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Where can I get a passport picture?

The right passport picture is essential to making sure that your passport application has the best possible chance of acceptance. If your picture does not meet the stringent criteria, your application will be sent back to you, which will delay the whole process.

So where can you get your photo taken?

Take it yourself

Recently, the passport office has begun accepting photographs taken from smartphones, as a result of camera technology improving to the point that they can provide the level of clarity necessary for proper identification. So you don’t even have to leave the house if you don’t want to, it’s that convenient.

There are a number of different online services to help you with this. One of the best is Paspic, which will quickly and easily guide you through the process of taking the photograph yourself. Once it’s done, you’ll have the ability to order hard copies to send with your application.

Photo booths

Photo booths can be found in a variety of different locations such as on the high street, in shopping centres, in supermarkets, and occasionally in train stations. They offer you simplicity, affordability, and a degree of convenience too. However, you still have to know how to pose properly.

The process is simple, you go inside the booth and follow the on-screen instructions. They’re commonly used for official photos so there’s likely going to be a specific guide to make sure you take the right photo. Once you have taken the photo, they will be printed immediately.

Photography stores

Though they are growing a little harder to find, most towns and cities still have photography stores or studios which will offer a dedicated passport photography service for a fee. The fee may be higher than it costs to take the photo yourself or at a booth, but there are benefits.

The photographer will know the requirements for an acceptable passport photo and will be able to guide you through the session. That means when you collect your photographs you won’t be in any doubt as to whether or not the passport photo is right.

Photo: passport by susi.bsu licensed under Creative commons 2

Who can countersign a British passport application?

Getting someone to countersign a passport photo is an easy process. Someone simply signs their name on the back of your passport photograph to confirm that it is indeed an accurate likeness of you. Not just anyone can sign a passport photo however, and there are conditions the counter-signatory must meet.

Who can sign?

The first piece of criteria your counter-signatory must meet is that they have to have known you for a period of two years. However, they cannot be someone you’re in a relationship with or who lives in your household. Nor can they be someone you’re related to, either by marriage or by birth.

They must be able to identify you properly, and not be someone you just have a passing familiarity with. They must also be someone of a good standing in the community. To qualify for that they must either be retired from, or currently work in, one of several recognised professions. Read more about accepted professions here.

The counter-signatory must also be a UK resident and hold a current British passport.

What the counter-signatory must do

Once you have decided who you’d like to countersign your photo – and they have agreed, and they meet all of the relevant criteria to be an officially recognised counter-signatory – you must have them sign the back of your passport photograph.

To do that, they must write the following phrase on the back of the photo:

“I certify that this is a true likeness of (Title, Forename, Surname)”

They must then provide their signature underneath their declaration and provide the date they signed the photograph on, at which point you’re free to post off your application to the passport office.

It’s important to make sure you thoroughly understand the rules relating to who can and cannot countersign your passport photo. Failure to do so will mean your application will be sent back to you, which will only serve to delay the process.

Please make sure you inform the person counter-signing the photograph that the passport office may contact them to confirm their details and your identity.

Photo: Fountain pen by matsuyuki licensed under Creative commons 2

Can I take a passport photo using my iPhone?

When renewing a passport, passport photos are often the main cause for concern. Between the list of guidelines and having to trail down to a photo booth, it can be a hassle. Double that when it’s a child passport photo. But what if you could scrap all the hassle and take a photo within minutes in your own home? And could it be done using a device everyone has to hand – your iPhone?

The short answer is yes, but there are a few conditions that you’ll need to keep in mind.

Online passport photos are accepted by GOV.uk when applying for a passport, and they even state in their guidelines that digital photos can be accepted from three methods: get someone else to take a photo for you using a device with photo capabilities; go to a photo shop and ask for a digital copy using a code; go to a photo booth that provides digital codes along with the physical copy. Of the three, it’s clear that the first option is not only the quickest but also the easiest.

