Photos for baby passports: the facts

Having a good baby passport photo taken for your baby is not easy, and since the UK Passport Agency changed the rules on baby passport photos, it’s even harder. Read on to find out everything you need to know about getting the right shot for your baby’s passport.

The facts

A baby now needs his or her own passport and cannot be listed on their mother’s or father’s passport. Even trickier, he or she now needs their own photo and cannot be photographed on the lap of a parent. This is as true for a one-day-old baby as it is for a 15-month-old baby. Just as with adult passports, babies require two, 45mm x 35mm sized photos and these need to countersigned by a person of ‘good standing’. For an adult passport, the signatory is expected to have known the person for more than 2 years; in the case of a child aged under 16, they need to have known the adult doing the application on behalf of the child, for two years. So who to ask? A good person would be your GP who will have met your baby from a very young age and can vouch for his or her identity as well as your own.

Getting the photo right

A baby who can sit upright, or partially upright, can be supported out of shot. For a young baby who cannot hold themselves at all, it’s a bit trickier. Parents are allowed to support the back of a baby’s head, but your arm and hand cannot be in the shot. Babies are not allowed to have a dummy in their mouth, be wearing glasses or hats or even be holding toys. A child over six years old is required to be looking directly at the camera with a neutral expression, but these rules are more relaxed for younger children and babies. A baby aged under one does not need to have their eyes open for the picture.

Due to the difficulty of getting a baby photo right, many parents choose to go through an online baby passport photo service, such as Paspic, rather than waste money at a booth.

Photo: Baby by .v1ctor Casale. licensed under Creative commons 2

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