Ruth Emery
By Ruth Emery
Finance Journalist
Updated 29 April 2024
|Read time: 4 mins

What are the rules for your new passport photo?

If you’re applying for a new passport, you’ll need to take note of the strict passport photo rules.

You must submit a new photo that was taken in the last month, even if you don’t think your appearance has changed since you last applied for a passport.

Whether you’re applying for a new passport online or using a paper form, we explain the UK passport photo requirements, including what to do if you wear glasses or religious clothing and how the photo rules work for babies and children.


Applying online? You’ll need a digital photo

You can get a digital photo from a photo booth or shop, or you can take a photo using your own device.

Getting a digital passport photo from a photo booth or shop is perhaps the simpler option, as these photos have the correct lighting and set-up, and are more likely to meet the passport photo requirements and be approved.

However, you will have to pay for the photo. When taking the snap, choose the option to get a digital code, and add this to your passport application.

Alternatively, you can take the photo yourself, for example with a smartphone. You’ll need someone to help you with this.

The photo must be clear and in focus, in colour, at least 600 pixels wide and 750 pixels tall, and between 50KB and 10MB in size. Do not alter the photo using computer software.


Here are some other passport photo rules for digital pictures:

The photo must not contain any other objects or people

It must be taken against a plain, light-coloured background

It must not have “red eye”

It should include your head, shoulders and upper body

You must be facing forwards and looking at the camera

No smiling – you should have a plain expression with your mouth closed

Your eyes must be open and visible

You shouldn’t have anything covering your face or in front of your eyes, like your hair

Photos of babies and children

Thankfully, the UK passport photo requirements are more relaxed for babies and children.

While children must still be on their own in the picture, and they must not be holding toys or using a dummy, those aged under 6 do not have to be looking directly at the camera or have a plain expression. So, smiles and giggles – or a frown – are allowed.

Furthermore, babies aged less than 12 months do not have to have their eyes open. A useful tip for photographing an infant is to lie them down on a plain light-coloured sheet and take the photo from above.

Applying using a paper form? You’ll need printed photos

If you’re submitting your passport application using a paper form, you’ll need two identical printed photos to go with it.

They must measure 45 mm by 35 mm, which is the standard size used in photo booths, and not be a trimmed-down version of a larger picture.

Most of the passport photo rules that were mentioned in the digital photos section (see above), such as being clear and in focus, and having your eyes open and a plain expression, apply to printed pictures. 

In addition, printed photos should be free of any creases or tears.

When sending the passport application, make sure the photos are left loose and aren’t attached to the paper form.

Lost your passport? Take a look at our guide on how to replace a lost or stolen passport.

Can I wear glasses or religious clothing?

It’s best not to wear glasses in the photo unless you have to. If you must wear glasses, they cannot be sunglasses or tinted glasses. You should also take care that your eyes are not covered by the frames or any glare, reflection or shadow.

The passport photo requirements state that you are allowed to wear a head covering if it’s for religious or medical reasons.

Passport photo help if you’re disabled

There is free support available to help with your passport application if you’re disabled. For example, if you’re unable to meet the passport photo rules, you can include information about why the picture doesn’t meet the rules and also a letter outlining your condition.

There’s more information about this on the government website.

Travel money made easy

It’s always useful to have some local currency when jetting off abroad. For great rates and no commission, pop to one of our John Lewis & Partners stores with a Bureau de Change, or order online for click and collect or home delivery.

When you return from your holiday, you can always sell your leftover travel money back to us at one of our Bureau de Change locations.

Exchange rates in our shops may vary from those offered online.


This article is for promotional or information purposes only. You must not rely on it as advice. Please contact a financial adviser if you need advice before you buy a financial product or service.

Recommended guides

We’ve put together a checklist for travelling to help you keep track of what you need to pack.

By planning ahead, you can reduce the charges and get a great deal on your holiday money.

you’re thinking of using a bank card abroad, make sure you check what fees you could be charged.

John Lewis Finance and John Lewis & Partners Bureau de Change are both trading names of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (Registered Company Number 233462). John Lewis plc introduce the panel of carefully chosen providers in Bureau de Change products and services, whom each hold the appropriate licences with the Financial Conduct Authority and HMRC.

Foreign Currency online from both John Lewis Finance and John Lewis & Partners is provided by First Rate Exchange Services Limited registration number 04287490 (Money Service Business licence number MLR-64068), whose registered office is at Great West House, Great West Road, Brentford, West London, TW8 9DF England.

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