To make sure you get it right the first time, review the guidelines laid out by GOV.uk. You will require someone else to take the photo from the shoulders up, against a light background, and of clear quality. There will be a chance to adjust the size of your photo during the application process and you will be given a preliminary decision at the point of upload, which is a good indicator that your photo will be approved when your application is reviewed later.

If you are still unsure of whether your photo qualifies or how to take it, Papsic is available to give you peace of mind. Using your phone, Papsic will take you clearly and concisely through each step of the process for quick passport photos and ensure they’re suitable before you even begin your passport application. Simply upload your photos and Papsic will take care of the rest!

Photo: iPhone 6 by edowoo licensed under Creative commons 2

Can I print my own passport photo?

Is it time to renew your passport? If so you’ll already be thinking about getting some decent passport photos done. Photo booths pictures can be grim affairs so taking photos in a more relaxed atmosphere like your own home makes sense. But what rules are there about passport photo sizes? And is it possible to print them out at home?

What passport photos do I need?

You’ll need two identical passport photos for your application. Follow the rules for taking a good passport photo and you’re halfway there. Now you need to print them out at 45mm high x 35mm wide size – you can’t print a bigger picture and cut it down!

Shoot and edit your passport pictures

First, make sure you’re well lit – natural daylight is best – and standing in front of a plain cream or light grey background. Don’t use a flash so you avoid the dreaded red-eye and keep a tight focus on your head and shoulders. Once you’re satisfied with your photo then you can move onto the next step.

If you feel the need to edit your photo, think again. Gov.UK rules state quite clearly that photos should be ‘unaltered by computer software’ so you may run into problems if you give yourself a virtual facelift!

Finally, you need to accurately size your photo so that the distance between your chin and the crown of your head is no less than 29mm and no more than 34mm, and set the photo size to the standard 45mm x 35mm.

Press print

Finally, you need to set your home printer to print your passport pics. Bear in mind that they must be printed to a professional standard on white photo paper – and check that your printer can handle borderless printing as your passport photos must be printed without a border.

‘Professional standard’ can be subjective but obviously you’ll need to invest in some decent photographic paper rather than plain old copy paper!

Now you’ll need to set the printer to print at 100% of screen size and select the highest possible resolution before pressing print.

Picture perfect

If all that sounds like a hassle, it is. Especially when you can simply upload your passport pictures to Paspic where 99.5% of passport pics are approved first time! So why not let us take the fuss out of passport photo printing and get approved first time or your money back?

Can I Wear Glasses in a Passport Photo?

You’ve booked the perfect holiday and now it’s time to make sure your passports are in order. A common question that glasses wearers ask is: am I allowed to wear my glasses in my passport photo? After all, a mistake in your passport photo can lead to a delay in receiving your passport, as well as extra costs that can be incurred, so it is essential to make sure you get your photo just right.

Your passport photo must be taken in front of a light coloured background, with no shadows falling either on your face or on the screen behind you. The photo should only feature you; no other people or objects should be included in the photograph. It is also essential that your passport photograph was taken within the past month so that it accurately represents a true current likeness of you.

It can be tricky to know the rules and regulations for passport photos, but the general rule to abide by for passport photos is that nothing should be obstructing your face or eyes. This means that there should be no hair covering your eyes, you should not be wearing a head covering — unless for religious or medical reasons — and there should be nothing else covering your face.

The rules on the government website aren’t particularly clear when it comes to prescription glasses. The official guidance states that if you wear glasses that you are unable to take off, then your eyes must be fully visible behind the lenses without any reflection or glare obscuring the view of your eyes. However, as passport photographs are often taken in a booth, or — in the case of online passport pictures — are taken at home using a camera with a flash, it can be difficult to reduce the reflection or glare caused by the lenses in prescription glasses. Therefore, where possible, it is advisable to remove your glasses in order to have your passport photo taken.

Although the government guidance does not state that prescription glasses should be removed for passport photographs, due to the hassle and stress that can be caused if the photographs are not accepted, it is advisable to remove prescription glasses — where possible — in order to have your passport photographs taken.

