Passport Photo Requirements for an Infant

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All international travelers, including infants, are required to have passports. Each passport must feature a standardized photo of the infant. This will serve as a child's photo identification for international travel for 5 years.

Style

All passport photos must be forward-facing head shots, displaying nothing below the shoulders. Photos must be 2 inches by 2 inches, set against a white or off-white background with the head taking up between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches of the frame. The photo must be in full color. Two identical copies must be presented when applying for the passport.

Requirements

The infant’s head must be the only object visible in the frame. Photos in which such things as a parent’s hands, a car seat or a toy are visible will be rejected. The child’s hands should be away from the face.

According to the U.S. Department of State, all clothing worn in the passport photo must be normal street attire with the exception of religious attire the child wears on a daily basis. Accessories that obstruct the view of the child’s face, such as pacifiers, hats and sunglasses are prohibited.

The photo must display the infant looking alert and awake with his or her head and eyes facing the camera. The facial expression must be serene, with the child’s face relaxed, eyes open and mouth closed. Photos cannot display the infant laughing or crying.

Photos must meet the quality standards set by the U.S. Department of State. The most common characteristics of unacceptable passport photos are listed on its website.

Time Frame

An infant’s passport photo must be submitted within 6 months of the date at which the photo was originally taken.

After approval, the infant's passport and attached photo identification will expire after 5 years.

Considerations

Locations that provide passport photo services to adults and older children, such as drugstores and post offices, are not always willing to take photos of infants. Check the location’s policy on infant photos before bringing in your child.

Photos may be taken by a professional photographer or at home as long as they meet all quality and style standards.

Tips

Take the photos in a well-lit area and avoid using flash, which increases the chances of shadows or overexposure. For the background, lay the child on a clean white sheet or poster board.

Approach the photo session with patience. It might take several attempts before a favorable photo is taken. Use toys or games to keep the baby’s attention on the photographer.

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