Love it or hate it, you’re stuck with your passport photo for the next decade. But what happens if your appearance changes? Will you need a new passport photo?
In most cases, no, according to the State Department. Rebecca Dodds, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs, told CNN.com,
“As passports are valid for 10 years, the Department (of State) understands that applicants may undergo significant changes between the time the passport is initially issued and the time it is renewed.”
Where to Get a New Passport Photo
- Drug stores with photo departments, like Walgreens or CVS.
- Big-box stores like Walmart
- Fed-Ex Office locations (you can apply for an expedited passport renewal there, too!)
- Some post offices, libraries and government buildings.
- Take it yourself with a free app like Passport Photo Creator.
When You Need a New Passport Photo
That said, there are some circumstances in which you might need a new passport photo. According to the Department of State, “New photos are only required if your appearance has significantly changed from what is in your photo.” Examples of “significant changes” include:
- “Significant” facial surgery or trauma. Minor cosmetic procedures shouldn’t be an issue, but if you’ve had a lot of work done, you may need a new passport photo to match the new you.
- Lost or gained a large amount of weight.
- Have undergone a gender transition (or are in the process of doing so and have significantly changed your appearance).
- Added or removed extensive facial tattoos or piercings.
How to Get a New Passport
- If you already have a passport, you may be eligible to renew by mail. Learn more here: How to Apply for a Passport Renewal.
- If you’re not eligible to renew by mail, follow these instructions to apply for a new passport: How to Apply for a New Passport
- Applying for a passport for a child? There are some additional application requirements. Learn more here: How to Get a Child Passport
What About Child Passport Photos?
No matter how you apply for your new passport, be sure to allow 6-8 weeks for processing. If you use the government’s expedited service, you should get your passport within 3 weeks. Processing times can vary according to how busy the State Department is; you can find the most up-to-date information here.
If you need your passport more quickly, you can either make an appointment at the nearest regional Passport Agency or use a private passport expediting company. RushMyPassport can get your passport application processed in as little as 24 hours, with no need to make an appointment or travel to a passport office.
Need a passport or passport renewal in a hurry? We’d love to help!