What Are the Regulations for Baby Passport Photos?

Alex Tree

Typical regulations for baby passport photos detail how the baby’s hair, eyes, and mouth should look. There are several exceptions that allow guardians to bypass some of the rules, for example, infant disabilities or the relatively lax regulations of some countries. On the other hand, baby passport photos must follow the same regulations as adults in regard to photo quality. Blurriness or too-small subjects are generally considered unacceptable by most passport facilities.

A baby passport photo may be taken while the baby is lying in a car seat.
A baby passport photo may be taken while the baby is lying in a car seat.

The baby’s hair should be out of his or her face and, if long enough, tucked behind the ears. His or her mouth should be closed, with the eyes open and looking straight at the camera. Some passport-issuing facilities are very strict on these regulations, and it might take patience and persistence to get appropriate baby passport photos.

Photos for a baby passport typically must adhere to the same regulations for quality and size as photos for an adult passport.
Photos for a baby passport typically must adhere to the same regulations for quality and size as photos for an adult passport.

Some countries are relatively lax on baby passport photo regulations. They do not require the mouth to be closed, nor do they care if the baby is looking straight into the camera. The photo should still strongly resemble the baby, but the regulations basically require only a likeness. It is safest to get the best baby passport photos possible simply to avoid airline or other travel security potentially being unable to identify the child in the photo.

Another exception to baby passport photos comes into play if the baby has a mental or physical disability. As long as his or her guardian has proper documentation proving the disability, the baby will not need to meet all the photo regulations. For example, if a child has a severe cleft lip and cannot close his or her mouth, he or she should still be allowed to travel.

Commonly recommended methods of positioning a baby for a passport photo keep the baby’s head supported without another person being in the picture. For example, positioning a baby in a car seat and lying a baby on his or her back are a couple suggested methods of keeping the head supported. While quality requirements are sometimes relaxed for babies, the visibility of the baby’s features is still very important.

Baby passport photos must still follow standard regulations when it comes to background color and photo quality. The acceptable background color depends on the country, but white and off white are widely accepted. In addition, baby passport photos cannot be blurry, pixelated, or otherwise of poor quality. Many people choose to hire professionals who guarantee the acceptance of their photographs as passport photos to avoid the hassle of taking photos themselves.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


What size are passport photos for babies here in the US?

My friend is going on vacation soon and she's asked me to help her get some digital passport photos that can be printed out by our friend who works as a professional photographer. We know they need to be stamped and signed on the back by the studio, but we are not sure how big they need to be. Is it the same size as adult passport photos?

We want to make sure we meet the passport photo requirements the first time so we can save cash and time.


@Sara007 - Getting a professional to do your infant passport photos is definitely the best way to go. We made the mistake of taking our son to get his baby passport pictures done at a regular passport photo studio and they just didn't know how to get him to pose. I suspect the person we were dealing with had never taken a child's photo in their life.

We ended up having to get the photos redone and swore off cheap passport photos in the future because they just mean you'll have to do them a second time anyway. We finally got our photos done, but having to do everything again set us back quite a bit.


When you are looking at baby passport photo requirements for your country I am sure you'll be shocked at how strict some of them are. I figured it would be nearly impossible to get my daughter posed so she wasn't looking off into nowhere with her mouth hanging open but the photographer did a really great job.

I highly recommend that if you are looking at where to get passport photos done for your baby that you see a professional photographer who specializes in baby photos. They can be the toughest subjects to shoot and you don't want to have your passport delayed due to a bad picture.

Post your comments
Forgot password?