Skip to main content

Top questions for photos

Here we answer some of the most commonly answered questions we receive about photos. For detailed information on photo requirements please our photo guidelines here.

Photo guidelines for paper applications and online applications are available here. If applying online, information and guidelines are also available during the online application process.

No. The International Civil Aviation Organisation requires passport photos to be taken within the last 6 months.

Transparent glasses may be worn so long as they do not cause glare or shadows or the frames do not cover any part of the eye. Sunglasses must not be worn.

No. The photo on your passport will be in black and white. You must submit a colour photo which will be converted to black and white during the application process.

Photos must not be digitally altered or edited in any way, follow the photo guidelines provided on our site.

You can get a digital photo in 3 ways.

  • You can get someone to take a photo a home using a digital camera or smartphone/tablet. If the photo you submit does not meet the standard required to produce a passport, the Passport Service will contact you directly to submit a new photo.
  • You can a get your photo taken by a participating Photo Code provider where you will be given a unique code with your printed photos. You will have the option to use your code during the online application process to access your digital photo. This service is provided in Ireland and the UK by Photo Me and ID Station Online. Please follow these links to find your nearest provider location.
  • You can go to a photo provider such as a photographer or pharmacy who can provide you with a digital photo on a USB device or by e-mail.

If you wear a head covering for religious reasons, it is permitted to wear it in your passport photo only if full facial features are clearly visible. Head accessories other than for religious or medical purposes cannot be worn.

No. If using a smartphone/tablet to capture your photo, ensure that someone else takes the photo for you. Consult the photo guidelines before taking and submitting your photo online. Applicants who submit selfies will be asked to provide another photo for their application. This will delay the application process.

No. Soothers/pacifiers cannot be present in photographs as these can obscure facial features.

Yes. We ask guardians to make every effort to ensure that the child’s expression is natural, that they are not smiling and their mouth is not open on their passport photo. Once the photo has been accepted by the online system it will be reviewed by a member of our team. Following review, if the photo is deemed to be unacceptable for a passport, we will contact you.

This will not affect the finished passport photo as we will rotate the picture automatically during the application process. Additionally, there are buttons on the picture preview page to let you rotate your picture so you can see it correctly if you wish.

The image must be taken in line with the guidelines on the website, stored in JPEG format and be less than 9MB in file size. If you are taking a photo at home and continue to encounter problems, consider getting a Photo Code or using a Photo Provider.

You will need to transfer your image to your computer and be able to find it in order to proceed. You might consider emailing it from your phone if you have that setup. If using a dedicated camera, you will need to consult the manufacturer’s instructions on transferring files. If possible you can apply from the phone or tablet on which you took the photograph.

If you can, try using a file explorer to locate the file before making your application online. Consider renaming the file to something memorable so you can locate it easily during your application. For iPhone users, photos are stored in the photo gallery and will be accessible from there.

If you are taking a photo at home consider getting a Photo Code or using a Photo Provider.

Contact the Passport Office for assistance. Please ensure you have your application number to hand.

The online service will only accept digital photos.  Scanned photos are not permitted. For information on how you can obtain a suitable photo before making your application please see here.

You can only scan photos into the Online Passport Renewal Service if you are making an application entirely online. 

Photo Me Queries

Please refer Photo-Me related queries to Photo-Me Customer Care Team through their contact form.