Can You Use a Selfie for a U.S. passport photo?


We’ve all been there: trying to take the perfect selfie for our Instagram feed and being less than successful. But did you know that you can also use a selfie as your passport photo? Read on to find out the answer!

Requirements for the U.S. Passport Photo


Anyone applying for a passport must provide a passport photo that meets specific requirements. To ensure the photo is acceptable for use, make certain it meets the criteria below:

  • The image must be in color and taken within the last six months.
  • It should show the full face, front view with a plain white or off-white background.
  • The photo should be of good quality with clear definition of facial features and have accurate color representation.
  • The head should measure between 1 to 1 3/8 inches (22mm–35mm) from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin.
  • Both eyes must be open, clearly visible and not covered by glasses frames or hair.
  • Glare on glasses should be avoided with a slight downward tilt to allow eyes to be seen clearly.
  • Uniforms or camouflage attire should not be worn in the passport photo except religious clothing may be worn if it does not disguise your identity in any way.
  • Head coverings are only allowed due to religious beliefs but should not cover any facial features from bottom of chin to top of forehead and both edges of face must still be visible.
  • Photos featuring military uniform or camouflage are generally unacceptable for use as passport photos.

Can You Use a Selfie for a U.S. Passport Photo?


For US passports, the US Department of State (DOS) only allows two-inch-by-two-inch passport images taken within six months before the date of your application. This means that you cannot use a selfie for your passport image as it does not meet these strict requirements. The Department also requires that only acceptable photography equipment and techniques be used to produce a current, recognizable image of you when applying for a passport.

Color photographs should be professionally taken using appropriate lighting and exposure settings and printing techniques on thin photographic paper with good quality resolution producing an image that softens facial features while displaying natural skin tones and textures.

Therefore, it’s important to make sure you take an acceptable photograph when submitting your application so that it can be properly processed by DOS officials or immigration personnel at U.S ports of entry/departure locations overseas. A selfie does not meet all these criteria so it is important to find an approved passport image service such as Passport Photo Creator in order to assure quality compliance with government regulations when submitting photos online or in person requests.



Taking your own image can seem like a good idea to save money or time, but it’s not accepted by the U.S. Department of State when you’re applying for a passport. Selfies, or images taken with a smartphone, and other amateur photographs also don’t meet the requirements for passport images. The Department of State’s Guidelines for U.S. Passport Photos require the applicant’s full face to be clearly visible within the photograph without any shadows from headwear, eyewear or clothes obscuring facial features and eyes must be open and clearly visible.

For these reasons, you will need to seek out a professional service in order to get an acceptable passport image taken that meets all requirements set forth in the most current version of Application Form DS-11 -Application for Passport Updated 3/2/2016 The photograph must be taken within six months prior to submitting your application.

When selecting a photographer, ensure they are familiar with U.S Passport Photography guidelines and look out for those that offer mobile services or digital proofing so you can review your images before printing them out – some photographers even offer discounts depending on how much quantity you need printed at one time! Remember, any minor alterations will invalidate your image and possibly make it unusable as an official identification image document such as an expired/damaged/torn passport could mean further delays when processing your application!

Tips for Taking a Good U.S. Passport Photo


In the United States, they are required to obtain a passport, visa, or another other form of identification. It is important that your image meets certain specifications in order to be accepted by the U.S. State Department.

Taking your own image can be an easy and convenient way to provide your government-issued photo identification needs. However, it is important to take your image carefully in order to ensure that you provide the highest quality image possible for review and acceptance by the U.S. State Department.

Here are some tips for taking a good U.S. passport image:

  • Use a high-quality digital camera with a high resolution setting;
  • Choose a plain white or off-white background;
  • Take the picture from about two feet away from you and with good overhead lighting;
  • Head must be between 1” and 1 3/8” from chin to crown of head;
  • Use no props, jewelry or glasses in the frame;
  • Do not use flash photography as this can create reflection problems; and
  • Do not use selfies as these often produce blurry images due to their low-resolution settings.


In conclusion, while you can use a standard-resolution selfie to apply for a U.S. passport, there are some conditions and restrictions that must be met. Firstly, the selfie needs to meet high-resolution and contrast requirements and should not include filtering, frames or effects that might obscure your features. Furthermore, it should not be cut from another image. When compared with the images submitted by professional photographers or photo studios, selfies have certain disadvantages and drawbacks. So if possible – and depending on your country’s laws – it would be advisable to consider approaching a passport photo service provider for guaranteed acceptance of a durable passport portrait that you can use for travel around the world with confidence.