allowed to do so for your US passport photo. However, these items must still not obscure any important facial features, especially the mouth, ears, eyes and nose.

Any items equipped onto the face for medical reasons can also be included. For example, an eyepatch or special eyewear that was prescribed by a doctor, whether it be temporary or permanent, is also allowed to be included in the US passport photo.

As for headgear that’s related to military or tribal reasons that are not explicitly tied to any religious observations, they are not allowed and must be removed for all US passport photos.


Getting a US passport is easy if you follow all of the requirements. Just be sure that you have passport photos that meet the 2” x 2” photo size requirements with approximately 1” of your face in the picture vertically.

Good luck getting your US passport and have a safe trip abroad!