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.

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 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

How to take a good passport photo

A passport photo is something that a lot of people get wrong because they don’t understand the specific requirements.

This can drag out the passport application/renewal process, as passport offices will return your application if it does not meet the necessary standards. So, it’s in your interest to make sure that the passport photo is right.

Even if the application goes through, there’s the risk that when you’re rushing through an airport somewhere or trying to cross a border, the process can take longer with a bad passport photo.

Follow these key tips, and your photo should be accepted.

The right background

The passport photo should have a background which is ideally cream or light grey. It’s important that it’s not textured too, so if possible it’s better to use a wall for your background than a sheet.

Remember that natural lighting is essential, as if there is too much glare on your face or visible shadows, you run the risk of having the photograph refused. Your face needs to be clear.

The right position

A quick way of getting your passport photo refused is to have it cropped too close to your head. Remember, the passport office will crop the photo to fit into your passport, you don’t have to.

Ideally, you want to make sure that you have some free space around your head and shoulders, and that a decent proportion of your upper body can also be seen in the photo to help with identification.

The right look

Smiling is not something you want to do in a passport photograph, indeed any expression at all is undesirable. Try and rest your face in as neutral a pose as possible, remember that it’s not a fashion shoot.

Also make sure you remove any hats, scarves, or other items which might otherwise obscure your face. If you wear glasses it’s best to take them off, but if you need to leave them on then make sure they don’t pick up any glare in the lenses from the light.

How big is a passport photo?

Passport photos are essential, but are also one of the most common reasons for having your passport application rejected. Depending on whether you’re applying online or on paper, you’ll need either a digital photo, or two identical printed photos. But what size do your passport photos need to be? And what other rules are there? Let us explain…

Printed photos

If you’re applying using a paper application form, think about whether you can apply online instead. Applying online is cheaper, faster, and you’re less likely to make a mistake because the website guides you through the information you need to provide. That said, if you prefer to apply on paper, here are the rules your passport photos need to meet:

– There must be 2 identical photos (ie. two copies of the same photo).

– Each photo must be 45mm high and 35mm wide.

– You cannot cut down or crop a larger image.

Additionally, you must make sure that your photos are:

– professionally printed, not just produced on your home or office printer;

– clear and in focus;

– not black and white – only colour photos with no border will be accepted;

– not creased or torn;

– have not been edited with software eg. photoshop.

Digital photos

Digital passport photos need to be at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall, and between 50kB and 10MB in size. Other than that, they need to meet all the same quality requirements as printed photos in terms of being clear, in focus, and unaltered by software.

What does your photo need to show?

Passport photos need to be a clear picture of your face, facing into the camera, and not smiling or frowning. The photo needs to show your entire head and upper shoulders. It cannot show all or part of any other person, and must be taken against a plain cream or light grey background.

You must make sure that you keep your mouth closed, have your eyes open and visible (not hidden by hair, and with no redeye), and that you are not wearing a hat or head covering of any kind unless it is for religious reasons. There must also be no shadows covering your face.

What happens if you lose your passport abroad?

First, if you lose your passport abroad, don’t panic. The UK has a network of Embassies and Consulates around the world, plus the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), to help.

If you can access the internet (and you’re reading this article, so you probably can) then visit to find the British Embassy or Consulate closest to you, and phone or email them for advice.

If you’re in any doubt, you can also contact the FCO’s Global Response Centre on +44 (0)20 7008 1500, where trained staff are available 24/7 to offer advice and point you in the right direction.

Can you get a new passport?

Yes, but it’s usually best to wait until you get home to do that unless you’re planning on being overseas for several weeks.

While it’s possible to apply for a new passport from another country, it will take longer and cost more than it would in the UK. As an example, to replace a lost adult British passport in Australia costs up to £95.70 and can take up to six weeks. Fortunately, if you need to travel more urgently, there is another option.

Emergency Travel Documents

An Emergency Travel Document (ETD) acts essentially as an emergency alternative to a passport. They are only issued overseas (if you’re in the UK and need to travel in an emergency then you can apply for a passport urgently from the Passport Office), and only if you meet strict conditions:

* you must be a British National
* you must be outside the UK
* you must already hold (or recently have held) a valid UK passport which has been lost, stolen, damaged, is full, has recently expired, or is with HM Passport Office or a foreign embassy
* you must not have time to apply for a new passport before you travel
* you must be able to provide proof of your travel plans and you will need to pay a fee, which varies from country to country, attend a face to face interview, and supply a passport photo which meets UK passport photo requirements.