How to get kids’ passports

Mums and dads don’t have the luxury of just having to sort out their own passports before heading abroad. Instead, they’ve got to ensure that their children also have a passport ahead of a family holiday. It’s a little more work, yes – but it’s something that most parents should be able to arrange without too much difficulty in this day and age. With this in mind, here’s how to get kids’ passports.

What’s the process?

The process is pretty much the same as the one required for those applicants aged 16+. You simply have to fill out the official forms and submit two pictures to the passport office. Thankfully, you’ll be able to do the bulk of the heavy lifting without having to get your kids involved.

Who needs one?

Everyone needs a passport if they’re to be permitted to go abroad. A child’s passport will be issued to anyone under the age of 16. Even newborn babies require a passport if they’re to leave the country with their parents.

How long is the passport valid?

Unlike an adult passport that lasts for 10 years, a child’s passport is only valid for five years. This is largely due to how much kids’ facial features can change throughout their childhood and adolescence. Therefore, you may need to go through the process several times before your child reaches 16.

Are there any obstacles?

The only real part of the application that requires effort and energy from your child is the passport photo. Luckily, this can now be done from the comfort of your own home. While mums and dads previously had to queue up with their child outside of a photo booth, the pictures can now be taken with a mobile phone and authorised online before being submitted to the passport office. This has, undoubtedly, removed the biggest obstacle for most parents.

Use Paspic!

The process of applying for a kid’s passport needn’t be a hassle – especially if you use Paspic. Through this service, you’ll have peace of mind that the picture you’re submitting meets all the government guidelines and won’t be rejected.

Photo: stoic by efleming licensed under Creative commons 2

What to write when countersigning a passport photo

An essential step in the passport application process is to find a counter-signatory to sign your passport photo. The idea behind this is simple, the counter-signatory is a person of trustworthy status who has known you for a certain period of time who signs to confirm that you are who you say you are.

The process is simple, but problems can delay your passport application, so it’s best to know exactly who can countersign your passport photo and what they need to write.

For further information, refer to the Gov.uk website.

[h2]Who can countersign[/h2]

The first step is to find someone who is willing, able, and eligible to countersign your passport photograph. There aren’t many rules to this, but there are certain requirements. The person, for example, must not be related to you by birth or marriage, be in a relationship with you or live at the same address as you.

The person must be someone of good standing, be they working or retired, ideally from a recognised profession such as a doctor or school teacher. They must have known the applicant for a period of at least two years, and be able to easily identify the applicant.

[h2]Getting the photo counter-signed[/h2]

Once the person has agreed to countersign your passport photo, it’s simple. All they have to do is write on the back of the photo the following:

“I certify that this is a true likeness of [the applicant’s title and full name].”

With that done all they need to do is provide their signature and the date, and it’s done. The counter-signatory will also have to check through your application and provide their signature, and passport number, to confirm that to the best of their knowledge the information you have given is accurate.

Please also be aware that the passport office may need to contact your counter-signatory in the event they require any more information, so please make sure they’re aware of this. If they go on holiday for example and can’t be reached it will delay your passport application, so ensure they’re available if needs be.

Photo: Writing? Yeah. by crdotx licensed under Creative commons 2

How to apply for a passport for a baby

You’ve booked that dream family holiday and now it’s time to apply for your baby’s first passport. You can either pick up a form from the post office or apply online, but do it in plenty of time as a passport can take 3 weeks to arrive. If you need it in a hurry, use the special fast track service to get a passport in a week.

Who can apply?

Anyone who has parental responsibility can apply for a baby’s passport. You’ll need to give the details for both parents or provide an explanation why you’re applying on your own.

How do I apply?

It’s quite easy to apply for a passport for a baby. Just fill out the form and return it to the passport office with the following documents:

• 2 identical passport sized photos of your baby (45mm x 35mm)
• Your baby’s birth certificate or adoption certificate showing the parent’s details
• Proof that your baby is British – a registration document, or parent’s passports/birth certificates

You’ll also need to send any foreign passports if your baby has them, and any court orders that might apply.

Help, how do I get a passport photo of my baby?

