Skip to Content

Can a baby’s mouth be open for passport photo?

Getting a passport for a baby is a vital step in ensuring that they can travel internationally. Passport photos are an essential component of the passport application process, and parents have to adhere to strict guidelines that are implemented by different countries. One common question that many parents ask is whether their baby’s mouth can be open for passport photos. In this blog post, we will discuss this issue in detail and provide you with all the necessary information you need to know.

Why is a passport photo so important?

A passport photo is more than a mere picture; it is a critical component of a passport that helps identify its carrier. Governments all over the world have strict guidelines that are put in place to ensure consistency in passport photos. As mentioned earlier, these are the same rules that apply to infants. Passport photos have several characteristics, such as size, lighting, and pose, that help the governments and the transportation personnel to identify a passenger quickly and efficiently.

Can a baby’s mouth be open for passport photos?

The simple answer is no. A baby’s mouth should be closed for passport photos. For starters, if a baby’s mouth is open, it is easy to mistake the baby for yawning or crying. This results in an inaccurate representation of the baby’s face, and this can cause confusion and possible issues at the different passport control checkpoints.

Secondly, regulations state that the baby’s eyes must be open and looking straight ahead. This is to ensure the readability of the biometric passport and make it easier to match the photo with the person carrying it. If an infant’s mouth is open, it is possible that the photo won’t accurately capture their eyes’ shape and position, which could lead to possible complications.

Lastly, a baby’s mouth is not supposed to be open for the same reasons adults cannot smile or make any facial expressions when taking passport photos. This is to ensure that the photo is consistent, i.e., a person is easily recognizable in the picture.

Why do babies need passports?

Babies need passports for the same reasons as adults. Airways’ regulations require all passengers to carry valid identifications, and this includes babies. In addition, passports are used to determine a person’s citizenship and verifying their identity at the different passport checkpoints.

What are the requirements for a baby’s passport photo?

The dimensions of a baby’s passport photo must measure exactly 2 inches by 2 inches (5 centimeters by 5 centimeters). It must be a recent colour photograph and taken against a white or light-colored background. As explained earlier, the baby’s eyes must be open, and they should be facing directly towards the camera. The baby’s head should also consist of 70-80% of the entire photo frame.

In addition, the baby’s facial expression has to be neutral – no crying or smiling, and the mouth should be closed. The picture should be taken without any object or anyone holding the baby.

Tips for taking a good passport photo of your baby

Taking a passport photo of your baby can be challenging, but it’s doable if you know what to do. Below are some home tips that can help you get some great passport photos of your baby:

1. Keep the baby awake beforehand

You want your baby to be alert and awake when taking the passport photos. A tip that can help you achieve this is by keeping your baby up, at least 30 minutes before taking the photo.

2. Choose a well-lit area

Make sure that your baby is in a well-lit room when taking the passport photo. Natural light always works the best.

3. Take multiple photos

Take as many pictures as possible as it will increase your chances of getting the perfect one. Remember, if you don’t get it right the first time, you may have to start the process all over again.

4. Use a white or light-colored background

Your baby’s passport photo must be taken against a white or light-colored background. A clean sheet or blanket should do the trick!


In conclusion, when you need to take a passport photo for your baby, you should strictly adhere to the guidelines that have been set in place by the various governments. Remember, the baby’s mouth should be closed and facing directly towards the camera. A passport photo is a critical component of a passport and helps ensure that the baby’s identity and citizenship are verified. Follow the tips that we have shared above to avoid any issues and complications when applying for your child’s passport.


How strict are passport photos for babies?

When it comes to taking passport photos for babies, the rules are just as strict as they are for adults. In fact, there are several specific guidelines set forth by official government agencies that must be followed in order for a baby’s passport photo to be accepted as valid.

The first and most important guideline is that the photo must be taken against a plain white or off-white background. This ensures that there are no distracting elements in the photo that could potentially obscure the baby’s face or features. Additionally, the baby must be positioned directly facing the camera, with their eyes open and looking straight ahead.

It’s worth noting that the baby cannot be wearing any hats or head coverings, as these can obscure their facial features and make it difficult for officials to verify their identity. Similarly, any eyeglasses or headphones must be removed for the photo.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of taking a passport photo for a baby is getting them to stay still and look directly into the camera. To help with this, many photographers or photo studios will have props or toys on hand to help keep the baby’s attention focused on the camera. Some may even let parents hold the baby during the photo shoot, as long as they can ensure that their hands are not visible in the final image.

All in all, while the rules for baby passport photos may seem strict, they are in place to ensure that the photos are of the highest quality and can be used for reliable identification purposes. If you’re unsure about how to take a passport photo for your baby, it’s always best to consult with a professional photographer or passport office to ensure that the photo meets all official guidelines.

What color shirt should a baby wear for passport picture?

When taking a passport photo of a baby, it might seem like a trivial detail, but the color of the shirt can make a significant difference in the outcome of the photo. Therefore, it is vital to carefully select the color of the shirt that the baby wears during the photo session.

The general rule of thumb is to avoid lighter colors such as white, beige, and light pink, as these colors can cause a washed-out appearance in the final image. Similarly, bright colors like red and yellow can reflect light onto the face and cause an unnatural appearance. Instead, parents should choose darker hues for a more flattering outcome. Colors such as black, navy blue, brown, and dark green are all great options for a baby’s passport photo. These darker shades can add depth and contrast to the image, providing a more defined look.

