Home Office to accept passport photos taken on mobiles

Posted on January 24, 2017 by Guest Writer
Passport photo rule change

The Home Office has announced that it will begin accepting passport photographs taken on mobiles for people renewing their travel documents.

When renewing a passport online, applicants will simply have to upload their picture which can be taken with a mobile or digital camera. The image however must not be a ‘selfie’ and it is recommended that the picture is taken at distance of 1.5 metres.

The rule change coincides with the Home Office’s phasing out of digital signatures on passports, allowing holders to sign their documents after they have been issued.

A spokesperson from the Home Office said: “We have started to introduce passports that will no longer include the holder’s signature in digital format.

“This is part of developing HM Passport Office’s online application service, by removing the need for customers to send signed paper forms and printed photographs in support of their application.”

People applying for their first passport or replacing a lost or stolen document will continue using the current system and need to provide two physical, countersigned images.

Rules for passport photos

The rules governing what a passport photo must look like remain the same. They must:

  • Measure 45mm high by 35mm wide and not be a cut down version of a larger picture
  • Be taken in the last month taken against a plain cream or light grey background
  • Be clear and in focus
  • Show a close-up of your full head and upper shoulders, contain no other objects or people and be in clear contrast to the background.

When applying for first passport or replacing a lost or stolen documents, photographs must be:

  • Printed in colour on plain white photographic paper with no border to a professional standard
  • Without any creases or tears and unmarked on both sides (unless a photo needs to be countersigned).

When getting your passport photograph taken you should:

  • Be facing forward and looking straight at the camera
  • Have a neutral expression and your mouth closed
  • Have your eyes open, visible and free from any reflections or glare from glasses
  • Not have:
    • hair in front of your eyes
    • a head covering (unless it’s for religious or medical reasons)
    • anything covering your face
    • ‘red eye’
    • any shadows on your face or behind you.