Don’t panic – the rules have changed to make it easier than ever before to take a passport picture of your baby. And with our Paspic passport photo service it’s even easier because your photos are approved 99.5% of the time.

If your child is under 6 they don’t have to be looking directly at the camera or have a neutral expression – if they’re under the age of 1 they don’t even have to have their eyes open so you can snap them while they’re peacefully asleep!

And though they must be on their own in the photo with no toys or dummies, you can support them with your hand as long as it doesn’t show – a baby muslin makes an ideal neutral backdrop.

Then simply send them to us and we’ll do the rest!

Does my baby’s passport photo need verifying?

Just like applying for an adult passport, you’ll need to get a friend or colleague to verify your baby’s photos.

Is that it?

That’s it! Use the Post Office check and send service for additional peace of mind and then wait for your baby’s first passport to land on the mat and enjoy your first family holiday!

Who can verify passport photos?

If you thought having your passport photos taken was daunting, think again. Finding someone to verify your passport photos can be a difficult task but with all the facts at your fingertips you shouldn’t have too many problems.

Does my passport photo need verifying?

If you’re applying for a first adult or child passport or a renewal for a child under the age of 11 you’ll need to have your passport photo signed and verified. This also applies if you need a replacement passport or your photo has changed beyond all recognition.

If this is the case you need your photo countersigned by a professional person who should write ‘I certify that this is a true likeness of [title and full name of adult or child who is getting the passport]’ on the back along with their signature.

Who can verify my passport photo?

The person who verifies your photo must:

• Have known you for 2 years – this also applies to a children’s passport
• Be a colleague, neighbour or friend
• Be someone who has worked in or retired from one of the professions recognised by the passport office

Can I ask my doctor?

No you can’t, unless your doctor is also a personal friend. There are restrictions on who can verify your passport photos – for example, they can’t verify your photo if they work for the Passport Office.

You can’t ask your husband or wife, or any relative by birth or marriage. And you can’t have your photo verified by your live-in partner or anyone who lives at the same address as you.

What if I’m outside the UK?

If you live in the UK then your passport picture can be verified by another UK citizen who holds a British or an Irish passport. However, if you’re not in the UK then they can also hold an EU, Commonwealth or US passport. However, if they’re a British passport holder then your application will get processed more quickly.

How can I get my passport pictures approved?

At Paspic we have a 99.5% approval rate for our passport photos. So if you can find a professional person to verify your photos, we can help you get your passport photos approved first time.

How do I print a passport photo?

Once upon a time the only way to get a passport photo was to use a photo booth. You would queue up outside one, find yourself in a rush to take the photo, and pretty much have to make do with the outcome. It’s a whole different matter now though and there’s no need to visit a photo booth anymore. The question is: how can you print your own passport photo? This guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What do you need?

Don’t worry, you don’t actually need a fancy camera or even hi-tech equipment. Instead, you simply need anything that’s capable of taking a picture (including your mobile phone) and an internet connection. You don’t even need paper nowadays, nor do you need to leave the comfort of your own home.

What do you do?

Once you’ve taken a picture that you’re happy with, you can rely on an online passport printing service. Your job is pretty much complete once it’s uploaded and out of your hands. The image will be assessed to ensure it meets the strict government guidelines before the hard copies will be returned to you in the post within two working days.

What can you do to speed things along?

It’s only natural that you might want your passport photo returned to you in the quickest possible time so that you can complete your passport application ahead of your holiday. Due to this, you should read the government guidelines closely to make sure that you snap a suitable image before starting the process.

Is it safe?

Yes! Paspic has an incredible 99.5% success rate when it comes to approving pictures in line with what the passport office requires. Therefore, printing your own photos in this way is certainly safer than it ever was queuing up to use a photo booth.

Start the process today!

If you fancy printing your own passport photo but don’t fancy the hassle of leaving your home, be sure to use the superb service provided by Paspic. You’ll soon discover why so many people are now choosing to print their passport pictures at home.

Photo: US Passport by Damian613 licensed under Creative commons 2