What an ETD can (and cannot) do

Using an ETD it’s possible to travel to your final destination, through a maximum of five other countries. You can also (normally) use it to return to the country where you apply from if you live there (eg. if you’ve retired overseas).

Your travel itinerary will be printed on the ETD, so it is vital that you give accurate details when you apply. If your plans change after your ETD has been issued, you’ll have to apply for a new one.

If your final destination is the UK, border staff will keep your ETD when you arrive. Immigration officers in other countries may also do the same if it is your final destination.

An ETD is not a substitute for a passport, and you will still need to apply for a replacement for your lost passport, and pay the full fee for doing so when you return home.

Does a newborn baby need a passport?

Those of us who were born back in the dim and distant days of the 20th century may remember travelling under a parent’s passport as a child. However, times have changed. Nowadays, if you’re planning to take your kid abroad, they will need a passport. There are no exceptions to the rule – even a newborn baby travelling for the first time needs their very own documentation.

What do I need to do to get my newborn’s passport?

You can download a passport application form or pick one up at the Post Office. A baby’s passport, unlike an adult’s, is only valid for five years, and costs £46. Sadly, the price may be a bit lower but the processing time for a baby’s passport is just as long! Officially, a passport can take 4 – 6 weeks to process, but as we all know, this is a bit optimistic.

When it comes to newborns, you may be on a much tighter time frame. Perhaps you’re planning to travel in the first few months, or even weeks, of your baby’s life. In that case, you’re better off paying £87 for the fast-track service, which has a one-week turnaround and requires an appointment in person.

As well as the application form, you’ll need the baby’s original birth certificate and a pair of passport photos, signed by a professional who can vouch for your child’s identity. If either or both of the parents don’t have a British passport, extra supporting documents must be sent, too.

What about my newborn’s passport photo?

Don’t panic when it’s time to pose for a baby passport photo! Just be sure to follow the guidelines, as if you’re planning to travel with your newborn, you’re probably on a time-sensitive schedule and can’t afford to have a photo rejected.

For babies younger than one year, the regular passport photo rules don’t apply. This means that your baby can be smiling, laughing, crying, or even sleeping. In fact, it might be easiest to take a picture when the little one is asleep – unlike passport photos for adults or children, newborns can have their eyes closed.

What is important is that the photo has a plain cream or light grey background and that the baby’s face is not obscured by toys or dummies.

Photo: Happy Baby by tedmurphy licensed under Creative commons 2

Can you wear makeup in a passport photo?

If it’s time to renew your passport then it’s important to know the dos and don’ts regarding those all important passport photos. It’s a strict procedure – which could lead to major delays if done wrong – so getting it right the first time is key to receiving your passport on time and keeping your stress levels to a minimum. One question we’re constantly asked is can you wear makeup in a passport photo? Before getting in the photo booth, here’s everything you need to know. After all, you’re going to be stuck with this photo for another ten years, so no pressure…

Can you wear makeup in a passport photo?

Simply put, yes you can. But don’t go over the top. The photo must be a true image of yourself, so if you normally wear makeup then go ahead and wear the same amount as you would on a typical day. But if you rarely wear makeup then obviously don’t put too much on for your photo. If you don’t look like yourself then you could end up having a tricky conversation at the airport.

Any makeup tips?

If you don’t usually wear makeup but want to hide those annoying dark circles that make you look tired and ill under your eyes, apply a bit of concealer. This can help hide dark patches and keep you looking fresh.

To avoid the dreaded white face, try not to wear a base with SPF. The camera or photo booth flash can make you look pale and nobody wants that.

Keep your makeup simple

This photo needs to last for ten years, so try and keep your makeup minimal. There’s no need to go all out like it’s a Saturday night. Refrain from bright, bold colours and aim for a look that will be timeless.

For added convenience you can now take your passport photos at home with the help of Paspic. Our service ensures the photo you are submitting for your new passport meets all requirements, so there’s no stumbling blocks. Get in touch with us today for more information.

Photo: snowed in by MissMessie licensed under Creative commons 2