It is essential to keep in mind that some passport issuing authorities have strict rules about head coverings and clothing items. Parents should check with their Passport Office to ensure that a sweater or jacket that the baby wears over their preferred shirt does not violate the rules.

The color of the background should also be taken into account when selecting clothes for the passport photo. Most passport rules also require a plain white or off-white background, so parents are advised to avoid wearing a shirt of similar colors. A baby should wear a shirt in a contrasting color to the background, creating a sharper image.

The color of clothing worn for a baby’s passport photo is more critical than it might seem. To avoid photo rejection or unnecessary delays in the processing of the passport application, parents should choose darker colored clothing for their babies. Following the guidelines related to dress codes and the background color is also crucial for a successful outcome.

Are they strict about passport photos?

Yes, passport photos must meet very specific requirements and authorities are generally strict about ensuring that they adhere to these guidelines. The main reason for this is to ensure that the person in the photo can be easily identified and verified as the passport holder. Passport photos are taken for security purposes, and as such, authorities need to be able to identify individuals quickly and efficiently to prevent fraud and ensure safety.

Some of the requirements for passport photos are that they must be recent and not more than 6 months old, showing the applicant’s current appearance. The photo must be in color and taken against a plain white or off-white background. Head coverings and hats are not permitted in most instances, except for religious or medical reasons, but even then, the face has to be fully visible.

In addition, the applicant must be facing the camera directly with their full face in view. There should be no shadows or reflections on the face, and the eyes must be open and visible with a neutral facial expression, which generally means no big grins, funny faces, or pouts. Furthermore, glasses are generally not allowed in passport photos unless they are for medical reasons, and even then, there are specific requirements for the type of glasses and how they are worn in the photo.

Passport policies and procedures vary by country, but in most cases, passport photos must adhere to certain specifications. If the photo does not meet the requirements outlined by the authorities, it will be rejected, and you will be required to take another one. Therefore, it is essential to make sure that the passport photos meet all the guidelines before submission to avoid any delays or issues with the passport application process.

Can passport photo be older than 6 months?

No, a passport photo cannot be older than 6 months. This is because passport photos must be an accurate representation of the applicant’s current appearance. The U.S. Department of State requires that passport photos be taken within the past six months to ensure that a photo is up-to-date and an accurate reflection of the individual’s current appearance.

The photograph must be taken against a plain white or off-white background, with the individual facing the camera directly and with a neutral facial expression. The photo must be clear and properly exposed, with no shadows or blurriness. Any glasses worn must not be reflective and should not obscure the individual’s eyes. Head coverings and other accessories may be worn as long as they do not obstruct any facial features.

It is important to note that old passport photos can lead to confusion at airport security checkpoints or when crossing a border, especially if there has been a significant change in appearance. Outdated photos can also cause delays in processing times or even result in a passport application being rejected. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that passport photos are taken within the past six months to meet the Department of State’s requirements and avoid any potential issues.

What happens if my US passport photo is rejected?

When applying for a US passport, one of the vital requirements is to submit a passport photo that meets specific guidelines and regulations. The photo requirement is strict, and if your photo gets rejected, it can cause a delay in your application process or even a denial of your passport request.

If your US passport photo is rejected, you will be notified by the US Department of State regarding the rejection. In such cases, you will have to submit a new photo that meets all the required guidelines and regulations. You have to make sure that the photo is taken recently, with a clear background, and meets all the required dimensions and lighting standards.

The Department of State gives you a 90-day threshold to replace the rejected photo with a perfect one that satisfies the guidelines. If you don’t take any action within 90 days, then your application might be cancelled, and you have to start the application process again, which involves paying the full fee again and waiting for another few weeks. Therefore, it is imperative to submit a high-quality passport photo that meets all the standards and guidelines to avoid delays and additional expenses.

If your US passport photo is rejected, it is essential to correct the problem as soon as possible. The Department of State has a guideline that should be followed to ensure that your passport photo gets approved. You have a 90-day window to replace the rejected photo with a new one that meets all the requirements. If you don’t meet the deadline, you will have to start the application process again, which involves paying the full fee and waiting for another few weeks.

Why do they ask you not to smile in a passport photo?

When applying for a passport, one of the instructions you will receive is to refrain from smiling in your passport photo. This may seem like an odd request, as a smile is something most people would naturally put on for a photograph. However, the government has a good reason for this requirement – facial recognition technology.

Facial recognition technology has become an increasingly popular tool used by governments to identify individuals. It is being used in various applications, including law enforcement, security systems, and even social media platforms. When you submit your passport application, your photo is scanned and added to a database where it is compared to other photos of you. Your photo must meet specific requirements to make sure it matches with your previous passport photos and other government IDs.

A smile in a passport photo is not desirable as it distorts your facial features, which can result in inaccurate matching. When you smile, it causes your cheeks and eyes to move creating an uneven distribution of curves and angles within your face. This movement causes changes in the recognition parameters, making it difficult for facial recognition software to match the photo accurately to your other records.

Facial recognition software primarily identifies an individual by analyzing and comparing their features such as the distance between the eyes, the shape of the nose, and the size of the jaw. When you smile, these measurements change, and facial recognition software may not be able to match the new image to the previous photos of you. For accurate comparison, your photos must have a neutral expression, free from any distortions, including a smile.

It may seem like a small request, but being asked not to smile in a passport photo is a vital requirement. It ensures the accuracy of facial recognition technology, a tool that is instrumental in identifying individuals to the government. So the next time you take your passport photo, be sure to follow all the instructions, and don’t flash that friendly smile.